After the Elephant Conservation Center, we had lunch on the river at Lampang and then visited wats and markets near Lampang and Lamphun.
As shown above, the entrance to Wat Phra That Lampang Luang is guarded by the customary nagas. This wat was a fortress, with stout walls and sitting on a small hill. Construction of the wat is said to have started and completed in the year of the ox, so the temple is special for those born in the year of the ox, like me.
We stopped at a roadside market with orchids and exotic foods.
Wat Phra That Hariphunchai has an impressive 165-foot-tall chedi. People walked around the chedi to gain merit, as we had seen in Lhasa.
The most memorable part of our visit was the iced coffee in the parking lot. At the end of a long day, our guide ordered an iced coffee with grass jelly and asked if we’d join him. At first we declined, concerned about eating ice. He explained that clear ice used in drinks is safe to eat and the cloudy ice used to chilled drinks is not safe. Our guide has a very high TripAdvisor rating, and we hadn’t seen any reviews mentioning food poisoning. So we trusted him and had an iced coffee with grass jelly. On a warm afternoon at the end of a long day, it was heavenly! We didn’t get sick. There was enough coffee and condensed milk so the grass jelly tasted fine. Grass jelly has a slight bitter taste that I’ve never liked it before. We became fans of Thai coffee.