Lamphun

Lamphun

Lamphun is a town (thesaban mueang) in northern Thailand, capital of Lamphun Province. It covers the whole tambon Nai Mueang of Mueang Lamphun district. As of 2006 it has a population of 14,030.
The town was founded in the 9th century (CE) by Queen Chama Thevi as the capital of the Haripunchai kingdom, the last Mon kingdom in the area which now forms Thailand.
Situated 26 km south of Chiang Mai, this generally quiet town is said to be constructed in the shape of a conch shell, following the Khuang River on its east side and divided by moats at the remaining points of the compass. Lamphun is host to one of the north’s most important wats (temples), Wat Phra That Haripunchai. The “Phra That” in the title indicates the presence of a Buddha relic, in this case one of His hairs, which was interred in a chedi in 897 and is probably the founding date of the Wat. Queen Chama Thevi is remembered in the Wat of her name, which is said to be the resting place of her ashes. Near the town’s main morning market in the southwest of the city is a statue of the Queen at which offerings are still made today by citizens. The Haripunchai kingdom Chama Thevi founded eventually fell under the control of the Khmers of Angkor in modern day Cambodia, probably at the end of the 10th century. After the fall of Angkor to Thai forces, King Mengrai, founder of Chiang Mai finally seized Lamphun in 1281 and made it part of the Lanna Kingdom. The town is surrounded by lush countryside punctuated by rice fields and orchards of the popular fruit, longan, which is celebrated in a festival every August.