Lampang: Teak Wallahs, History and Horse Carriages

A fascinating day tour highlighting historical buildings between Chiang Mai and Lampang with a rich colonial history from a bygone era.

New Historical Tour

137 Pillars House is offering guests a rare opportunity to delve into the rich history of Chiang Mai and Lampang with a recently launched tour titled “Tales and Trails of the Teak Wallahs”. The all-day excursion chronicles the colourful lives of “gentleman foresters” or “teak wallahs” who worked for European-owned companies that owned lumber concessions in the heavily forested north of Thailand.

Your guide will meet you at the 137 Pillars House at 08.00 and will take you to Lampang, once the center of the teak industry in the north of Thailand. Lampang boasts many temples of great beauty and interest and many heritage houses from that era. Lampang is known as the “horse carriage city” because horse carriages are still used as a means of transportation, albeit for tourists only.

The first stop will be at Wat Phra That Lampang Luang, without a doubt Lampang’s most revered temple and one of the most visited in North Thailand. This fortified temple is located on a man-made mound. Within the walled complex, there are several ancient assembly and ordination halls and Buddha images.

We spend some time in the temple and learn about the legends surrounding Wat Phra That Lampang Luang. After this visit, we will continue to Lampang. The next stop is the iconic railway station that opened in 1916. It is one of the most beautiful stations in Thailand.

Then we will take you to the next destination, Wat Sri Rong Muang. Wealthy Burmese immigrants who worked in the teak industry funded the construction of this beautiful temple with its typical Shan-style roof. The interior of this temple is beautifully decorated and distinctly Shan/Burmese.

We will have lunch at the Ban Phraya Suren, a restored heritage house once owned by a Lampang administrator in the teak logging days. After lunch we will drive to the start of our horse carriage ride. We will stop at Wat Sri Chum, a typical Burmese temple with its Pyatthat roofs.

A horse carriage ride is a must-do activity as the horse carriage is the symbol of Lampang. We will pass through the old market with several historic houses and stop by at Wat Walukaram. This temple has a huge teakwooden assembly hall. We continue and cross the Wang River on our way to the Forestry Quarter. This is the neighborhood where the teak logging firms, such as the Borneo Company, had their office.

The destination of our ride is the restored Louis T. Leonowens House. It is the former office of the Louis T.Leonowens Company, which was involved in teak logging a hundred years ago. The house has undergone a restoration recently. It had been neglected for many years, but it now has gained recognition as a heritage building*. When he worked for the Borneo Company at the end of the 19thcentury he lived at the Borneo compound where now the 137 Pillars House is.

We end our horse carriage tour at Wat Phra Kaew Don Tao, where our vehicle is waiting for us. On the way back to Chiang Mai we briefly stop at the iconic Rachadapisek Bridge which has survived World War Two. It is an interesting story. Drive back to Chiang Mai where we will drop you off at the 137 Pillars House.

Remark: The Louis Leonowens house is closed during weekdays but still worth visiting and take pictures of the building.

Transportation by AC minivan
English speaking guide
Entrance fees
Drinking water during lunch
Limited medical insurance

Not included:
All drinks except drinking water during lunch
Personal expenses

For more information, contact hotel concierge, call +66 (0)53 247 788 or email