Old City

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Nestled within the embrace of Chiang Mai, Thailand, the Old City is a historical gem that resonates with the echoes of the past. Surrounded by ancient walls and moats, this cultural enclave is a captivating blend of rich history, vibrant traditions, and modern charm.


Founded in 1296 by King Mengrai, the Old City served as the capital of the Lanna Kingdom. Enclosed by defensive walls and a moat, it played a pivotal role in the region's cultural and economic development. Today, remnants of its glorious past can be explored through its temples, markets, and preserved architecture.

Things to do:

- Visit Temples: Explore the intricate beauty of temples like Wat Chedi Luang, Wat Phra Singh, and Wat Phan Tao, each holding unique architectural and spiritual significance.

- Wander Through Markets: Dive into the vibrant markets, such as the Sunday Walking Street and Warorot Market, where local crafts, textiles, and delectable street food await.

- Discover Museums: Uncover Chiang Mai's history at museums like the Chiang Mai City Arts and Cultural Center and the Lanna Folklife Museum.

How to Explore:

The Old City is best explored on foot or by bicycle. Wander through narrow lanes, discovering hidden cafes, boutique shops, and serene temples. Tuk-tuks and red songthaews are also convenient for covering larger distances within the city.

Timings and Tickets:

The Old City is accessible at all hours, but specific attractions may have their own operating hours. Most temples are open during daylight hours, while markets and some museums may operate into the evening.


Exploring the Old City itself is generally free.


1. Modest Attire: When visiting temples, dress modestly by covering shoulders and knees.

2. Sun Protection: Bring sunscreen, a hat, and stay hydrated, especially during warm weather.

3. Cultural Respect: Be mindful of local customs and traditions, especially within temple grounds.

4. Exploration on Foot: The charm of the Old City reveals itself best when explored leisurely on foot.


Chiang Mai's Old City, with its fusion of history and modernity, offers a captivating experience for those seeking a cultural immersion. From ancient temples to bustling markets, it's a journey through time in the heart of Northern Thailand.


Q: Are there specific days when markets in the Old City are more vibrant?

A: Yes, the Sunday Walking Street is particularly lively, transforming the Old City into a bustling market with an array of crafts, arts, and local delicacies.

Q: Can I enter the temples in the Old City for free?

A: While some temples may have a nominal entrance fee, many are open to the public for free. Donations are often welcomed to support the maintenance of these historical sites.

Q: Is it necessary to hire a guide to explore the Old City?

A: While not necessary, hiring a guide can enhance your understanding of the Old City's history and cultural significance. Self-guided exploration is also enjoyable, especially for those who prefer a more personal experience.

  • imageDuration Required
    3 hours

Address of Old City

Chiang Mai, Thailand

Opening & Closing time of Old City

  • Monday
  • Tuesday
  • Wednesday
  • Thursday
  • Friday
  • Saturday
    Open 24 Hours
  • Sunday
    Open 24 Hours