Experiencing the merging of the past into the present in Chiang Mai where locals are proud of the city's 700-year history. Its rich traditional heritage and unique culture is a perfect foundation for the development of the city.
The old city of Chiang Mai with its fascinating indigenous cultural identity such as diverse dialects, cuisine, architecture, traditional values, festivals, handicrafts and classical dances is a prime location in its own right. In addition, the presence of hill tribes and their wealth of unique cultures enhance Chiang Mai's distinctive diversity.
Where is Chiang Mai
Chiang Mai is located 700 km north of Bangkok, among the highest mountains in the country. The city is on the Ping river, a major tributary of the Chao Phraya river.How is Chiang Mai’s old story
Chiang Mai literally means “new city” and has retained the name despite celebrating its 700th anniversary in 1996. King Meng Rai the Great founded the city as the capital of the Lanna Kingdom on Thursday, April 12 1296 around the same time as the establishment of the Sukhothai Kingdom. King Meng Rai even conferred with his friends, King Ramkhamhaeng of Sukhothai and King Ngam Muang of Phayao before choosing the site where the capital of the Lanna Kingdom was to be founded. Henceforth, Chiang Mai not only became the capital and cultural core of the Lanna Kingdom, it was also to be the center of Buddhism in northern Thailand, King Meng Rai himself a very religious leader who even founded many of the city’s temples that remain important to this day.
How is Chiang Mai’s today
Chiang Mai is one of the few places in Thailand where it is possible to experience both historical and modern Thai culture coexisting side by side: the city features centuries-old chedis and temples next to modern convenience stores and boutique hotels. Chiang Mai has more than three-hundred temples, among them some of the most beautiful and revered in the entire Buddhist world, giving the city an atmosphere of calmness and timeless elegance. This dichotomy is best appreciated within the moat-encircled old city, which retains much of the fortified wall that once protected the city center as well as the four main gates that provided access to the former Lanna capital city.
The quality of living is unsurpassed. Accommodation and food are of the highest standard at very low cost. Entertainment is plentiful with numerous festivals, outdoor activities and great nightlife.
What to do and see
Intriguing diversity among ethnic tribes, a number of elephant camps, many cooking & massage schools, numerous outdoor activities, a variety of handicrafts workshops, various cultural performances, and breathtaking scenery make Chiang Mai one of Asia’s most attractive tourist destinations.
The old city of Chiang Mai is a showcase of the north’s fascinating indigenous cultural identity that includes diverse dialects, a delectable cuisine, distinctive architecture, traditional values, lively festivals, numerous handicrafts workshops, northern style massage, and classical dances. Chiang Mai city features old-world beauty and charm as well as modern luxury and convenience. In addition to centuries old temples and some outstanding shopping opportunities, Chiang Mai is also blessed with pristine natural resources including mountains, waterfalls, and rivers. The presence of numerous hill tribes that feature a wealth of unique cultures enhances Chiang Mai’s distinctive diversity. Hilltribe trekking is often combined with river rafting and elephant riding has always been one of Chiang Mai’s greatest tourist attractions. Nowadays there are innumerable activities and attractions both in the city and the surrounding province, including massage instruction and golf.
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