This is the 6th part of my Journal
For travel advice and general experience, check out the main “25 Days in Thailand” page where I wrote about my preparation and what I did before my journey.
In the menu above, you can view the other parts of my journey.
DAY 6 & 7 – 26.Nov.2012 & 27.Nov.2012
Si Satchanalai to Lampang
Having completed my photo shoot of Sukhothai Historical Park, I decided to spend the night in Lampang instead of Sukhothai as originally planned. The main reason being that I wanted to see Si Satchanalai Historical Park which was 50 km north of Sukhothai. Since I needed to go north and the guest-house do not have any more vacancy, I decided to move nearer to my main destination, i.e. Chiang Mai. Lampang being only less than 100 km from Chiang Mai seems the logical choice for my next jump.
Following the signages to Si Satchanalai, I rode the now noisy bike towards that destination. Along the way, I spotted 2 tourist buses. Following my instinct that those 2 buses must be going to the same destination as where I was headed, I followed them. True enough, I was proven correct when they arrived at the Si Satchanalai Historical Park.
A tour of Si Satchanalai Historical Park
I entered the park from the south and took some brochures from the Tourist Information Centre. Then I proceeded to enter the park proper through the main entrance and had to pay THB100 as a foreigner. The above map was also given to me at the entrance.
Compared to the Sukhothai Historical Park, this one looks deserted and less glamorous. When I was there, tourist from France, Korea and Japan were touring the place using mini-buses. Motorbikes can also enter the park.
Basically, the park authorities had maintain the place well. Even though this one was not as popular as the one in Sukhothai, it was very clean and tidy. You can rent bicycles at the entrance if you wanted to for a price. It is shady with big trees providing cover and very suitable for cycling. Actually, I saw two old ladies bicycling around this place.
Not impressed by the ruins located there, I asked the person manning the entrance where was their best site and I was directed there. This temple was located about 4 km east of the main historical park and I had to pay THB20 to view the place.
After satisfying myself that this place had all it could offer in terms of photo shoot, I continued my journey north towards Lampang.
Along the winding road towards Lampang, at a rest area, I took this panorama of the view.
After this shot, I had to top up my empty tank with the fuel in my 4 litre container. As I travelled along the road towards Lampang, it dawned on me that there were no filling station along the route that I took and as the fuel meter on my bike showed empty, I was travelling very slowly, praying that I would not run out of fuel.
Luck was with me as I entered Lampang and quickly cruised into a Shell filling station on the other side of the road and top-up my fuel tank, breathing a sigh of relief. “Phew! That was a close call!”
Since I had not made any bookings for hotel in Lampang, I went hunting for rooms. I landed in Regent Lodge that was offering room and breakfast for THB630 per night. Sounds fair to me. Buffet breakfast in a hotel would cost about THB200 at least!
Since I arrived at Lampang at around 5 pm, I was too tired to move around the place but with the map I’d obtained from TAT, I had already planned for the places I wanted to see during the next day.
After taking this photo, I went to an eatery a few doors from the hotel and had a simple dinner for only THB30. Very cheap!
After that, I called it a day and did some FaceBook posting on my NetBook.
Highlights of Lampang city
Lampang was not far from Chiang Mai, about 100 km. Thus my bio-clock only woke me up at around 6.15 am. Since breakfast would only be available at around 7 am, I took my time to get ready. Promptly at around 7 am, I was at the hotel’s terrace and found that there were customers already enjoying the breakfast buffet.
Well, this was my first big breakfast since the start of my solo ride, I took full advantage of the food available for consumption and had my fill.
As I had time to kill before moving on to Chiang Mai, I took out the map of Lampang and started to move to the nearest attraction which was less than a kilometer from the hotel.
Po Chao Tipchang Monument was erected in memory of Nan Tipchang who was highly revered by Lampang people. He rallied the villagers to fight off the Burmese aggressors and saved Lampang from the Burmese occupation by his courage and patriotism.
Like most Thailand’s villages, towns and cities, there are lots of Buddhist temples. One would need to spend his lifetime to go from one to the other and yet not be able to see them all.
Wat Pratupong was erected based on Burmese style architecture. I happen to chance upon it when I was roaming around the city.
As I came out of this temple, I saw horse carriages.
After this, I headed to the Rassadapisek Bridge, one of the earliest bridge that connect both sides of Lampang city.
Rassadapisek Bridge, with over 90 years of history, was constructed to celebrate the occasion of 25th anniversary of his Majesty King Rama V ascension to the throne.
Next, I went to Wat Pongsanuk. It was situated a short distance northwest of the bridge.
As I came out of this temple, at the big and busy intersection near the Lampang Elementary School, the following monument caught my eye.
Then I rode along the Lampang-Hang Chat Road until I reached the Lampang Sports Stadium.
Located beside this stadium, just after an T-junction was Nong-Krating Park.
This park attracts locals mainly and had a serene feel to it.
Heading south from here, I landed at Lampang’s Train Station. This station’s facade reminded me of China’s Great Wall Badaling Gate.
After checking out the train station, I decided to check-out from the hotel. So I returned to Regent Lodge and had my second round of breakfast before packing up my luggage.
At about 11 am, I was on my way to Chiang Mai. Along the way, I spotted the Elephant Conservation Centre.
I went in to check it out and found that I’ve missed the 11 am guided tour and the next one would be 12.30 pm. That meant an hour’s wait. Never mind then and I continued my journey to Chiang Mai.
Along the way, it started to rain. I found cover at one of the rest and refreshment area as shown below.
The rain lasted for about 40 minutes or so and when it halted, I continued my journey to Chiang Mai. The Highway 11, the section connecting Lampang and Chiang Mai, was lovely for bikers with smooth curves over hilly terrain, and mostly 2 lanes on each side.
— end of day 6th part of my journal —