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Tha Phae Gate, Chiang Mai

The Tha Phae Gate is one of 5 gates were which originally constructed as entrance points to the old walled city of Chiang Mai.

Tha Phae Gate in Chiang Mai

Tha Phae Gate in Chiang Mai

The Tha Phae Gate, which is now permanently open, is both a major tourist attraction and the centre point of Chiang Mai’s old city area. 


About the Tha Phae Gate


When Chiang Mai was established in 1297 it was built with a wall and moat. The newly founded city was under very real threat from the Mongol forces who controlled China and in 1292 had invaded the neighbouring kingdom of Chiang Hung. The city was also under threat of invasion from the west also with Burmese forces becoming increasingly aggressive. The walls, moat and gates were not ornamental, they were built for defence of the city.

Plaza in front of the Tha Phae Gate

Plaza in front of the Tha Phae Gate

Chiang Mai lasted as the capital of an independent Lanna Kingdom until 1556 when the Burmese finally took the city by force. Since that time the city walls and the 5 city gates were left crumble, suffering both from the weather and local people taking the bricks away for use in building other things. The Tha Phae Gate as it stands today is a reconstruction of the original gate which was funded by the local community.

Market at the Tha Phae Gate

Market at the Tha Phae Gate

There is a large pedestrian plaza in front of the Tha Phae Gate where a permanent market is held in both the day and the night.

Craft stalls at the Tha Phae Gate

Craft stalls at the Tha Phae Gate

The Tha Phae Gate market is an interesting place to visit because many of the stalls sell local handicrafts. More interesting than the products themselves are the men and women making these products using traditional techniques. You can see carpenters, weaver, potters and metalworkers producing old fashioned household items and clothes. These products are not cheap but they unique and authentic and you can’t find the same things to the same quality in the city’s other tourist markets.

Food Court at the Tha Phae Gate

Food Court at the Tha Phae Gate

There is also a food court in the plaza in front of the Tha Phae Gate. Like the market stalls, the emphasis in the food court is traditional food from Chiang Mai such as Khao Soi and Chiang Mai sausage. All these dishes are reasonably priced and popular with both Thai and foreign visitors.


Location of the Tha Phae Gate


Next see Flight times from Koh Samui to Chiang Mai