Chiang Mai City Arts and Cultural Centre

chiang mai cultural centre, three kings monument

Three Kings Monument

At roughly the center of the walled city, in the district where the former rulers of Chiang Mai built their palaces, stands the monument to the ‘Three Kings‘ — King Mengrai, the founder of Chiang Mai; his contemporary and reportedly good friend King Ramkamhaeng of Sukothai; and King Ngam Muang of Payao.

According to legend, the three worked together to lay out the city of Chiang Mai. The sculpture has become something of an iconic image representing Chiang Mai. You will see it reproduced in various forms all around the city.

The sculpture stands in front of the old provincial administration building, which now houses the Chiang Mai City Arts and Cultural Center.

Chiang Mai City Arts and Cultural Centre

chiang mai cultural centre, Chiang Mai City Arts and Cultural Centre

The Chiang Mai City Arts and Culture Center is located in an old building of elegant architectural design built in 1927.Standing on the location of a former royal hall, the building was used as the central administrative office of the Monthol Phayap administrative unit of Siam, and later as the Provincial Hall of Chiang Mai.

The site is on the former “naval of the city”, which was the original location of the Inthakhin city pillar before it was moved to Wat Chedi Luang. The site was an inheritance from Chao Kawilorot Suriyawong to Chao Thep Kraison, his daughter. She married Chao Intha-wichayanon, the seventh ruler of Chiang Mai.

The site was used for a royal hall from where the ruler administered Chiang Mai. When Inthawichayanon passed away it went into the possession of his daughter, Chao Dararatsmi, who granted the site to be used for a ‘government hall’ when the monthon was established. When the old building remained empty. At the end of 1997, the municipality requested permission to renovate the building in order to turn it into the Chiang Mai City Arts and Culture Center. The renovation received an award in 1999 for preservation of a public building from the Royal Society of Siamese Architects (Society of Siamese Architects under Royal Patronage).

Lanna Arts Hall

chiang mai cultural centre, Chiang Mai City Arts and Cultural Centre

The Lanna Arts Hall was constructed from the renovated former building of the Chiang Mai Municipal Court. Artworks of Chiang Mai city from the past till the present day will be exhibited inside. The splendid artworks and models exhibited in the Hall tell the history of arts and the local wisdom contained there. The Hall is located in the center of the old city of Chiang Mai, opposite the Three King Monument and Chiang Mai City Arts and Cultural Center.

First Floor

Khuang Kaew Lanna

Displayed here is the influence of Buddhist belief and worship relative to the universe, the otivational inspiration of Buddhist architecture.

In the Buddhism hall

On displayed is the architectural plan of Wiharn Lanna (Buddhist ceremony hall) ,the architectural decoration items ,and sacrificial offerings, which are designed and

crafted according to the artistry wisdom of the Lanna people manifesting the inspiration of their Buddhist faith.

Items in religious rituals

Displayed here are the items used in Buddhist rituals, crafted by hand manifesting the inspiration in Buddhism. They also reveal a chronology of Lanna history and tradition.

Buddhist Sculptures

Displayed here is the history of various schools of sculptural arts in Lanna and also the current local craftsmen’s skill. Two and three – dimensional sculptures are made of various materials such as white mortar, stone, glass and wood. The two – dimensional sculptures are used as the decoration part of religious buildings.

Performance Arts and Music

Displayed here is the history of the relation among performance arts, music, and the life of Lanna people in Buddhist and supernatural rituals.

Lanna mural

Seen here are the unique murals painted in the style of the Chiang Mai school which showcase the artists’ talent. The influence of the arts of neighboring kingdoms might be seen in some murals as well.

Painting on glass and palm leaf

Seen here are the art of painting on glass and palm leaf with the inspiration from Lanna culture serves as a memorandum of the ancient way of life, Buddhist believe whose incorporates a cosmological view worship the universe.

Contemporary Lanna Arts

Seen here are the collections of masterpieces contemporary Lanna paintings and sculptures

chiang mai cultural centre, Chiang Mai City Arts and Cultural Centre

Second Floor

Local handicrafts

Displayed in this room are various utensils and tools which help to identify different craftsman schools and Lanna folklore themes. Different style of lacquerware, wickerware, and terra cotta pottery also reveal types of materials used along with social and community value context.

Lanna houses

This exhibits covers the history of planning and construction techniques, and the evolution of various types of the typical Lanna-style buildings.

Music and lifestyle

This exhibits reveals the influence of the Lanna culture on local music and artistic design on musical instruments.

Sacrificial offerings

Sacrificial offerings, made of precious gemstones, silver, and gold were utilized in the worship rituals at pagodas and the relic of Lord Buddha. In addition, this room also presents the myth of silver box containing precious gemstones symbolizing the heart of a Buddha statue. It is also believed that the miniature pagoda was used in the initial of construction rituals in Lanna as well. and fill inside as a heart of Buddha Statue. It is also founded that the miniature pagoda is use in the beginning ritual of construction in Lanna as well.

Tourist Information

Chiang Mai City Arts and Cultural Center is located in the very center of the old city on Prapokklao Road between Rajdumnern Road and Rajwithee Road. If travelling by tuk-tuk or songtheaw, it’s easiest to ask for the “Three Kings Monument” (Saam Kasat) or If you would like more information for private tour or join in group tour program you can contact Travel Agency in the city. The cultural center is in the large, elegant white building just behind the statue

Opening Hours : 08.30 am – 17.00 pm. (closed : Every Monday)

Admission Fees : 90 THB for an adult / 40 THB for a child to enter 1 museum, and 180 THB for an adult / 80 THB for a child for a combined ticket valid for 7 days to enter all 3 museums. ( Nearby are two museums: Chiang Mai Historical Centre and Lanna Folklife Museum. )

Chiang Mai City Arts and Cultural Center is a good starting point to understand the Chiang Mai culture and history

Note : Not accessible for wheelchair user

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Chiang Mai City Arts and Cultural Center Map