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Published: February 8th 2013
We reached Lampang, our next destination, by a suprisingly nice and well-fed train journey. Having grown up with National Rail we were instantly suspicious when the food trolley trundled its way down the aisles, but it turns out that in Thailand the trains are not only cheaper and more spacious but also insist on giving you vast quantities of free food and water. The only issue is there is very little warning when a station is approaching, and besides any information is given in Thai so constant vigilance is recommended.
Upon reaching Lampang we managed to find a guesthouse after some confusion and a missing hostelworld.com reservation (which I have not managed to forget as the website continually email me asking 'so how was your stay at R-Lampang Guesthouse?' I wouldn't know hostelworld, your booking wasn't valid and we had to find somewhere else, but y'know, cheers). We then headed out to the nightmarket to grab some more food - there is no such thing as 'I'm full' when it comes to Thai food. It was one of the best markets we've been to so far, very busy with only a handful of tourists, and a friendly atmosphere. I had an incredibly firey green curry which brought tears to my eyes but was impossible to stop eating.
The next day we realised quite how un-touristy Lampang is. As it's only 2 hours or so from Chiang Mai very few people stop off on the way from Bangkok, but Lampang is a great little town with a lot of character. We were clearly unusual enough visitors for people to stare and several people come up and start trying to chat to us in broken English, including one very sweet teenage girl who told us we were beautiful. That's always nice to hear, especially so when you are drenched in sweat, staggering around and wearing the kind of clothes that are only socially acceptable when backpacking. Picture baggy trousers with elephants on them, bright t-shirts and oversized sunglasses.
We spent the day visited a few temples, and by far the best was Wat Pah Fang. The temple itself is very small, but it is set in a deserted garden with a small pagoda and we spent an idyllic afternoon lying on the grass watching coconut palms sway while sweet smelling flowers dropped on to us from the trees. I realise that is probably a sickening sentence to read if you are currently reading this at work, and I do apologise.
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