Chiang Mai Thailand , Land of Cultural Center
The city of Chiang Mai Thailand is over 700 years old. The city has a wealth of beautiful and historic Buddhist Wats (temples),36 Wats within the old city walls and many more in the surrounding countryside. Near the summit of Doi Suthep, a 5300 feet peak named after the hermit Sudeva who lived on the mountain’s slopes for many years is the 600 year old temple of WAT PHRATHAT DOI SUTHEP.
Founded by King Meng Rai in 1296 the new capital of his thriving Kingdom known as Lanna (million rice fields). Previously he had ruled from Chiang Saen, then an important trading town on the banks of the Mekong River, as well as at Fang and Chiang Rai. Later he moved south, eventually overrunning the older state of Haripunchai (presently known as Lamphun, 50kms to the south of Chiang Mai Thailand ).
However, the first attempt to found a new city in the Ping valley was thwarted by the flooding of the river and the site was abandoned. Seven centuries later these ruins to the southeast of the city were uncovered and today form an important tourist history attraction, known as Wiang Khum Kham.
King Mengrai was a powerful and successful ruler and Lanna prospered under his rule (1259 to 1317). He formed a great friendship with King Ramkhamhaeng of Sukhothai and King Ngam Muang of Phayao, They decided to build the new city on a fertile plain between Doi Suthep Mountain and the bank of the Ping River. The new city was completed, surrounded by a moat and wall, in 1296. It was named Nopphaburi Si Nakhonping Chiangmai.
Chiang Mai was the capital of Lanna Kingdom for a long time. It was attacked frequently and finally came under the control of Ayuthaya, then Burma. In 1774, King Taksin the Great of Thailand recovered it from the Burmese. Since then Chiang Mai province has been a part of Thailand.
In 1992 the city proudly celebrated its 700 year anniversary and hosted the SEA Games in 1998. Even the financial crash of 1997 hasn’t stopped Chiang Mai from becoming a cosmopolitan centre in Thailand, attracting a sizeable ex-pat community and enough tourists to swell its population by up to a quarter each season. Despite all this, Chiang Mai retains its individual Lanna character and distinctive easy-going charm, making it unique among all Thai cities.
With an altitude of approximately 310 meters above sea level, is situated approximately 700 kilometers from Bangkok on the Mae Ping River basin.
Surrounded by high mountain ranges, the city covers and forests. These generally run in a north-south pattern through the province and give birth to several streams and tributaries (such as the Mae Jam, Mae Ngud, and Mae Klang) which in turn feed important rivers and irrigation canals (such as the Muang and Faay) which provide the water necessary for agriculture.
It is the country’s second largest province, share border with Myanmar on the north, Lamphun and Tak Provinces on the south, Chiang Rai, Lampang and Lamphun Provinces on the east and Mae Hong Son Province on the west. The terrain is mainly comprised of jungles and mountains, which are home to the hill tribes, wildlife and exotic flora, may be found in the national parks.
In addition, the province boasts flat, fertile valleys, which spread along the banks of the largest and most important river in Chiang Mai Mae Nam Ping (Ping River) which originates from the Chiang Dao mountain range.
The astonishing beauty of rain forest will be hard to find anywhere else. We recommend including this town into your tour of Thailand’s destinations. Your visit hear should consist of more than two days as there are some many attractions to see along with riding on elephant, bamboo rafting, enjoying the splendors of the local cuisine or street food, shopping at the night markets and local craft markets where you are sure to find a gift of beauty.
Best times to visit Chiang Mai Thailand
October – February; the weather is perfect, it’s not too cold to explore Chiang Mai’s outdoor attractions such as Chiang Mai Trekking, Cycling Culture Trip, Elephant jungle trekking and much more. Or CLICK HERE to see the list of impressive attractions which wait for your visit.
Related Topic : Alternative Attractions in Chiang Mai Thailand
March – May; the summer period, at night air can feel cool sometimes. But there are festivals, e.g. you can enjoy with Songkran festival in April and it’s popular destination for both foreign and Thai tourists. Or Inthakin city Pillar Festival and more
June – September; the rainy season, the effects of the south-west monsoon. And it’s low season in northern Thailand. However, if you don’t like a busy town this is a good time to visit Chiang Mai.