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Updating list Reviewed 27 April Hidden gem in Jungle. Ask louiser about Wiang Kum Kam. Extensive research and excavation proved that it was, in fact, the ancient city of Wiang Kum Kam. The most intact are Wat Chedi Liem and Wat Chang Kam, though I personally enjoy the buildings that leave a bit more to the imagination. A big shoutout goes to my friends in the Chiang Mai Photographic Group. We all relaxed on his patio, waited for the sunset , and walked a hundred feet to see a spectacular display of colors and light. Special thanks to my friend Simona — an expert in Chiang Mai history — for inspiring this article and helping me with some facts.
These discoveries included proof the area had been settled as far back as the 8th century.
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On the days we visited Chiang Mai for the Loy Krathong holiday celebrations, we were grateful to quickly return by tuk-tuk to a more leisurely pace. Escaping the chaos in favor of quiet tranquility takes only a few minutes. There are two worlds: the world of the tourist and the world of everyone else.
Staying put in a location allows us to catch up on work projects and factor in unscripted time. Daily life here occurs amid the vestiges of a rich religious history. Every few minutes on the bike yielded archeological treasure, ranging in size from low brick foundations to fantastically preserved temple structures. Next to our hotel was a bedecked, carved shrine to the memory of elephants who were trained on the grounds surrounding this tree:. We could quench our thirst with a dipper of cool water at vintage stations outside many a home, or even from a tiny glass left out in case a passerby might be in need.
This is a cornerstone of traditional Lanna hospitality: kindness to neighbors and strangers alike. Wat Chedi Liam was built around during the Hariphunchai years, and was used during the early years of the Lanna empire.
In , the buildings were part of a renovation done by a Burmese trader, and reflect the Burmese style. The artisans who adorned this temple worked with stunning devotion. The buildings literally glitter from thousands of mirrored squares and jewel-like adornments. Other renovations were made in This is a thriving temple with a weekend market and other activities.
Other parts of the structure date to the 15th and 16th centuries. This temple features crouching elephants from which it derives its popular name. Sandstone plates were found here with three different alphabets dating between and This temple is located directly across from our hotel. These ladies are masters of their art. Proceeds go to the temple. Each day, the outside world beyond Wiang Kum Kam receded.
Though there has not always been peace on this land, and though we were to find remnants of war and destruction not far away, this moment in time was calming and optimistic. Even bustling Chiang Mai seemed perceptually distant. In the night before we closed our eyes in Wiang Kum Kam, we could happily think of waking the next morning and then drift asleep carefree. We felt part of this different world of temple ruins and simple living, knowing the day would arrive and begin exactly as it always did. And good morning it was, all day, every day.
The Lost City - Wiang Kum Kam
This was a very satisfactory happiness. Stopping at the temple to deliver a gift of fruit on our last day in Thailand, we were beckoned by an oranged-robed monk to sit with him in prayer. The lost city is very much alive in everyone who is fortunate to stay, no matter how long, in Wiang Kum Kam. Tips and Information: Our headquarters, the hotel De Wiangkumkam , is a family-owned and operated boutique guesthouse with 9 air-conditioned rooms, each with their own balcony or patio.
Prices are low by western standards, including breakfast and complimentary airport transfer. Free transportation is available into Chiang Mai at your request. Find and read reviews of De Wiangkumkam hotel. We were so comfortable here that we extended our stay by several days. De Wiangkumkam serves complimentary breakfast, Thai or Western style, in its onsite restaurant. Lunch and dinner are available, too. We were welcomed into the gregarious Thai family at De Wiangkumkam and might have even shed a tear at the lovely send-off they gave us. Disclosure: Our final dinner at De Wiangkumkam was compliments of the house.
All other expenses were on our dime. Please note there are affiliate links in this post. PassingThru is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon. Amazon and the Amazon logo are trademarks of Amazon. Wiang Kum Kam sounds like a perfect alternative to staying in Chiang Mai itself.