Once upon a time WIANG KUM KAM was the capital of Lanna
Located in attractive countryside, about five kilometres South of Chiang Mai along Ping River, Wiang Kum Kam is an ancient city dating back to the eighth-century, Haripunchai Kingdom.
According to history, King Mengrai relocated the capital of the Lanna Kingdom from Chiang Rai to the old city of Wiang Kum Kam on the banks of the Ping River in 1288. Whilst the new riverside location offered many advantages, the area was low lying and prone to severe seasonal flooding. By 1296, King Mengrai had chosen a new site for his capital on the higher opposite bank of the Ping River and declared the newly constructed city of Chiang Mai as the capital of Lanna kingdom. Years of floods thereafter left Wiang Kum Kam buried meters underground.
In 1984 Thai authorities were alerted to the discovery of a number of ancient tablets found under Wat Chang Kam. Archaeologists quickly moved in and uncovered the remains of the ancient lost city of Wiang Kum Kam.
Over thirty archaeological sites including many ancient temples were found within the ancient rectangular shaped city wall and just beyond. Finds excavated at the Wiang Kum Kam site suggest that there had been a long history of settlement in the area.
Any visit to the new archaeological sites should start at the Wiang Kum Kam Information Centre, where you can see different exhibitions and details of the discoveries, a multimedia room and other rooms showing the history and importance of Wiang Kum Kam. Then the two most important sites to see are Wat Chedi Liam, which apparently was never affected by the floods, and Wat Chang Kham (or Wat Kan Thom). Other interesting temples and sites are Wat E-Kang, Wat Nhan Chang, Wat Pupia, Wat Tat Khao, Wat Phaya Mengrai and Wat Koo Pa Dorn. You can do a tour around Wiang Kum Kam by car, motorbike, rent bicycle or tuk-tuk, tram, but horse-drawn carriage is the most popular way to enjoy the visit of the ruins.
Entrance Ticket :
Wiang Kum Mam Museum 20 Baht
Rent bicycles 20 Baht
Local guide with a pony carriage (2-4 people) 200 Baht
A tram 20 seats, 1-5 persons 250 Baht, 6-10 persons 300 Baht, 11-15 persons 350 Baht, 16-20 persons 400 Baht
How to get there :
Wiang Kum Kam is located in the southeast of Chiang Mai, between Km.3-4 along Chiang Mai-Lamphun route, Saraphi district. Take the road at Nong Hoi Police box to the Ko Klang Pa Kluai intersection and en route to Chedi Liam.
Opening Hours : Daily from 08:00 am. – 05:00 pm.