One of the most interesting things to do in Lampang is to walk along the Old Market Road (Thanon Talad Gao, also known as Kad Kong Ta) which follows the Wang River between Ratchadapisek Bridge and the Riverside Guest House. In former times, this area was called Kad Kong Ta in the local dialect, translates as “the market on the road by the port.”
During the reign of King Rama V, Gong Ta was the main commercial centre of the northern Thai teak trade and home of several large British and Burmese logging companies. Chinese traders were also prominent amongst the growing trading community of the 19th century, providing food and merchandise necessary for life at the time and giving the road it’s other name of Talad Chin (Chinese Market).
I have spent a lot of time in Lampang over the past 35 years, particularly at the house above belonging to one of Lampang’s former Chinese merchants. You can read more about Yai Dang’s adventurous and unique story and the history of this area here http://wp.me/p1dW6C-176 .
The interesting mixture of this colonial trading community is represented in the well-preserved buildings and houses dotted along the road, constructed in a variety of Chinese, European and Burmese architectural styles, some of which have been tastefully renovated into gift shops, cafes and guest houses.
Every weekend evening, the street is closed to traffic from 4pm to 10pm and transforms into a Walking Street Market (similar to the one in Chiang Mai) and fills up with local traders and craftsmen selling souvenirs, handicrafts, clothes, antiques and local food. The market also provides nightly traditional Thai musical entertainment along the river bank.
If you don’t feel like walking along the 2 kilometer road, then there are plenty of horse drawn carriages to choose from! Amazing Thailand!!!