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What to Do in Riverside

Riverside Attractions

Stretching 569 kilometers, the Mae Ping River is the lifeline of the Chiang Mai Province. Originating from Doi Chiang Dao it provides the water vital for the irrigation of rice paddies, gardens and crops. In many respects you would be justified in saying that the river it self, is the biggest attraction in this part of the city. In contrast to the banks of Bangkok’s Chao Phraya the Mae Ping has a notable lack of gleaming and intricately cut temples or five-star hotels lighting up its Riverside. For the most part the Riverside is occupied by entertainment venues, galleries and up market boutique shopping. However, the area does possess a distinct old world charm. Home to places of worship for Buddhism, Catholicism and Islam it really is something of a melting pot for religiously affiliated buildings.

Beyond the temples, mosques and churches there are numerous educational sites that are dedicated to remembering old Chiang Mai, the perfect setting for a day of familiarizing yourself with the customs and cultures of a bye gone era.

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All Attractions in Chiang Mai Riverside

Harris House - Missionary Museum

Here we have the first school museum in the north of Thailand which serves as a learning centre for people of all ages, creeds and cultures. One of Chiang Mai's best known boy’s schools reflects over its influential history with an in house museum. When in 1905 Prince Vajiravudh [King Rama VI] came to Chiang Mai to preside over the foundation laying of the Butler Building, which housed the first classrooms, he stayed the night in Harris House and also renamed the school ‘Prince Royal’s College’.”

Harris House was awarded the Best Preserved Building prize by the Siam Architecture Society after a fire struck in 1980 and the building was successfully restored to its original state. The original layout of the ground floor has been kept while the upstairs rooms have been turned into a series of galleries. The largest of which features photographs of missionaries and paintings by Chiang Mai governor Luang Pinit Attakoen, century-old school desks bearing old models of typewriters and school uniforms from the past century.

  • Opening Hours: 08:00-16:00
  • Address: 117 Kaew Nawarat
  • Tel: + 66 (0) 5324-2038
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Kawila Monument and Park

Directly opposite the army barracks in a small but pleasant park is the Kawila monument. The monument was erected in the honour of Kawila. Born in 1742, Kawila was the first of Prince Chai Kaew's 10 children who played a major part in the defense and rebuilding of Chiang Mai and consequently is considered as one of the founders of the new city which was reborn after the repressive Burmese regime was driven out. Behind the statue lies a small museum where you can learn more about this great and much revered Thai leader.

  • Opening Hours: 09:00-17:00 (museum)
  • Address: 285 Wat Ket Road
  • Tel: +66 (0) 53 24 8604
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Raintree Resource Centre

The Raintree Resource Centre provides free lending library with over 7000 English books and 600 videos. They also hold the occasional special interest workshops (ex. English conversation classes, flower arrangement, ethnic cooking). A good place to venture out to, if you plan on staying in Chiang Mai some time.

  • Opening Hours: 10.00-12.00
  • Address: First Level - CMCC Center 3 Charoen Muang Road
  • Tel: +66 (0) 53 262 660
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Uncle Jacks History Museum - Ket Karam Museum

The son of, Mr. William Bain, who was a “Teak-Wallah” in the service of the East Asiatic Company, Uncle Jack opened the Ket Karam museum over four years ago. Having refurbished the old (580 years old to be exact) wooden structure there is a well organised display of artifacts from a previous era – the idea being to preserve the beauty of old Lanna culture.
Items include an old gramophone, with a Dinah Shore 78 rpm on the turntable, coins and antique crockery, vintage bank notes, ancient household appliances, farm tools, wood carvings and Buddha images. The gallery of photographs of a bygone era is considered to be of the best in Chiang Mai.
Financing the museum through his own money and the generosity of visitors who can make donations, Uncle Jack has said his motivation comes from the desire to educate younger people on the roots of their culture. Free Lanna dancing classes for children are also held every weekend.

  • Opening Hours: 09:00-17:00
  • Address: 96 Jaroenraj Road
  • Tel: +66 (0) 89 850 1252
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