About 100 km south east of Chiang Mai lies the town of Lampang. Well known for its pottery industry (there are large Kaolin deposits in the area), less well known for the huge open cast mine to the east of the town.
The mine is lignite and being a poor quality coal, most is used on site at an enormous power plant, generating electricity for northern Thailand. Whilst not an obvious tourist attraction, the area is very well landscaped and parks, golf courses and lakes have been built near the mine. They must be getting it right as the air was full of butterflies on the latest visit, a start contrast to the memories of the North Nottinghamshire/ South Yorkshire coal fields I remember from my youth.