Chiang Mai (Thai เชียงใหม่) is the second-biggest province (changwat) of Thailand, located in the north of the country. Neighboring provinces are (from north-east clockwise) Chiang Rai, Lampang, Lamphun, Tak and Mae Hong Son. In the north it borders Myanmar.
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5 Administrative divisions
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The district is covered by many mountains, usually stretching in the south-north direction. The river Ping, one of the major tributaries of the Chao Phraya River, originates in the Chiang Dao mountains. The highest mountain of Thailand, the 2,575 meter high Doi Inthanon, is located in the district. Several national parks are in the district: Doi Inthanon, Doi Suthep-Pui, Mae Ping, Sri Lanna, Huay Nam Dang, Mae Phang, Chiang Dao.
The city of Chiang Mai was capital of the kingdom Lannathai after its founding in 1296. In 1599 the kingdom lost its independence and became part of the Ayutthaya kingdom. 1932 the province Chiang Mai was created by splitting up the administrative unit of Monthon Phayap, the remains of the Lanna kingdom.
|The seal of the province shows a white elephant in a glass pavilion. The white elephant is a royal symbol in Thailand, and it is depicted to remember the offering of a white elephant by King Rama II to the ruler of Chiang Mai. The pavilion symbolizes that Buddhism prospered in Chiang Mai, especially when in 1477 the teachings of Buddha, the Tripitaka, were reviewed. The provincial flower and tree is the Flame of the Forest (Butea monosperma).|