Lamphun's main market makes an interesting diversion from the ancient temples that most people visit in the city. The market is large and lively, with just about every necessity on sale, from fruits to nuts - literally.
Sweets on sale in Lamphun's Market
Keep a look out for the large selection of sweets on sale in one section of the market. These colorful jellies and seeds are a staple item on Thai desert menus and can be found in many of the roadside stalls around the country.
You'll find quite a few food stalls around the perimeter of the market, making it a great place to grab a bite to eat after a long trudge through the old temples.
Queen Chama Devi Monument
South of the market is a park with a shrine to Queen Chama Devi (or Jam Tevi, depending on how you transliterate the Thai). You'll see a number of offerings at the shrine, and probably a few Thais offering prayers to the queen as well.
If legends are to be believed, the Queen was quite a remarkable woman. She was the daughter of the King of Luovo (now known as Lopburi) in the central plains, who left the kingdom in the seventh century to found Haripunchai, now known as Lamphun. The legend has it that the location was chosen by shooting an arrow into the air, and founding the town where it landed.
Lamphun became the center of a small federation of northern kingdoms, some of which were founded by relatives of the Queen. Lampang was reportedly founded by one of her sons. While Thai history is dotted with many famous women, the Queen is one of the times when a woman is credited with the founding of a kingdom.