Photo: Corn hung to dry in a village outside Lampang.

Introduction

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Lampang city is famous these days for ceramics, horse carts and its prestigious Wat Phra That Lampang Luang. Despite being a city of approximately 250,000, with good facilities and more than its fair share of tourist sites for a provincial Thai town, some of the residents seem to have a distinct feeling of underachievement. Indeed, some even say Lampang is cursed!


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One legend relates how an early king of Lampang mistakenly executed an innocent goddess, Nan Suchada. Before dying, however, she cursed the city — so the city’s current provincial backwater status is all her fault. The city began life known as Kukut Tha Nakorn, or City of the Roosters, supposedly founded in the seventh century by the Mon queen, Cham Thewi from neighbouring Haripunchai. The name was derived from a legend describing an upcoming visit by Buddha. The god Indra was worried that the locals would not wake up in time to give him alms, so he created a white rooster to crow at dawn. It has remained the city’s symbol ever since.

Classic architecture. Photo taken in or around Lampang, Thailand by Stuart McDonald.

Classic architecture. Photo: Stuart McDonald

Lampang grew in the shadow of Lamphun. It was rebuilt in the 13th century by King Mengrai as a regional outpost to his new capital at Chiang Mai. After periods of Khmer and Burmese rule followed by incorporation into the Ayutthaya kingdom, the town had to wait until the 19th and first half of the 20th centuries to have its heyday when, as the centre of the hugely profitable teak industry, French and British entrepreneurs, Chinese and Burmese traders, American missionaries, plus Shan and Lao workers ... Travelfish members only (Around 500 more words) ... please log in to read the rest of this story.


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