At first, I thought it was a single street. A sort of highway somewhere near or along the Route 1 going towards Phayao from Lampang.
Upon visitation and closer look, it is much more than that. Tourists and influencers dub this place as California Lampang due to its visual similarities to Route 66 in the United States of America.
Well, I've never been to the USA so I wouldn't know. However, it is an interesting and cool place to visit if you want some cool shots for your Instagram or have a photoshoot session.
California Lampang, at the moment, is an interconnected maze of scenic roads dotted with bright and alluring traffic signs. Desert-like terrain retrofitting with incomplete drainage piping surrounds the roads with mountains in the backdrop.
All this has made this place a popular photo destination for Thais.
In actuality, this land is a development site for a future urban village (moo ban). The streets are there and so are the road signs but there is nothing else...at least not yet.
The scenery will definitely change. It is already changing. When I went, I saw plenty of development being done. Some of the views and angles I saw on Instagram were not the same. Wires, trucks, signs, and construction sites obstructed some of those picture-perfect shots.
However, there are many other cool spots to find here. The land area is massive and you definitely need to drive up, down, and around a bit to find the best spot(s).
There are several factors you have to consider when finding the right photo spot. Where are the sun and lighting coming from? You can either be facing the sun or away from it. Each gives a different vibe and style.
Is there a unique backdrop like mountains or undulating roads? Can I fit one of those signs in the frame?
Who knew a place like this could attract so many people? I wonder who discovered it at first. Did the land developers foresee this? I honestly don't know. In any case, I'm glad I visited California Lampang to see what the fuss was all about.
I particularly liked taking photos of my car in this wild place. It really pops out in contrasting colors.
A few tips:
1. Don't come during the day. It is hot! 4 pm is good enough. That way it is cooler and you have just about 2 hours till sunset. You want to get that golden hour here.
2. Bring a hat, sunglasses, umbrella, and water. You also definitely need a car to get around.
3. Always backtrack the way you came. You never know what you missed. There is always a hidden angle or perspective. Keep your eyes open.
Good luck! Share your photos on IG with the location tag so I can like them.