When King Mengrai decided to build his capital on the Ping River, he chose a site a few miles south of present-day Chiang Mai. He selected a low-lying stretch of land, but soon realized the folly of his choice when the river flooded during the rainy seasons. Eight years after establishing Wiang Kum Kam, he moved to higher ground and began work on Chiang Mai. Wiang Kum Kam is now being excavated, and archaeologists have been amazed to uncover a cluster of buildings almost as large as Chiang Mai's Old City.
Chiangmai Cattleya Tour & Travel Services. Chiangmai Cattleya Tour & Travel Services offers morning and afternoon bus tours for B750. Hillside Plaza 4, 50/53 Huay Kaew Rd., 50300. 053/223991 or 089/85006919.
Wiang Kum Kam Tours. You can travel to Wiang Kum Kam as the locals did for centuries–by boat. Wiang Kum Kam Tours pick you up at your hotel for the 20-minute river cruise to the site's nearest jetty, where a horse-drawn carriage awaits to complete the journey. There are four cruises a day. Reservations are essential. 053/252873 or 081/885–0663. None.
4 km (2½ miles) south of Chiang Mai on old Chiang Mai–Lamphun Rd., Chiang Mai, Thailand