Tha Phae Gate is a gate and the east entrance to the ancient city district of Chiang Mai. It is part of the wall that surrounded the city of Chiang Mai at its founding. The architectural plan of the city called for a rectangular moat and wall to protect the city from Burmese invasion. The gate also symbolizes the seas and mountains of Thailand and bear astrological significance in that the Tha Phae Gate faces east and signifies prosperity.
It was also the main gate through which monks, traders and diplomats used to enter the city of Chiang Mai. The gate is also the site of many cultural activities and festival celebrations like the Chiang Mai Flower Festival, the Thai New Year of Songkran and the Loy Krathong Festival. During the flower festival, the gate is transformed into a centre of agricultural displays, flower exhibits, contests and sales like the beauty contests.
There is also a Chiang Mai Sunday Market held here where people shop and bargain with local vendors and buy things like clothing, shoes and jewellery. Besides there are also musicians, bands and dancers that make it a veritable celebration of sorts. The gate is not just historic but also a facet of Thai culture in the city.