Lampang Horse Carriage Festival: 1-5 April 2013

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Lying about 600 kilometers north of Bangkok, Lampang is an old province that is well worth a visit. It is the only province in Thailand where horse-drawn carriages are still used as a means of public transport. The province welcomes all visitors to its “Lampang Historical Train and Horse Carriage Festival,” to be held from 1 to 5 April 2013. The festival, the 14th of its kind, will take place in front of the Nakhon Lampang Railway Station in Mueang district. It will commemorate the history of Lampang’s train service and horse carriages.

Among the activities during the five-day festival are cultural performances, a light and sound show, a bazaar of local products, a food festival, and an exhibition on the history of train service and horse carriages in Lampang. Visitors will experience an old-style market where participants dress in traditional costumes, and they may go on a city tour in horse-drawn carriages to visit the various attractions.

Lampang is located in the middle of the valley of the Wang River, and the province covers a vast area of forest. One of the natural resources found in this province is white clay, which is used to make high-quality ceramics. The ceramics industry has become an important industry in Lampang, which is noted for its excellent ceramics – souvenirs and other products crafted from ceramics have made a name for this province. In 1952, an association, called the Horse Carriage in Lampang Province, was established to operate the horse-drawn cart business there. For most Thais, the symbol of Lampang is the horse-drawn carriage.

During the reign of King Chulalongkorn, who ruled the Kingdom from 1868 to 1910, railway transport was introduced into Thailand. The first royal train arrived at the Nakhon Lampang Railway Station in Lampang on 1 April 1916 in the reign of King Vajiravudh (Rama VI). Passengers could ride in comfort from Nakhon Lampang Station to town in one of the many horse carriages available. For nearly a century, trains and horse carriages have played a vital role as means of transportation in Lampang, for both business and pleasure.

Source: Foreign Office, The Government Public Relations Department