Japan in Northwest Thailand during World War II

Working Paper
Old Chiang Mai City Walls
Page 3 of 3

Route (NA)
Station (NA)


Text Notes


There seem to be no photos of the old city wall inside the moat that are not associated with features, eg, bastions and gates. However, with almost no features of the earthen wall surviving to his time, Boonserm Satrabhaya did photograph some of the earthen wall itself. Unfortunately he only identified his pictures very generally, as on the south:

Payap Collection No. 0206: The south earthen wall of the city is severely deteriorated, 1986:

Payap 206

Payap Collection No. P0232: The south earthen wall of Chiang Mai was being used as a source of fill by citizens, 1986 :

Payap 0232

Payap Collection No. P0233: The south earthen wall in Chiang Mai in 1986. it was being used as a source of fill. Officials appeared not to be interested.

Payap 0233

Payap Collection No. P0234: The south earthen wall of Chiang Mai was being used as a source of fill by citizens in 1986.

Payap 0234



E1. Wat Sri Phum Gates: N18°47.697 E98°59.658

1893: Wat Sri Phum Gates by McCarthy 1893

                  1944: Not available

2016: Wat Sri Phum GE 2016

Photos: none.

E2. Chang Moi Gate: N18°47.528 E98°59.774

1893: Chang Moi Gate by McCarthy 1893


Chang Moi Gate WH 1944 markup

2016 : Chiang Moi Gate GE

Photos: none.

E3. Hun Klang Bastion: N18°47.418 E98°59.844

1893: Hun Klang Bastion by McCarthy 1893


Bastion Hun Klang WH 1944 markup

2016: Hun Klang GE 2016

Photos: none.

E4. Tha Pae Bastion: N18°47.363 E98°59.960

1893: Seng Fang Bastion by McCarthy 1893


Tha Pae Bastion WH 1944 markup

2016: Saen Fang Corner GE 2016

Photos: none.

E5. Tha Pae Outer Gate: N18°47.300 E98°59.953

1893: Tha Pae Outer Gate by McCarthy 1893


Outer Tha Pae Gate WH 1944 markup

2016: Tha Pae Outer Gate GE 2016

Photos: none, but see discussion about P0069 in UNKNOWNS below.

E6. Rakaeng Gate: N18°46.634 E98°59.730

1893: Rakaeng Gate by McCarthy 1893


Rakaeng gate WH 1944 markup

2016: Gate Rakaeng GE 2016

Photos: none.

E7. Khua Kom Gate on present day Suriwong Road:
       N18°46.360 E98°59.408

1893: Khua Kom Gate by McCarthy 1893


Khua Kom Gate WH 1944

2016: Khua Kom Gate GE 2016

Photos: none.

E8. Hai Ya Gate: N18°46.434 E98°58.838

1893: Hai Ya Gate by McCarthy 1893


Hai Ya WH 1944

2016: Hai Ya Gate GE 2016

Photos: none.

E9. Thiphanet Corner: N18°46.565 E98°58.657

1893: Thiphanet Bastion by McCarthy 1893


Aerial vw of old bastion

2016: Bastion GE 2016

Payap Collection No. P0302: Southwest bastion of earthen wall in 1963, damaged by people who stole the brick facing of the fortress wall to use as fill.[U0] This action exposed dirt fill underneath and accelerated the deterioration of the wall. [photographer: Boonserm Satrabhaya]:

Payap 0302

Payap Collection No. P0303: Earthen wall behind Suan Prung Hospital and Hai Ya Cemetery in 1963. [photographer: Boonserm Satrabhaya]

Payap 0303



Payap Collection P0069
: dated 1899, but identity is in dispute.

Gate with disputed ID

Photo is identified by Payap and others as the Chiang Mai gate; however, still other sources claim it is the Tha Pae gate.

Photo is same as Boonserm, Chiang Mai in Memories (Chiang Mai: Chao Books, 2011), p 59, where it is identified as Tha Pae Gate 1899).

Boonserm was queried 16 Jun 2015 and was confident that it was the Tha Pae Gate. However, he concedes that both the Tha Pae Gate and the Tha Pae Outer Gate had gone 'before his time'.

Warichat Michubun, ย้อนอดีตล้านนา, identifies it as Chiang Mai Gate, 1899, p 60. Hargreave, "Exploring Chiang Mai", p 36, identifies it as one of the two gates along the south wall: "This photo (of Suan Prung or Chiang Mai Gate in 1899) was used as the basis for reconstruction of Thaphae Gate".

The best analysis of the photograph is available at The Thapae Gate Puzzle by Roelof Schierbeek.

A close up of the view looking into the gate:

Extract of gate photo, enhanced

The Inthawichayanon map of 1893 shows plan views of all the city gates. The four mentioned gates appear thus:

Four different gates

Both Tha Pae Gates, inner and outer, are configured with two openings; however at the inner gate, the major offset between the two openings, plus what appears to be a bastion on the right don't match the photo. Neither the Chiang Mai nor the Suan Prung Gate seems to fit the photo. The only gate traced out in the Inthawichayanon map that might match the photo is the Tha Pae Outer Gate.

Teakdoor: 1902. Prince Prajadhipok poses in front of ancient [Chiang Mai] walls/gates:[U1]

Teakdoor CM city wall

Payap Collection P0096: One side of Chiang Mai city wall (undated):

Unknown City wall P0096

From Frans Betgem (undated, source unstated):

Unknown corner of city wall

From Oliver Backhouse (email 02 Apr 2016 10:33:34) with comment "written on the back in pencil "Wall & Moat, Chiengmai (before 1922). Wallace Lee (No. 9)":

Unknown dated before 1922

Payap University Archives: Chiang Mai city wall, c 1937:[U2]

PUA, 1937

CMU Historical Photo Collection
ID 485: City Gate Fortress, by Boonserm Satrabhaya, hence dated after 1950:

Unknown: city wall



























































































































































































































































































































































U0.^ More generally, Hargreave suggests:

. . . likely that the walls were broken up to provide material for road building during the Second World War.

(Oliver Hargreave, Exploring Chiang Mai (Chiang Mai: Within Books, 2017), p 34)

The Great Wall of China has suffered similar practical assaults:

. . . challenges to preserving the wall have mounted. As of 2015, figures from the Chinese government suggested that as much as 30 percent of the original structure may have disappeared. Other parts of the wall are in poor condition because of human, including local residents stealing bricks to build their houses, authorities say.

(Livia Albeck-Ripka, "Workers Plow Through Great Wall of China, Leaving Hole", The New York Times, 05 Sep 2023.

[footnote added 06 Sep 2023]


































































U1.^ Some of Teakdoor links appear rather quicksilvery. The link in the text is to the photo. If that link doesn't work, try this link to the page where the photo appears on Teakdoor's "Old Photo Thread", p 122. It's about halfway down the webpage.

Frans Betgem points out that the collection of stupa shapes behind the wall don't match anything along Chiang Mai's old city wall.


[Added 12 and 13 Apr 2016]









































U2.^ Payap University Archives, per Ongsakul, Sarassawadee, History of Lanna, translated by Chitraporn Tanratanakul (Bangkok: Silkworm Books, 2001), p 58.