Thailand is “Rose of the North” is a cultural and natural wonderland with ethnic diversity, a multitude of attractions and welcoming hospitality.
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 was a very religious leader who even founded many of the city’s temples that remain important to this day. 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 pagodas and temples next to modern convenience stores and boutique hotels. 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. Strangely, for many years tourists had mistaken Chiang Mai simply as the base from which they could plan trekking and rafting trips to hill tribe villages and explore other provinces. Once in Chiang Mai, however, tourists are surprised by the fact that there are so many things to discover other than its beautiful and historic temples. Intriguing diversity among ethnic tribes, a number of elephant camps, many cooking and 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 phrase "a day in Chiang Mai is enough to see things around town" was once a common expression. Today, two weeks in Chiang Mai may not be long enough for travelers to experience all that Chiang Mai has to offer.
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 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. Hill tribe trekking, often combined with river rafting and elephant riding has always been one of Chiang Mai is greatest tourist attractions. Nowadays there are innumerable activities and attractions both in the city and the surrounding province, including massage instruction and golf. Moreover, visitors can visit workshops where they can learn about the production of silk or silver, and purchase memorable, hand-crafted souvenirs. With such a diverse range of attractions and an equally grand selection of dining and accommodation options, Chiang Mai is a place where both backpackers and luxury tourists can enjoy the ultimate Thailand holiday.
As one of the premier tourist destinations in Thailand, Chiang Mai has innumerable attractions, ensuring that visitors with any interest will find something to keep them entertained on their Chiang Mai holiday. The following are some of the most popular attractions on Chiang Mai:As one of the top tourist destinations in Thailand its not surprising that there is a wide range of authentic international restaurants run by both Thais and foreign expats. Most guesthouses also feature menus that include both Thai and foreign dishes. However, Chiang Mai also features many foods that are part of its own distinctive cuisine, including both those handed down over the generations from the Lanna kingdom and those influenced by its neighbors, especially Myanmar (Burma). Chiang Mai specialties include spicy sausage, khao soy (a type of noodle soup), and the ultimate in northern cuisine, a khan toke dinner; khan toke dinners usually consist of several small dishes, such as curries, crispy fried pork skin, and northern style chili sauces, served with sticky rice on a small round table, usually in front of a traditional dancing show, especially if you are a foreign visitor.
Wat Phra That Doi Suthep Locals would say, You havent really gone to Chiang Mai unless youve been to Wat Phratat Doi Suthep. Truly, the place is the most important and famous Chiang Mai landmark. Built in 1383, this mountaintop temple has a chedi (pagoda) that houses holy Buddha relics.
Doi Inthanon National Park This national park which covers an area of 1,005 square kilometers is located on Doi Inthanon, Thailands highest mountain which is 2,565 meters above sea level. Located between Mae Chaem and Chom Thong
The Royal Flora Ratchaphruek of 2011 The Royal Flora Ratchaphruek of 2011 will be held from 14 December 2011 to 14 March 2012, in the Thai city of Chiang Mai...
Yi Peng Festival The activities include a procession and Yi Peng Khom Contest as well as various Krathong designing contests