Chiang Mai’s 137 Pillars brings teak wallahs back to life with new historical tour

Luxury boutique hotel 137 Pillars House is offering guests a rare opportunity to delve into the rich history of Chiang Mai with its new Tales and Trails of the Teak Wallahs day trip experience.

The one-day excursion chronicles the colourful lives of “gentleman foresters” or “teak wallahs” who worked for European-based companies that owned lumber concessions in the heavily forested north of Thailand.

The tour, which starts in the small museum at 137 Pillars House, takes guests to Lampang by private vehicle. Along the way, the guide will regale guests with old photographs and accounts of the time.

Stops include Wat Ket Museum; the Lanna Ancient House, one of the oldest houses in Chiang Mai; the Chiang Mai Gymkhana Club, the old colonial sports club which was founded in 1898, and the playground of the teak wallahs; the Foreign Cemetery, where many of them were laid to rest, and British consul-general W.A.R. Wood’s residence.

In Lampang, guests ride in a horse cart, a legacy of that period, to the Louis House, the former office of Louis Leonowens Company. Also included is a visit to the 100-year-old Forestry Department office; Ban Sao Nak, a wooden house dating back to 1895; the iconic Lampang railway station; Bombay House; and the site of the former Lampang Sports Club.

The Tales and Trails of the Teak Wallahs day trip experience is priced at 6,000 baht (US$196) per person, subject to applicable service charge and government taxes; and includes transportation by private vehicle, an English-speaking guide, meals, drinking water and entrance fees.

Rates at the 137 Pillars House start from 19,500 baht per night and are subject to applicable service charge and government taxes.

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