The east bank of the Ping River laid idle for many years, thankfully escaping much development. In the 1990s it began to be rediscovered, first by restaurants taking advantage of the river views, and then by designer shops.
Old shop-houses along the Ping River
Because is was seen as too out of the way during the initial years of Chiang Mai's tourist development, the area still has many old shop houses, many of which are around 100 years old. The old buildings are now mostly restored and occupied by designer boutiques offering silks and other traditional materials used in contemporary designs, as well as antiques.
The shops are spread along Charoen Rat Road between the Nawarat and Nakorn Ping bridges. On the side of the road facing the river, many shops are a combination of boutiques and restaurants, such as The Gallery and Regina. The other side of the street generally just sticks to the housewares and other crafts.
Roughly in the middle of this stretch is the quite interesting temple of Wat Gate. The unusual temple also has a museum that is our favorite in Chiang Mai.