Overview : Wiang Kum Kam (wiang goom garm) was a settlement long before it became King Mangrai’s capital around 1287-90. Frequent flooding caused Mangrai to move, but the place remained important throughout the Lanna period. The site was later buried under mud when the river changed course during the Burmese period. The area was restored as a historical park during the 1980’s. Surrounded by paddy and village houses, the extensive site has a pleasant rural feel, yet it is very close to Chiang Mai.
Among the sites, the two which are still in the best condition and in use today are Wat Chedi Liem which apparently was never affected by the floods, and Wat Chang Kam (or Wat Kan Thom) named after the craftsman, Kan Thom, who built the temple. Besides these two important sites, the others of major significance include Wat E-Khang, Wat Nan Chang, Wat Pu Pia, Wat That Khao, Wat Phaya Mangrai and Wat Ku Padom.
The whole site is too large to cover on foot as it is now basically spread out across several suburban neighborhoods. The best way to tour around Wiang Kum Kam is by hiring a local guide with a pony carriage (1-2 people), open-air tram (groups) or bicycle.