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Wiang Kum Kam Underground Ancient City Tour

wiang kum kam

The demise of Wiang Kum Kam as the first capital is a little different from those of another ancient capitals for a period of only 10 years. Rather than being left in ruin, the old town was completely submerged under the Ping River, which rapidly changed its route and swept the whole city under. Had it not been by chance rediscovered (in 1984), the story of Wiang Kum Kum would just be a legend.
After a number of archaeological expeditions were carried out, experts unearthed extensive city foundations and more than 40 ancient structures within an area of 850 metres long and 600 metres wide.

wiang kum kam

Getting around in the Historical Park

The survey found that there are over 40 sites of the ancient remains in the area of Wiang Kum Kam. Some are the ancient Buddhist temples and some are the ancient Buddha image.  The important one are  Chedi Liam Temple, Chang Kham Temple, the pagoda of Kum Kam Temple, Noi Temple,  Pu Pia Temple, Pra That Khao Temple and E-Kang Temple. The art and architecture are varied and mixed between the old and the modern form of ancient Lanna.

wiang kum kam

wiang kum kam

The best way to start the trip is to visit Wiang Kum Kam Information Centre where you can get a history and clear picture of Wiang Kum Kam in former times. The centre is divided into several rooms to exhibit Wiang Kum Kam, including a multimedia room and other rooms featuring the historical development and significance of Wiang Kum Kam in various aspects, such as geography, strategic importance, development of architecture and ways of life of the people.

wiang kum kam

wiang kum kam

How to get to Wiang Kum Kam

Wiang Kum Kam archeological site is found near the Ping river a few kilometers South of Chiang Mai town. The easiest and most comfortable way to get there is by private tour by travel agency in Chiang Mai or taxi. A tuk tuk will cost around 200 Thai Baht one way. The ride takes about 15 minutes from downtown Chiang Mai. You can ask the driver to wait; agree on the price and duration of the trip before leaving. Alternatively, charter a songthaew, a converted pick up truck with benches in the back for about 150 Baht.

wiang kum kam

Entrance fee

At the information center you can make a tour with a horse carriage (200 Baht per carriage per tour) or with a tram (20 seats, 1-5 persons 250 Baht, 6-10 persons 300 Baht, 11-15 persons 350 Baht, 16-20 persons 400 Baht per tram per tour), rent bicycles (20 Baht) or take a look at the Wiangkumkam Museum (20 Baht).

Opening Hours: 08:00 – 17:00

Location: About five km southeast of the Old City (take Route 106, or Chiang Mai – Lamphun Highway, from Chiang Mai City) Tel: +66 (0)53 277 322

Yi Peng the festival of rivers and light

While Songkran may be the most exciting festival of the year, it is November's traditional Yi Peng that reigns as the most charming and spectacular of Chiang Mai's annual ceremonies.

yi peng, yi peng festivalThe Yi Peng festival is held on the full-moon day of the twelfth lunar month every year. The word "Yi" means "Two", and "Peng" means "Moon" or "Full moon day".

People in Bangkok and other regions of Thailand refer to the event as "Loy Krathong", but here in the northern province of Lanna we call it Yi Peng or Yee Peng - and you should not miss it!

The most remarkable and photogenic moment of this traditional festival is when people gather by the riverside to decorate their krathong (a banana leaf boat) with lit candles, incense, flowers and even money, before launching it onto the river. Thai people believe that this is the correct way is to beg forgiveness from the God and Goddess who protect the river.

khom, yi peng, yi peng festival

khom, yi peng, yi peng festival

Another highlight of the festival is to launch khom loy - white Chinese lanterns - into the sky at night. Lanna folks say these floating lanterns are designed to show respect to Phra Ket Keaw Chulamani in heaven. They believe the sky-bound lanterns will carry away all their misfortunes and distress. Khom are made from thin kite paper, pasted on a circular bamboo frame, and attached with candles or wax. When lit they rise slowly into the sky. It is a wondrous feeling when you release a khom - and it is a magnificent sight to witness thousands filling the night sky at the same time.

There are various legends about why Siamese and Lanna people have adopted this custom. We can not say where it began, but we do know that it is an accepted ritual across the Buddhist world these days.

kratong, yi peng, yi peng festival

kratong, yi peng, yi peng festival

Don’t!

Despite all the beauty and excitement of the festival, it must be reiterated that millions of lanterns cause damage, accidents and litter every year. Khom loy also disturb the flight-path of aircraft and pilots' visibility. They are frequently banned in areas near airports (or flights are suspended during the day of Yi Peng). Please bear this in mind when your friends and family ask to keep lighting more and more lanterns. The alternative is to float a krathong on the river and to help decorate your local temple with candles.

Recommendation to visitors

Those coming to Chiang Mai for the first time would be advised to float banana boats on the river close to Nawarat Bridge, Warorot Market, Chaimongkol Temple or in front of the Municipal Office. Lots of activities and colourful events will be going on, and it is very photogenic.

Those who cannot stand crowds, noise and fireworks may want to book a table at a restaurant along the Ping River (there are dozens: see our map and listings). Then you can dine safely and still enjoy watching this aesthetic spectacle.

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Art in Paradise a place to make fun memories with friends and family !!

art in paradise, art in paradise chiang mai

Art in Paradise is actually a cool place to visit, preferably if you like photography. Kids will surely be pleased with it but it's just as pleasant for adult also. You truly come to be grateful for the sharp eye of the artists who painted these art work on the walls. They are talented in terms of getting the landscape and parallax just right to make these wall paintings seem so lifelike. Sometime you can't quite believe your eyes. Most people will spend around an hour or two touring this art museum. It's like nothing I've ever seen before. The entrance hall price is not much. There is sufficient light inside such that most cameras will not require a flash if you adjust the camera ISO setting high enough. No doubt you'll get some good shots to send home. This would definitely be a good quality place to tour in CHiang Mai. Just a lot of amusing that  everone seems to relish.

Art in Paradise is the best place for for families and children

art in paradise, art in paradise chiang mai 

art in paradise, art in paradise chiang mai

art in paradise, art in paradise chiang mai

Art in Paradise is really a fun place to visit, especially if you like photography. Kids will surely enjoy it but it's just as enjoyable for adults as well. You really come to appreciate the clever eye of the artists who painted these murals on the walls. They are gifted in terms of getting the perspective and parallax just right to make these wall paintings appear so realistic. Sometimes you can't quite believe your eyes. Most people will spend at least an hour or two touring this art museum. It's like nothing I've ever seen before. The entrance cost is not much. There is sufficient lighting inside such that most cameras will not require a flash if you adjust the camera ISO setting high enough. No doubt you'll get some good shots to send home. This would certainly be a good place to go on a rainy day. Just a lot of fun which everone seems to enjoy.

art in paradise, art in paradise chiang mai

art in paradise, art in paradise chiang mai

art in paradise, art in paradise chiang mai

It's only 300B to get in and you'll get tons of funny pictures and a great experience! If possible It's best to go with more than two people as there are plenty of picture options which require at least three people. Still for that being said we still got a huge amount of great pictures even going just the two of us.

Art in Paradise is in the Sea Suan Plaza Building on Changklan Road. It is open daily from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.