The original town of Chiang Mai built by King Mengrai lies within a two kilometer square moat. Within the moat was a massive city wall, of which you can still see portions at the corner as well as the reconstructed Tapae Gate. Within the walled city are quiet narrow lanes and some of the city's oldest temples, such as Wat Chieng Man, Wat Phra Singh and Wat Chedi Luang.
Although it lies on a relatively flat plain, the city nestles up to a mountain range to the west. To the east of the old city, the Ping River flows south towards Bangkok. Most of the city's hotels lie between the walls of the old town and the river.