Discover Thainess Tour of the North
This week, for both our Destinations and iTips shows, iTravel has headed to Lampang, one of the 12 hidden gems of 2015’s exciting new Discover Thainess campaign, which showcases spectacular but relatively undiscovered Thai destinations. For our visit to the North, iTravel recruited Irish/Filipino actor and TV host Daniel Marsh – the perfect presenter for this show as it is his first trip to Thailand so he will be able to give us a unique insight into the beauty and fascinating cultural attractions of this untouched location.
We began our journey on Monday morning by boarding the plane to Chiang Mai and then driving an hour and a half through scenic landscape to reach Lampang, a historic city nestled in the Wang River Basin. After checking in and enjoying a tour of our hotel, the picturesque Lampang River Lodge, we headed out to explore the city by bike. It was the perfect day for cycling; in fact, the kind of day Thailand is famous for, with cloudless overarching blue skies and golden sunshine. We soon worked up an appetite so stopped off at a local restaurant for lunch and enjoyed delicious servings of Khao Soy; Daniel even got to enjoy an impromptu cooking lesson and learned how to make his own!
When lunch was over we headed to Wat Phra That Lampang Luang, with its remarkable Lanna architecture and beautiful 19th century murals. After admiring the beauty of the temple we made our way to the colourful local market and thoroughly enjoyed exploring. Daniel was a huge hit with the locals, many of whom were thrilled at the chance to have a photo opportunity with our new presenter.
That evening we savoured the perfect end to a truly perfect day in Lampang with a delectable dinner served beside the river, before retiring to our beds to get a good night’s sleep, so we would be refreshed and ready for another exciting day’s sightseeing in the morning.
When we awoke we found the landscape wreathed in a chill mist, an atmospheric backdrop to a delicious breakfast at the Lampang River Lodge. Our first stop after our meal was the Thai Conservation Centre, where hosts Daniel and Angie Baldursdottir got up close and personal to some of the beautiful resident elephants.
Then, after a delicious lunch, we tried one of the activities for which Lampang is famous – a horse-drawn carriage ride. What better way to see the city? This form of transport allows you to take in the scenery and relax while doing it, without the strenuous effort of cycling or the swift motion of a car or van which prevents you from fully absorbing the fascinating sights around you. After our carriage ride, we went on to see another attraction for which Lampang is famous – its ceramics. At