First Chansom Memorial Bridge

The Chansom Memorial Footbridge

In Bridges by Chiang Mai On Three Wheels

The Chansom Memorial Footbridge

The Chansom Memorial Footbridge features in our Markets of Chiang Mai tour as well as the Chiang Mai History Lesson by Samlor Tour. It connects the Wat Ket Area to the Kad Luang area.  Khua Kula was a teak wooden bridge on the current location of the Chansom Memorial footbridge. Dr Marion A. Cheek, an American missionary doctor, designed and built this teak wooden bridge in 1892. The bridge was destroyed in 1932 during a flood that set teak logs floating in the Ping River in motion.

Khua Kula Bridge

Khua Kula Bridge shortly before the collapse in 1932. Picture by Morinosuke Tanaka.

After the collapse of the Khua Kula in 1932 there had been no permanent bridge connecting the Wat Ket area with the Kad Luang area. There are pictures of a bamboo bridge on this location until the construction of the Chansom Memorial Bridge in 1965. There are not many pictures of that bamboo bridge.

A businessman of Pakistani origin called Motiram or Montri Kosalaphirom, owner of a fabric store at the Warorot Market financed the construction of the Chansom Memorial bridge aka Chansom Anusorn bridge in 1965. His wife Chansom passed away that year, and he built the bridge in her memory. Anusorn (อนุสรณ์) means memorial in Thai. The bridge was a footbridge The bridge was also known as Khua Khaek. Khua means bridge in Northern Thai and “Khaek” means Pakistani or Indian. The black and white pictures were taken by Boonserm Satrabhaya in 1965 during the merit-making ceremony on the Ton Lam Yai market bank before the construction of the bridge. On two of the pictures, a group of men is visible wearing turbans, most likely Motiram and his family members and/or friends.

In September 2011 the Ping River broke its banks. During the flood, the Chansom Anusorn Bridge was damaged beyond repair. The City Council put up a barrier blocking the entrance of the bridge on the Kad Luang side. A sign stated that the bridge was unstable or broken. According to City News Chiang Mai, the foundation of the bridge had collapsed. The demolition of the bridge started in late December 2012 or early January 2013. The reconstruction of the Chansom Memorial Footbridge took more than three years. The opening took place on Sunday, August 14, and was a memorable occasion.

Chansom Memorial Bridge New

New Chansom Memorial Bridge on the opening day, August 14, 2016. Picture by Frans Betgem