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Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai is both a city and a province in Thailand. For the province, see Chiang Mai province.

Chiang Mai (thai เชียงใหม่) is a city in northern Thailand. Geographical location 18° 48' North, 98° 59' East. Population 174,000. Chiang Mai is capital of the Chiang Mai province.

Chiang Mai is served by an airport called Chiang Mai International Airport

The city was founded by King Mengrai in 1296 and did succeed Chiang Rai as capital of the Lannathai kingdom. After the decline of the Lannathai kingdom the city lost importance, and was often occupied by either the Burmese or the Thai from Ayutthaya. After the fall of Ayutthaya in April 1767 the city was so much depopulated due to the wars that it was deserted for the fifteen years 1776-1791. Lampang was capital of the Lannathai for that time.

There are 3 universities in Chiang Mai: Chiang Mai University, Payap University, Mae Jo University as well as numerous technical and teacher colleges.

The Chiang Mai celebration of Loi Kratong and Sonklang fesitivals are particularly noteworthy and should not be missed.

The local Thai say that one has not really visited Chiang Mai until they have done 3 things:

  1. visited the Wat on Doi Suthep: Doi Suthep is a mountain which over looks the city and is the site of a royal palace and a large Buddhist temple known for its beautiful view of the city and over 100 steps leading up to its entrance.
  2. eaten kaw soi: The city has numerous eateries famous for this wonderful spicy noodle dish.
  3. bought an umbrella from Bo Sang: While Bo Sang is located out of town, many of the crafts from Bo Sang can be found reasonably priced at the night bazaar held nightly in the middle of town.