River Cruise: The Forgotten Royal city of Wiang Kum Kam
RIVER CRUISE : THE FORGOTTEN ROYAL CITY OF WIANG KUM KAM;
You will be picked up at your hotel and taken to Kitamon Restaurant boat landing, just a few minutes from downtown Chiang Mai
• A pleasant 20-minutes journey down river aboard a spacious new and comfortable teak-fitted cruise boat. Look for ancient pyramid-shaped pagodas appearing on the left before our FISHERMAN’S QUAY destination.
• We then travel by old-fashioned horse and carriage to Wiang Kum Kam Museum and Information Centre. There is a video introduction, with English subtitles. Then we browse around Museum.
• Back to the horse and carriage through Thawangtan village to view six historical temple remains, As well as ancient sites, you will see orchards, farmland, moden town houses, some derelict buildings, recycling scrap metal shops, in a hotch-potch of present day Thailand.
• Return to FISHERMANS QUAY for complimentary refreshments – a chance to sample local fresh fruit andherb juices. Lemon-grass juice is a favourite !
• A relaxed return boat journey to Kitamon Restaurant with options to enjoy the special taste of Japanese,Thai or Seafood cuisine at reasonable prices.
• Finxlly, return transfer to your hotel, after your great day out
Tour departs four times a day at 9.00 a.m., 11.30 a.m.. 14.00 p.m. and 16.00 p.m. Evening charter cruise for up to 24 persons.
Wiang Kum Kam Ancient City Six temples Tour;
1. KU PAR DOM TEMPLE
Probably built while King Mengrai in residence – B.E.1829-1838. Discovered two metres below present – day ground level. Square board shape would have supported a lotus base to bear a pagoda in bell shape. The altar with images was located at the back of the main pagoda. Decorated glass parapets would have been used throughout. Note Lanna ‘spiral’ pattern. Name endowed by villagers in recent times – the temple is in the land of Aunty Dom (Kuu is local dialect for Pagoda)
2. PU PIA TEMPLE
Probably began during early settlement of Wiang Kum Kam and later rebuilt in the time of King Tilokarat B.E. 1988-2068 (1445-1525 A.D.) Note Lanna-style pagoda with modop shape, popular at this time. Named “Pu Pia” by villagers. The house of an “old short man” (local dialect Pu Pia) had been built in the desertd temple grounds.
3. WAT NAN CHANG (PING HANG)
Excavation work in October 2003 resulted in an extraordinary find of priceless Chinese Ming Dynasty (1368-1644 A.D.) fine porcelain, contained in jar buried 30 centimetres deep below the temple remains. It is known that the Lanna Kingdom was in turmoil towards the end, with the invasion of the Burmese culminating in the taking of Chiang Mai in B.E. 2101 by King Mongthera. See exhibition in Museum and information Centre.
Note: At the site, demonstration of four earth layers.
Considered to have been an important temple in King Mengrai’s time due to size and central location. One foundation to support both pagoda and Wiharn without walls. Cement altar base for min Buddha image located at the back, close to the base of the pagoda. Standard later bell shape pagoda of B.E. 21 Century. ‘Ee Khang” local dialet for ‘Monkey”.
5. PRA THAT KHAO (TARD KHAO) TEMPLE
Pagoda remains consists of the bottom part of the base circled by a layer of lotus petals. During excavation work about ten years ago the main Buddha Image was found in good condition, except for the head which had been damages. Local villages rallied to repair the figure and place it on show for veneration.
6. KUU KHAM TEMPLE (JEDEE LIAM)
Kuu = Pagoda,
Kham = Gold.
Endowed to his citizens by King Mangrai in B.E 1831 (1288 A.D.) This imposing pyramid shape (mondop) pagoda is built of local brick in five layers with three standing Buddha images on each side, a total of 60 images. It is modeled on Jedee Ku Kut at Lamphun, “Lopburi” style – dating back to well over 1,000 years Note, the images face ‘the four directions’ and it is said that the number 60 would enhance the prestige of the King’s 60 wives. In about 1908 A.D. The pagoda was renovated by a Burmese nobleman who had been given a concession in the Bombay, Burma, Borneo Company in the reign of King chulalongkorn (Rama V). The renovation added four new images at the base, one on each side.
“Wiang Kum Kam the Ancient Underground City” The first capital of Lanna
The Strategic city of Wiang Kum Kam was founded in 1286-7 A.D. by King Mangrai, widely famed as a brave and just monarch. He came from along line of rulers who emerged from Laos and then settled in “Yonok” –nowadays the topmost part of northern Thailand. Aged 21, Mangrai forcibly curbed the warring activities of local chieftains and soon established the northern city of Chiang Rai. He progressed south to Fang and his army finally took Haripunchai (present-day Lamphun) in 1281 A.D.
Wiang Kum Kam was established as the pivotal riverside trading hub of Mangrai’s kingdom, after severe flooding overtook a previous site. A moat was dug around all four sides of the city. An extensive royal palace was built. The priority was given to construction of a market – place. Many boats converged on the city for purposes of trade. Pleased, King Mangrai ordered the building of imposing Kuu Kham temple (Wat Jedee Liam ) for public veneration. Friendly, power-seeking expeditions by the king led to peace offerings from neighboring states: firstly, a beautiful royal bride and the came hundreds of expert craftsmen – goldsmiths, bronze smiths, ironsmiths, etc,. In thanks for the good fortune, significant temples were built.
Heeding auspicious signs, King Mangrai established Chiang Mai in 1296 A.D. but he continued to visit his palzce at Wiang Khum Kham. The city remained and important satellite to the new Lanna capital and many temples were created by succeeding rulers, notably King Tilokarat (1445 – 1525 A.D.)
After much unrest, the Burmese invasion around 1600 A.D. put an end to the Lanna Kingdom. At Wing Khum Kham the river changed its course and much of the city was destroyed by severe flooding, leaving the ruins buried deep under silt. Many years later, the area was repopulated with people from the north – hence the peculiar nicknames given to some of the temple remains. The site was later excavated and it became popularly known as the “Ancient Underground City”