Chiang Mai residents fear ancient gate with ruptured wall will topple
The Chiang Mai provincial administration ordered relevant agencies to speed up restoration to prevent the brick wall of the ancient Suan Dok Gate from collapsing after local residents expressed fears about a massive crack in its wall.
Chiang Mai Governor Nirat Pongsitthithavorn has instructed the Muang Chiang Mai Municipality to work with the 7th Fine Arts Office to speed up the restoration of Suan Dok Gate, he said.
The Fine Arts Office has developed a plan to restore the gate, but the work should be accelerated as local residents are worried that the wall might collapse onto an adjacent road in Muang district’s tambon Sriphum.
A two-metre vertical crack is on the north side of the gate. The gap in the crack is so wide people can see through it to the other side of the wall.
Local residents fear the wall will tumble onto the road that runs along it.
The city’s Chang Phuak Gate collapsed following heavy rains in September last year.
Therdsak Yenjura, director of the ancient ruins of the 7th Fine Arts Office, said his agency always inspects ancient sites in Chiang Mai and is certain that the crack will not cause the wall to collapse.
He said his team spotted the crack last year and assessed that it posed no danger.
The wall is supported by a mound of earth that will prevent it from collapsing, he said.
Suan Dok Gate is one of five ancient gates in Chiang Mai built during the reign of King Mengrai in 1296AD. The four others are Chang Puak, Tha Phae, Chiang Mai, and Suan Prung.
The ancient gates and walls were restored in 1818. The ancient gates of Chiang Mai were registered as national historical sites in 1935.