The History of Wua Lai Village

Wualai in the Past

The history of Wua Lai Village can be traced back to the period of King Kawila, or over 200 years ago, when he began the restoration of Chiang Mai City after the announcement of independence from Burmese rule. During B.E. 2342 to 2347 (1799-1804), the King mobilized villagers from Pu, Ngua Lai and Kong in the Salawin watershed (now in Myanmar), which were renowned for their skilled silversmiths, to reside in a community outside Chiang Mai’s city walls. This new community was named ‘Ban Wua Lai’ after the name of the original community from where the villagers moved.

Since then, and with Wat Muen Sarn and Wat Sri Suphan at the community’s center, Wua Lai Village has become a community famous for its traditional silverware, helping to conserve the nation’s artistic and cultural heritage. The silverware of Wua Lai is still unique, although the silverware industry has since expanded to San Sai, Hang Dong and other provinces.