Lampang (Thai ลำปาง) is one of the northern provinces (changwat) of Thailand. Neighboring provinces are (from north clockwise) Chiang Rai, Phayao, Phrae, Sukhothai, Tak, Lamphun and Chiang Mai. The old name of Lampang is Khelang Nakhon.
Lampang is located in the broad river valley of the Wang River, surrounded by mountain chains. In the Mae Mo district lignite is found and mined in open pits. To the north of the province is the 1697 m high Doi Luang.
Within the province are the national parks Tham Pha Thai, Chae Son, Doi Khun Than, as well as the Huay Tak Teak Biosphere Reserve.
Lampang is famous for the production of ceramic goods and its mining operations. A great deal of ball clay, china stone, and lignite are extracted from the surrounding mountains.
There are more than 200 ceramic factories in and around Mueang Lampang. Most of ceramic factories are small to medium size operations mainly producing novelties (plant pots, dolls), tablewares, and building materials (tiles, railings), etc.
The largest power plant in Thailand is located in Mae Mo district near the lignite mining area. The plant uses the abundant lignite as fuel. The largest concrete plant is also situated north of Mueang Lampang. This is also powered by lignite. Limestone is another abundant rock mined in Lampang.
The agricultural products that this province is famous for, are rice and pineapples.
Starting in the 7th century Lampang was part of the Dvaravati period Haripunchai kingdom of the Mon. In the 11th century the Khmer empire occupied the Lampang area, but it was King Mengrai of Lannathai who incorporated the complete Haripunchai kingdom into his kingdom in 1292. Lampang or Nakhon Lampang or Lakhon, was under the Burmese rule after the fall of Lannathai Kingdom from the sixteenth century to eighteenth century. During the uprising against Burmese rule by Siam’s new kings in the late eighteenth century, a Lampang’s local leader became Siam’s ally. After the victory, the leader was named to be the ruler of Chiangmai, the former center of Lannathai, while his relative ruled Lampang. The city continues to be one of the most important economic and political centers in the north. Lampang was announced as a province in Thailand in 1892.
The provincial seal shows a white rooster inside the entrance to the Phra That Lampang Luang temple. According to local legend, Buddha visited the province in his lifetime. The god Indra worried that the people would not get up by themselves to show respect to Buddha, and therefore woke them by transforming himself into a white rooster.
The provincial flower is the Heliconia (Heliconia sp.), and the provincial tree is the Indian Elm (Holoptelea integrifolia). According to the legend, this tree was planted in the temple during Buddha’s visit.
The province is subdivided in 13 districts (amphoe). These are further subdivided into 100 communes (tambon) and 855 villages (muban).