Chiang Mai Travel Guide -> A Walk in the Inner City

The inner city of Chiang Mai is compact enough for walking, and you probably will not need a car or Tuk-Tuk for this tour; except perhaps for getting you to the Ton Lamyai Market, which is located at the end of Chang Moi Road next to the river Ping, near a footbridge. Ton Lamyai  is the oldest wet market of Chiang Mai. You can find anything you want, from tempting fresh fruit and vegetables to flowers, spices, and butchered meats. It is best to come early in the morning. Another market, Warorot, is just some 400 meters away; you have to walk back on Chang Moi Street (away form the river). Warorot Market is a Day Market that specializes in household utensils.
Garden at the River Ping
Garden at the River Ping
The next stops on this city tour are all located on Tapae Road. When you leave Warorot Market you should again be on Chang Moi Road. You follow it until the next corner, turn right, and walk about 100 meters to the second intersection, which is Tapae Road. On your right you can see the entrance gate of a temple, Wat Saen Fang. Wat Saen Fang is not one of the major temples or even one of the most beautiful ones but it can give a good first impression of Chiang Mais buddhist architecture. In the inner courtyard is a very pretty Chedi with a Burmese-style spire (this style is typical for the North)  that is "guarded" by stucco lions. There are also fine carvings on the eastern gables of the Viharn.

There are several more temples on Tapae Road. Not the prettiest, but the most interesting is perhaps Wat Boopharam. It has  a brandnew Viharn,  that mixes various styles and is decorated with lots of filigree and golden chofahs.  Very beautiful, on the other hand, is the smaller old wooden Viharn in pure Lanna style on the right. Inside are several gilded Buddha images. On the other side of the road opposite Wat Boopharam is Wat Chetawan, also worth a visit.

Temple Gables
Gable of a Viharn at Wat Saen Fang
At the end of Tapae Road you can see the Ruins of the ancient Tapae City Gate and the moat that still surrounds the oldest part of Chiang Mai. The road changes its name here and becomes Rajdamnoen Road for the next 500 meters (after that it is called Prasing Road). If you  are a very enthusiastic pedestrian you can just march on in the same direction until you reach Wat Pan Tao and, finally, Wat Phra Singh (both described in Temple Tour 2), but that would require quite a lot of stamina.

If it is already late in the afternoon after your visit to Tapae road, ask a Tuk-Tuk driver to take you to Chang Klang Road. Chang Klang Road is the setting for the famous Night Market of Chiang Mai. From around 5 p.m. until late in the evening lots of merchants open stalls on the sidewalks and display their goods: clothes, purses, suitcases, hilltribe jewellery, all kinds of lacquerware items, carved wooden animals, etc. Although you can buy the same items also in the big souvenir shopping emporia in and around Chiang Mai, shopping at the Night Market is more fun! (Even better is going to the workshops and studios where they are produced, see Handicraft Shopping Tour.)

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Last Updated 10.02.2007