Mae Kha Canal | A Taste of Hoi An in Chiang Mai

Mae Kha Canal opened up as a cozy, touristic market area about three months ago. With the illumination by the narrow waterway, the highlight of the area so far was the Loy Krathong celebration.

Northern Thai lanterns on Mae Kha canal
Lanterns on the bridges
Vendor at Mae Kha Canal
Singha staying welcome

With the two bridges, there is more than a hint of Hoi An to the area but to me, there was also a feeling of a Chinese Watertown to the place.

The atmosphere is nice and the development is obviously an advantage to the people living there. It was considered as a slum area before.

Bridge Mae Kha canal
Hoi An light version

So far the goods sold here are the typical souvenirs found at any market in Chiang Mai. The vendors at the canal seem to be doing quite a lot of shopping at Kad Luang. A lot of hill tribe products, such as Lisu hats for instance. The food scene is so far rather unsophisticated mostly BBQ sticks of various qualities but also interesting enough with a lot of focus on Japanese food. There was a yakitori place, an okonomiyaki place, and some more light dishes.

None of the eateries really appealed to us but my daughter fancied more than one of the chocolate-covered strawberry sticks.

A few small diners had plastic chairs where you could sit down for a beer. To me, the atmosphere was superior to whatever was sold there and it was beneficial that they offered to park nearby for 40 baht. I am quite convinced that we will see major commercial development in this area.

History of Mae Kha River /Mae Kha Canal

“Mae Kha River” is a natural waterway.Its source lies the Suthep-Pui National Park and flows through the City of Chiang Mai which eventually joins the Ping River at various points along about 30 kilometers.

“Mae Kha Canal” was considered as one of seven auspicious significant areas at the establishment of the city in 1296.

The watercourse of the canal flows from the north straight into
the city and the city moat at the “Sri Phum” corner on the east side of the city. In the past, the canal was a natural outer moat which had been
considered as an essential watercourse. lts function was to feed the city with water and it was used by residents of the city for transportation.
Then after rampant urbanization, “Mae Kha” canal came to be a a unsubstantial canal and clean water couldn’t flew through properly,
Also, more waste was dumped into the canal and turned the canal
into a sewer.

Cleaning up Mae Kha Canal

Public governmental agencies and private sectors together with
academics launched the developmental project of Mae Kha Canal on 21st, March, 2018 presided by Air Chief Marshal Satipong Sukvimol.

A central wastewater treatment now works along both sides of
the canal. ‘Mae Kha Canal” is revitalized again.

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