Green Season in Muang Pan
Secluded in high mountainous terrain, the small district of Muang Pan humbly sits among misty valleys just north of Lampang. The lush forests of Chae Son National Park reside in this district, as does the starting point of many rivers. Muang Pan is is only 84 kilometers away the town of Lampang, making the 1.5 hour drive a cinch for your family and friends this green season.
Looking at local legend and folklore quickly unveils the history of Muang Pan. As the story goes, there once was a village headman who conquered many invading enemies. One day, he smartly decided to cast a giant golden gong to warn his people of impending harm or emergencies. This gong came to be known as Pan Kham by the villagers. The heroic headman was Jao Phor Khun Jare Pan and his guardian spirit shrine is still located for worship in the district of Muang Pan. Having first been called Muang Jare Pan, over the years it has been shortened to how we know it today–Muang Pan.
Travelling from Muang Pan to Tambon Baan Khor will bring you to the very serene Pra That Jom Koi Monastery. It is just one of the district’s culturally important and revered landmark, where Buddhists travel to worship Prajao Toksan, a large reclining Buddha made of woven bamboo–the first of its kind in Thailand.
Our pilgrimage continues to Tambon Tung Kwao, a stop at Baan Plai Na–where the 650 year old Buddhist temple Wat Plai Na Luang–is definitely in order. Housed within the wat are two of the most revered Buddha statues of Muang Pan: Phr Jao Tan Jai and Phra Sila Hin.
Chae Son National Park
Forging on, you will wind yourself surrounded in the gentle embrace of Nature. Covering about 480,000 rais (or 192,000 acres) of land, Chae Son National Park is among the most ideal Thai national park because of its all-year-round cool weather, plus it’s nine hot springs. Relax among the rocks as you are lightly veiled under lingering mist at dawn. Hot spring water is believed to be good for health due to its natural mineral content. It is also popular among tourists, not only just the bathing, but even to cook eggs! Onsen Bath Spa & Massage facilities are also available within Chae Son National Park.
Other attractions in the national parks include Mae Mon and Mae Piak waterfalls and hiking trails. Resorts and other accommodations are also provided.
Ban Pa Miang of Muang Pan
Muang Pan’s all-year-round cool weather and its high altitude make it an appropriate location for coffee and tea plantations. Other products from tea leaves await shoppers at Baan Pa Miang Village including healthy tea stuffed pillows.
Food lovers can also try locally cooked tea leaf salads and Sai Oua (local styled herbal sausages) while sipping Arabica coffee locally roasted and brewed. This experience would be even more colourful in February and March, when you can enjoy the scenic view of dazzling blooming light pink Siaw flowers (orchid trees). A bike ride into the sea of fog, and watching the sunset at Kiw Fin would perfect the already picturesque trip.
Agricultural travelers’ passion would be satisfied with a side trip to Baan Mae Jaem, where macadamia nuts and other temperate vegetables are grown. The simple way of life of the Hmong can also be appreciated here. And you can soak yourself in the mist and ripening light of the rising sun first thing in the morning.