Lots of monks are out doing their daily alms at 6:00 a.m., when I hit the pavement. I don’t get in their faces for Nat Geo style photo ops. I keep a respectful distance. But I do feel a wee bit of comradery when out for a morning escapade. And then there’s the shop-owners and proud home owners who come out with brooms to make sure everything looks pleasant and in order. The local Thais take pride in their hometown, and the historic section has managed to not be paved over and spotted with Starbucks, McDonalds, Burger King, and a gang of 7-Elevens [see Chiang Mai]. Lampang is a sleepy town that gets up early, naps in the afternoon, and doesn’t stay up late.
It’s turning out to be my favorite city in Thailand, though I didn’t know that when my missus and I moved here. We were compelled by circumstances, including relating to covid-19, and our former employment drying up when lock-downs meant no work.
Two of my favorite things in a city are a river with walkways, and bridges. Lampang has both.
Temples are an added bonus, above and beyond anything I’d normally expect or even ask for.
I’m still in transition. We are still setting up our new home, and I’ve been waking up unconscionably early because I’m not in my normal routine, and haven’t been for weeks. Habitually, I’m much more of a night owl, and I don’t start really feeling guilty for staying up late until 3 in the morning.. But I’ve found myself waking up before 7, and not being able to get back to sleep. And then one day I woke up before 6, and decided I needed something to do with myself, so why not go out exploring?
I may wake up tired, but as soon as I take a step or two or three outside I’m good to go, and I don’t want to stop. My one morning’s inspiration has become a daily routine. It’s completely altering my circadian rhythms, and it looks to be a serious improvement.
There’s the old parts of town that look like the 70’s, and there’s parts that go back a hundred years or more. Some of the larger trees have been here longer.
As far as I’ve explored, it looks like you can go along one or the other side of the rive endlessly, though sometimes you have to switch sides if you want to stick to the river’s edge. And that just means crossing a bridge, which I’d want to do anyway.
And you go under them.
When you get out a little ways, there’s more of the jungle river effect.
Sure, there are postcard-worthy photos, and one doesn’t even have to try much more than taking a few seconds with the smart phone.
And very pleasant tree-lined stretches.
When I fist moved here, right away I felt the difference in the general atmosphere of the place. My blood pressure might have gone down several points.
every bridge needs to be traversed now and again. Here’s a little aqua-colored one. No two are alike.
The rooster is the symbol of the city, and a lot of the locals keep them as pets. Fortunately, none of my neighbors have them.
There’s lots and lots of green, and curious houses of all varieties.
There are places to pause and take in an abundance of nature.
One of the common varieties of lamp posts here has a bamboo theme.
On top, you have to have a rooster.
Don’t stop now.
There’s always another site if you just pause and look around. But one wants to get out early most days, before it gets HOT. And that’s why I’ll go at the crack of dawn. I don’t start to sweat until I’ve gone as far as I want and already turned back to head home.
Closer to the city center there are LOTS of murals, and some sculptures. Here’s just one piece of art. They are good quality, too.
And here’s an old wooden building, of which there are plenty, even outside the historic area.
This is a taste of the spectacles immediately surrounding the river. And I almost forgot to include your humble narrator.
Most my “followers” (that’s just a word you must put in quotes) are interested in my articles about art, or my own art [they have exceptionally good and sophisticated tastes], but probably imagine I live in America somewhere. Of course I used to, including in Brooklyn, while working in Manhattan. But for the last 15 years, I’ve lived in Asia: China, Cambodia, Vietnam, and Thailand. I never dreamed growing up that I’d be an expat, let alone one in Asia. But I also can’t tell you where I’ll be in 5 years, or 3. I’m hoping I’ll be year for at least a year and maybe two. Who knows? Not me.
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