Wiang Kum Kam is an ancient “lost city” located on the banks of the Mae Ping River. It was founded in the 13th century by King Mangrai and was the royal capital prior to Chiang Mai. Wiang Kum Kam was abandoned in the 16th century due to flooding, and was only rediscovered in 1984.
Wiang Kum Kam has been partly restored to its former glory and visitors can tour the ruins of ancient temples and see the carved stone tablets unearthed by archaeologists. Some of the sites have plaques with information in English and guides are available for hire.
Wiang Kum Kam is located 5 kilometers southeast of Chiang Mai. It’s too far to walk from the city center, but makes for a pleasant bicycle ride. Alternatively, taxi and tuk-tuk drivers will be happy to take you there.
To get there from Chiang Mai, go south along Highway 106 (also known as the Chiang Mai – Lamphun Highway) for about 3 kilometers then look for the directional sign to the ruins.