“Located in northern Thailand, the charming town of Lamphun and its impressive history as the capital of the former Haripunchai kingdom is just 25kms from Chiang Mai and just under 600kms from Bangkok. Air-conditioned long distance buses leave from the capital’s MoChit 2 Northern Bus Terminal, arriving at Lamphun’s terminal on the edge of town some 10 hours later. Booking your ticket online in advance will guarantee a seat, even in the high season.

Lamphun’s bus station is typical of a provincial town terminal, and has covered areas, comfortable seating, snack and drink stalls and a ticket office. For transport to town there are songthaew buses as well as motorbike taxis, but tuk-tuks aren’t available here. The town, set along the banks of the slow-moving Ping River, is small enough to explore on foot.

Lamphun’s major attractions are its magnificent stupas, highlights of the unique Haripunchai Empire at its 12th century height. A small, fascinating museum displays artefacts from the period, and the atmosphere of the town itself is far more laid-back than in the popular tourist hub of Chiang Mai. Charoentaj Road is its main street, home to traditional, inexpensive Thai eateries, and the little bars along the river bank are friendly and fun.”