Chiang Mai Historical Sites

Very old big tree

Chiang Mai Gymkhana Club

The Gymkhana Club is one of the most famous Chiang Mai Historical Sites. It is the oldest sports club in the city. Fourteen people founded this sports club in 1898. All of them were British except one Thai national. Together they bought the land. The “Chieng Mai Gymkhana Club” was born. Initially, it was a place where the expatriate community, mostly American and British, would socialize and engage in polo, golf, tennis, cricket and other sports. Nowadays, the members also include Thai nationals.

Chiang Mai Gymkhana Club

Very old big tree
Gymkhana Club giant raintree

Chiang Mai Foreign Cemetery

In the same year of the foundation of the Gymkhana Club, King Rama V granted a piece of land, adjacent to the area of the sports club, to be a cemetery. The conditions of the gift were that the property may never be sold, that it may be used only ‘for the burial of the bodies only of foreigners’, and that the ‘British Consul be the custodian of the land in perpetuity’. Many famous “farang” residents are buried at this cemetery, amongst other WAR Wood, the famous British consul; Daniel McGilvary

Chiang Mai Foreign Cemetery

Cemetery in a forest
Chiang Mai foreign cemetery

The Consul’s Garden

The Consul’s Garden is a restaurant on the property where once famous British consul WAR Wood and his wife Boon lived. He acquired this after his retirement in 1931. There are three houses on this property. One of the houses the restaurant Le Coq d’Or. Just recently the second house was opened as the Consul’s Garden. The Consul’s Garden serves coffee, tea and pastries. The third one is on the other side of the garden, next to a raintree that was planted more than 100 years ago by Wood and his wife. In this house, WAR Wood probably spent his last years. The Consul’s Garden is beautifully located on the Ping River. It is a welcome addition to the Chiang Mai Historical Sites.

The Consul’s Garden

Garden with old house
The Consul’s Garden

McKean Rehabilitation Center

Dr James W.McKean joined the Chiang Mai Presbyterian mission in 1888 to live and work here for the next forty-two years. He is most famous for the leper colony he founded on an island in the Ping River south of the city in 1908. Chao Inthawarorot Suriyawong, Chiang Mai’s ruler, donated land. In those days, leprosy was a much-maligned and socially unaccepted disease. It was fairly common in those days. McKean Rehabilitation Center grew to become one of the best-known institutions of its kind in the world. There are numerous old structures and centuries-old trees on the compound. McKean is now a “Senior Center”. It takes care of older people with disabilities.

McKean Senior Center

Old church with dark skies
Thaw Chapel at McKean
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