The old city of Chiang Mai is a rectangular-shaped area of 3.6 km² with ancient ruins of a wall and a moat surrounding the wall as further protection from invaders. The fortification was built in 1296 when King Mengrai established Chiang Mai as the capital of Lanna Kingdom. It’s one of Chiang Mai’s main attraction and a must-see, but also a great place to stay when visiting Chiang Mai. Below are some pictures from when we took a lap around the city.
My wife standing on a bridge over the moat with a fountain in the background.
Tha Pae Gate, which is the main gate into the old city (there are four gates), is one of the most famous landmarks in Chiang Mai. While Tha Pae Gate has been restored, other parts of the wall are real ruins.
Palm trees between the moat and the ancient wall.
Wat Rajamontean and the big Buddha is one of many impressive temples in the old city.
I noticed many banana trees when walking the city. Here’s a huge one!
A fantastic black soup with noodles and chicken so tender it melts in your mouth at Ros Savoey Restaurant — a place we stopped by randomly.
Wat Chiang Man built in 1296 is the oldest temple in the city.
A golden Buddha image inside Wat Chiang Man.
Beautiful houses built in Lanna-style.
Even the apartments (or the hostel?) have Lanna-style roofs.
Plants outside Chiang Mai Gate located on the southern wall of the city.
Street food for 15-20 baht. Similar food in Phuket would cost 40 baht.
The sun setting behind the temples with a songthaew or “red car” passing by. Those red cars drive you all around the city for 30 baht.
Sunset and mountain view from our hotel. Unfortunately, it was burning season (when farmers burn their land) which is why the sky and mountain were hazy.
The hotel we stayed at, La Naview.
A man selling sour sausage at the famous Sunday Walking Street Market.
Tourists enjoying a massage at the walking street for about half as much as it would cost in Phuket.
I hope my pictures gave you a little taste of what the old city is all about. Other things not to miss include Wat Chedi Luang (Temple of the Great Stupa), Three Kings Monument, and the green Buak Hard Public Park.
Chiang Mai’s Old City on Google Maps