The truth behind the Chiang Mai Moat!
A visit to Chiang Mai will enlighten your eyes with its enchanting
fountains, spraying up gracefully out of the moat, creating tranquil sounds behind the city traffic.
The Old City walls & moat were originally built under the order of the King Mengrai,
after declaring Chiang Mai as the capital of Lanna kingdom in 1296AD.
It took around 4 solid months of work for 90,000 men to complete the job &
to this day you can see this glorious history when you visit.
All be it re-builds over the years, the history lays amongst the rubble & the essence of the original structure lingers!
Keep your eyes open & you’ll be sure to see glimpses of the dated structures.
The traffic circuits around the city moat, getting incredibly busy at times,
the smell of the Tuk Tuk exhausts stays with you long after their noisy departure!
Crossing the roads can be a bit of a game at first,
the heavy traffic flow in places, make the gaps to cross safely hard to come by.
It’s a case of finding a Zebra crossing (or traffic lights if you are lucky) & stepping out with confidence, one lane at a time,
the cars & mopeds kindly stop & let you go, in true Thai style, polite & graceful!
Once you realise this is how crossing the road in Thailand works, it’s a much smoother experience!
Chiang Mai Old City
The whole square bordering the Old City of Chiang Mai is approximately 6.5KM,
making it about a 30-minute cycle all around,
with hundreds of interesting & enjoyable spots to stop off at along the way,
you can make a day out
of just exploring these borders!
By foot is just fine,
a great way to explore, with
restaurants & cafes in pure abundance,
the Southwest corner boasts a beautiful park,
street food every few minutes,
coffee stalls that you can smell before you see,
markets that will lure you in with their authentic feel & inviting aromas!
Tha Phae Gate
Tha Phae Gate for a classic tourist spot picture, or to sit & watch the flocks of pigeons
gather amongst the crowds.
The bordering one way system has big red & white painted curbs, I imagine they would look a little like a Grand Prix circuit from the sky (or maybe not), but you get the idea!
It’s huge curbs & trees planted all along the pave’s are nice to look at,
but makes cycling on the side walk pretty impossible,
so stay safe & hop off if you’ve no helmet, or its rush hour!
The Old City of Chiang Mai is exactly that,
the oldest part of the City,
almost an exact square, it’s quite a unique sight on a map!
Made up of just 1600 by 1600 metres,
All confined within the border of
the moat, nestled in tightly, some shops are smaller than a garden shed!
Beyond the walls & moat you’ll find extensions of the city,
many areas having their own unique vibes, but no visit to Chiang Mai is complete without exploring its historic borders!