Travelling by Segway allows you to see so much of the ancient fortified city of Chiang Mai than conventional means of transport in a short time, without the need to sit in the back of a taxi or Tuk
The Segway Tour
Travelling by Segway allows you to see so much of the ancient fortified city of Chiang Mai than conventional means of transport in a short time, without the need to sit in the back of a taxi or Tuk Tuk or having to walk for miles wearing out the new flip flops you bought the day before. For those that don’t know what a Segway is, it’s a two wheeled electrically powered vehicle for one person similar to a scooter but with the wheels placed side by side and a platform to stand on between them. Don’t worry if you’ve never been on a Segway before, professionally trained staff will go through a basic training class lasting fifteen mins to make sure you have the skill to go out into the city with confidence.
While taking the tour, you’ll be accompanied by at least two guides looking after your
safety. Each tour has one Guide leading from the front of the group and one at the back. With their
local knowledge of the city they can take you down side streets and historic alleyways from the old
city which cars and Tuk Tuks can’t go. This ability offers participants a unique view of the city.
While on the tour you’ll always be able to stop to take in a soft drink and snacks. The tour lasts
around 2 hours taking in some of the best temples and other attractions in the city.
Segway Tours provides the ability to experience a complete body and mind interlude with
the sights, smells and sounds of this amazing golden historical city. Some of the highlights of this tour
include the following:
The Three Kings Monument
In the centre of the ancient walled city of Chiang Mai, in front of the central administration building
there are three brass statues, one of each of the three kings said to be the founders of Chiang Mai. This
monument is a tribute to the three Kings who joined forces to protect the then Lanna Kingdom and
layout the plans for building the new city of Chiang Mai.
They were; King Mengrai, the original founder in the centre of the monument, King Ngam Muang of Payao, and King Ramkamhaeng of Sukhothai.
This took place during turbulent times in Chiang Mai’s history, and it has been said that without the
alliance formed by the three kings, Chiang Mai would not exist today. Each played an important role
in the history of the Lanna Kingdom of Thailand.
Wat Chiang Man
The first temple built in the city of Chiang Mai, Wat Chiang Man is a temple which dates back to the
late 13th century. It was built by King Mengrai and used as a camp while building the fortified city.
The temple grounds also contain two features which are rarely found in Thai Wats. They are the
lotus pond and the Ho Trai or scripture library.
With its modest appearance from outside its walls you could be forgiven for not entering. This would
be a mistake because those who step past the gate instantly experience the feeling of stepping back
in time. Its historical significance makes this a must see location for visitors to Chiang Mai.
Not only does this temple have significant historical value, but is also home to several religious relics of great
importance. One of these, which is the oldest relic constructed on the site, is a gold Chedi or Stupa
called Chedi Chang Lom or “Elephant Chedi” which consists of two tiers with 15 full sized brick and
mortar Elephants that look like they are carrying the arched doorway structure on their backs, while
at the top of the Chedi is a gilded bell shaped structure.
There are two Wihans or Shrines within the temple grounds. The largest of these has a 3 tiered roof
and is a Lanna style structure with intricate gold and ochre coloured wood carvings surrounding the
entrance. This is the home of the oldest Buddha statue in Chiang Mai as well as the oldest Buddha
statue carrying an alms bowl in the whole of Thailand. This claim is based on an inscription at its
base dating it CE 1465.
The other Wihan which is guarded by Nagas or mythical snakes is home to two religiously important
statues known collectively as the mythical statues of Chiang Mai due to their magical powers. They
are called Phra Sae Tang Khamani and Phra Sila. Phra Sae Tang Khamani is also known as “The
Crystal Buddha”. It is made from carved clear quartz crystal and is 10 cm high. There is some
controversy surrounding the age of this relic, but some put it at dating back as far as the 8 th century.
It is believed to have gained protective powers after surviving the burning of its abode when it was
besieged by King Mengrai. The other religious artefact is Phra Sila, a carved stone statue of a standing Buddha taming an Elephant. Archaeologists put it at 1,100 to 1,300 years old and believe it came to Chiang Mai all the way from Sri Lanka in India. This statue is said to have rain giving powers which make it an important place of worship during the Songkran festival period.
Wat Phra Singh
Considered by many to be the most attractive Wat in Chiang Mai, Wat Phra Singh is located in the old
city not far from the central Thai Phae Gate and the moat. Work on the temple began in 1345 and it is
still an active temple today. It houses several ancient Buddha relics along with the controversial
Buddha statue Phra Singh or “Lion Buddha” of which there are three in existence in Thailand and it is
not certain which one is the original. However, every year it takes an important part in religious
festivals in all three provinces where it is housed. The main Chedi or Stupa in Wat Pra Singh was
originally built to hold the remains of King Khan Fu, by his son and other buildings were added as the
It is said that around 1376 the holy statue of Phra Singh (which gives the temple its name) was brought to the temple where a home was provided for it in the form of Wihan Lai Kham which was built in 1345 originally called Wat Li Chiang Phra.
During the Burmese occupation from 1578 to 1774 the temple was abandoned and
came under serious disrepair, only being restored when King Kawila assumed the throne as King of Chiang Mai
in 1782. Since then it has been restored twice, once in the 1920s and yet again in 2002.
Today this Wihan is still an architectural masterpiece designed in the Lanna style and displays
intricate artwork outside and inside there are murals depicting some of Buddha’s previous lives as
well as scenes depicting a well know story from 19 th century life in Chiang Mai, thus making it one of
the major attractions of this Wat.
Wat Prha Singh is Chiang Mai's most revered temple, dominated by an enormous, mosaic-inlaid
Wihan. There are numerous places to get a relaxing massage and several coffee stands scattered
throughout the grounds.
Wat Pan Tao
Wat Pan Tao can be found just a short distance from Tha Phae Gate and next to Wat Chedi Luang just
off the Rachadamoen road. Wat Pan Tao may not be as large as its neighbouring Wat, but with its
impressive teak wood Wiharn. It stands out as a rare Jewell .This temple is like no other in Chiang
The Wiharn which is one of the last wooden buildings like it in Chiang Mai is a masterpiece of construction, made from solid teakwood panels set in place on top of a stone base.
From the outside you could be forgiven for feeling under impressed. But take a closer look, once you step inside it’s not hard to imagine that this was once a throne room of the king of Chiang Mai.
The teak pillars stand as tall and strong as the day they were installed (around the 14 century). They seem to be guarding the throne which now stands next to the Alter.
The front entrance of the Wiharn is astoundingly beautiful and it’s hard to believe this was all made by hand in ancient times.
The gilded entryway is decorated with intricate carvings of lanna flowers and a peacock inlayed with colourful glass which is standing over a dog. Interestingly, a dog is the star sign of the first King to use this temple as a palace.
Naga or snakelike serpents and other creatures from ancient Asian mythology are also illustrated here.
At the time of writing (2017) there is a new construction being built at the back of the main Wiharn, with a bright red colour peeping through the protective cover, it’s teasing you to have a look. The outside grounds seem to be covered with a small layer of sand that feels soft under your feet.
Wat Chedi Luang
Next door to the Wat Pan Tao, this outstanding temple has more to enchant the people who visit it
than would be seen by just popping your head round the entrance.
The temple grounds take up a lot of land which is not surprising when you know that it was in fact
three temples at one time. Today they have come together to form this fascinating temple. Building
Wat Chedi Luang stared in the 14th century by the then king to hold his father ashes but never got
finished until the mid-15 th century at which time it stood at eighty two metres tall and a ground
diameter of fifty four metres. Making it the largest building in the Lanna Kingdom at the time, up
until 1545, when the upper 30 m of the structure collapsed after an earthquake, but some also say it
was destroyed by cannon fire during the recapture of Chiang Mai from the Burmese in 1775. It is still
being debated as to which of the above statements is true. Today it is still an impressive site to see,
one can only imagine what it looked like all those centuries ago at its full height.
Within the grounds there are a number of very majestic trees some of which are so tall they look as if
they are standing on their tip toes leaning up trying to kiss the havens. With a number of other
buildings and the large area covered by the temple, there are always a number of monks on hand to
talk with, all eager to practice their English and tell you all about the temple.
Like a lot of other ancient monuments in Chiang Mai, Wat Chedi Luang was in ruins when the city
began its modern renaissance, but Unesco and the Japanese government made repairs and began
renovating it in the 1990s. Ongoing restoration and preservation work can still be seen taking place at
The Chedi itself is also known as “The Big Stupa” is a classic temple ruin like something out of an
Indiana Jones movie; it even looks like a pyramid in some ways. It has four stairways leading up to
the first level from each of the four cardinal directions; these are guarded by mythical serpents at their
base. Supporting the base of the stupa at the top of the stairs are five elephant sculptures on the
southern face – four of these are reproductions, but the elephant on the far right is the original brick
and mortar. The top 30 metres or so of the stupa has never been replaced since nobody seems to have
any idea what it looked like.
Please note: There is a small building to the left of the main entrance that only men are allowed to
enter due to religious beliefs.
Buak Had Park
Buak Had Public Park, which is the only public park inside Chiang Mai’s old city, can be found inside the moat on the corner of Bunreuang Rd and Bumrung Buri Rd. It is open every day from 8:00 am – 20.00 pm. It is well maintained and safe
park to relax in and admire the well-kept flowers and lawns. There is a small play area for young
children in one corner where they can play safely, meet other children and burn off some of that
additional energy they always seem to have.
There’s a sealed walking path encircling the entire park
and crossing through it, these are often used by joggers as well as people just taking a stroll. Three
ponds containing water plants and a colourful collection of fish which you can observe at close
quarters from any of the walking bridges. There is always something to watch as you relax on one of
the many benches, or lay down on the grass in the shade of rain trees and other indigenous flora. Once
a year it comes alive with colour as the home of the Chiang Mai flower festival.
There are a variety of coffee shops and street food stalls both inside and outside the gate, it’s a good
place to take a coffee and bit food and just let the time float by.
Your safety is of great concern to us and you, so your guides will take care of any and all road
safety. Stopping road traffic when needed, allowing you to enjoy the day out. There is always
one guide at the front of the group and one at the rear. During the fifteen min training you’ll
be given a safety helmet and as much help as you need or want to gain your confidence on the
Chiang Mai City Tour – Segway Gibbon has the following requirements: