Photo: Well worth a visit.

Wiang Khum Kham ancient city

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Located just a 10-minute tuk tuk ride from downtown Chiang Mai, the ruins at Wiang Khum Kham ancient city make for a very pleasant half-day trip.





Just outside downtown Chiang Mai, on the edge of the Superhighway, lie the recently excavated ruins of the ancient city of Wiang Khum Kham. While the ruins themselves aren’t exactly spectacular—several brick temples and pagodas in fairly ruinous states—it is an historically very important site and a visit is made worthwhile by the attractive setting and the fun means of transport provided for your tour of the ruins.

No need to bring your own pony. Photo taken in or around Wiang Khum Kham ancient city , Chiang Mai, Thailand by Mark Ord.

No need to bring your own pony. Photo: Mark Ord

Although there are thought to be at least 40 ruined temples in the ancient city, many still lie unexcavated under gardens and suburban houses. At present some 20 or so sites have been cleared of earth and vegetation and lie scattered amid the leafy gardens and lanes of this quiet residential suburb. There are also a couple of more recent, but attractive, functioning temples that have been constructed adjacent to the ruins.

The city must have covered a large area and the various sites are too spread out to be visited on foot, but lie mainly on quiet lanes, so enterprising locals have given you the option of a horse and cart to get around. The carts wait in the car park of the Information Centre and cost 300 baht for a one-hour tour of, usually, eight principal sites. Carts seat two adults and there should also be one or two hanging around at each of the main temple sites as well, such as Wat Chedi Si Liem.

They used to rent bicycles here—a perfect way of getting around—but alas they don’t anymore. The alternative is oversized golf buggy-type electric vehicles, which are fine if you’re in a large group, but unlike the similar ones at Chiang Mai Zoo you can’t just hop on one—they are private hire only, for 550 baht. These also await passengers in the car park at the Information Centre on the ... please log in to read the rest of this story.


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How to get there
A tuk tuk from Chiang Mai will be around 150-200 baht each way and you could either ask the driver to wait, or wander up to the Superhighway and flag one down when you’re ready to go back.

A fun though slightly expensive alternative is to take a boat from Wat Chai Mongkon on Charoen Prathet Rd. After a 15-minute cruise along the Ping they will drop you at a pier close to Wiang Khum Kham, where a pony and trap will be waiting. Return boat trip plus your chariot will set you back 800 baht per person. Allow two hours. (See Ping Cruises for more details.)

Wiang Khum Kham ancient city
10-minute tuk tuk ride from downtown Chiang Mai
Admission: Free

Location map for Wiang Khum Kham ancient city

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