Chiang Mai Historical Sites

Memorial with the names of the 14 founder members of the Gymkhana Club. Trees in the background Chiang Mai Historical Sites

Chiang Mai Gymkhana Club

The Gymkhana Club is one of the most famous Chiang Mai Historical Sites. It is the oldest sports club of 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

Close up of giant raintree at the Gymkhana Club
Giant raintree at the Gymkhana Club. Photo by Frans Betgem.

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 land of the sports club, to be used as a cemetery. The conditions of the gift were that the land 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

mausoleum and grave stones at the foreign cemetery Chiang Mai Historical Sites
Foreign Cemetery Chiang Mai. Photo by Frans Betgem.

The Consul’s Garden

The Consul’s Garden is a restaurant on the property where once famous British consul W.A.R. Wood and his wife Boon lived. He acquired this after his retirement in 1931. There are three houses on this property. One of them 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. This is the house where WAR Wood spent his last years. The Consul’s Garden is beautifully located on the Ping River. It is welcome addition to the Chiang Mai Historical Sites.

The Consul’s Garden

Lawn and house of the Consul's Garden
The Consul’s Garden. Photo by Frans Betgem

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 old people with disabilities.

McKean Senior Center

Thaw Chapel at McKean.
Thaw Chapel at McKean. Photo by Frans Betgem.
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  • Chiang Mai a la Carte is always looking for the unique places, small restaurants, lesser-visited markets, hidden temples and special events that will make your visit out of the ordinary. We will make sure you will meet people, learn about daily life, customs and traditions, history, religion and culture and makes an extra effort to make your experience unforgettable.

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