I've been in northern Thailand for two weeks now, but Lampang is as far north as I've made it. As one goes further south within phaak nuea (northern Thailand), the language, culture and food become more like those of central Thailand, so Lampang was really my only chance to get my hands on good, authentic northern-style Thai food.
Luckily it's a pretty good place to do this. There aren't too many restaurant serving local food, but the city's night market is terrific, although everything is take-away only. Luckily the folks at Riverside Guest House were kind enough to let me use their dishes.
It was very wet when I was in Lampang, and the market had lots of rainy season goodies such as bamboo:
Typical of northern Thai markets are the pre-portioned bundles of veggies and herbs for the various soups and curries. The one below is to make kaeng khae, the famous northern Thai herb-laden soup:
This woman made one of the best kaeng hangleh (a Burmese-style pork curry) I've had:
And the pic at the top of the post? The chilies, garlic and shallots will be peeled then pounded up with fish sauce to make naam phrik num, the famous northern Thai chili 'dip'.