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Chiang Mai

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Tourism Authority of Thailand
License Number: 11/2802

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Thailandís northern region characterized by forested mountain and fertile river valleys. It presents a wonderful contrast to Bangkok.
Last Modified On: Tuesday, 31/October/2006 20:50:06pm

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Thailand’s northern region characterized by forested mountain and fertile river valleys. It presents a wonderful contrast to Bangkok. Of great antiquity molded by a distinct history, Chiang Mai, the center of northern region is famous for the people hospitality, beautiful women, historic temples, crisp mountain scenery, Thai silk, arts and crafts.

To the north, lies Chiang Rai and the “Golden Triangle”, that spellbinding spot where the borders of Thailand, Burma and Laos meet. The region is, however, most strongly colored by the various hilltribes who make their homes in the highlands. Each tribe has it’s own distinct culture, region, language and colorful style of dress – these people maintain independent lifestyles. They are nonetheless hospitable and welcome visitors to their villages where their singular cultures are mostly untouched by the 20th century.

Northwest of Chiang Mai near the Burmese border, Mae Hong Son, is the wonderful little town. The unique area surrounded by mountains and shrouded by mists, offers visitors an experience to the age- old life style and traditions.

Popularly known as the Rose of the North, Chiang Mai is blessed with stunning natural beauty and unique indigenous cultural identity. Founded by King Mengrai the Great as the capital of the Lanna Thai kingdom by merging the various city-states in the region in 1296. Today Chiang Mai is the economic, communications, cultural and tourism centre of Northern Thailand.

About 700 kilometres from Bangkok, Chiang Mai is situated on the Mae Ping River basin some 310 metres above sea level. Surrounded by high mountain ranges, it covers an area of approximately 20,107 square kilometres. The terrain is mainly jungles and mountains, parts of which are within national parks which are still fertile and verdant with plentiful flora and fauna. There are many sites and locations where tourists prefer to visit to study the lifestyle of the tribal people who live on high hills.

Major Area and Destination

Downtown Chiang Mai : Located on the fertile plain between Doi Suthep Mountain and the bank of Ping River, Chiang Mai was once the capital of Lanna, an independent Thai kingdom. It has preserved its unique cultural heritage. Accordingly the town is a veritable treasure house of the arts and architecture unique to the region. Surrounded by the moat and wall, there are over 200 temples within the old city wall. There are several nearby villages, which produce and sell handicrafts such as wood craving, silk weaving, silverware, lacquerware and umbrella papers where visitors can see the crafts in the making. The antiques and handicrafts products can be found at the famous night bazaar located in the heart of the city.

Out skirt Chiang Mai: For those who want to experience traditional lifestyle and serene nature, there are various types of accommodations outside Chiang Mai such as Mae Rim, Fang and Thaton. Other than the peaceful mountain or river scenery, several places are there for visitors to explore such as exotic hilltribe villages, elephant camp, orchid farm. Trekking through the jungle and rafting the Kok River are among the most popular activities.

 

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