Chiang Mai – A Look at Life in Chiang Mai

City of Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai is the second largest province in Thailand and is found on the northern side of the country, surrounded by other provinces including Mae Hong Son, Chiang Rai, Lamphun, and Lampang. Chiang Mai Thailand is located around 700km from Bangkok.

History of Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai’s foundation happened in 1296 and was the capital of the Lanna Kingdom. It was also the center for culture and religion in northern Thailand, so a vast number of Buddhist temples were built upon the order of King Meng Rai. The region lost its independence in 1599 when it was ruled by the Ayutthaya Kingdom, ending the 300-year dynasty that King Meng Rai established. The province was occupied by the Burmese which led to powerful architectural influences that are still seen in Chiang Mai Thailand today. Burma was finally defeated thanks to the leadership of King Taksin in the 18th century. In 1932, Chiang Mai was declared as the second level subdivision of Thailand. The remains of the Lanna Kingdom, also called the administrative unit of Monthon Phayap, were finally dissolved.

General description

Thailand Chiang Mai is generally a mountainous area situated at around 300 meters above sea level. It is known for its very high mountain ranges, abundance of various plants and animals, and generally pleasant, fresh weather. It has many well-known mountain terrains and mountains, including the highest mountain in Thailand, Doi Inthanon.

Economy

Handicrafts including embroidered, antique, wood-carved, and paper products are the primary sources of income in Chiang Mai. Other major products include Thai silk and cotton, baskets, silverware, jewelry, furniture, and umbrellas. The village of Bong Sa has been producing umbrellas and parasols for over 200 years. Woodcarving is a tradition in northern Thailand and it is apparent in a lot of temples and anything that has enough wooden surface to be carved. Pottery is also prominent in Thailand Chiang Mai as it is the country’s center for the pottery industry.

Attractions

Since Chiang Mai is generally a mountainous area, it is no surprise to find many national parks in the region. These parks are home to not just mountains, but also temples, important buildings, small bodies of water (rivers, springs, and geysers), and a wide variety of flora and fauna. The most popular of these parks is the Doi Inthanon National Park, which houses the highest peak of Thailand. Another well-known one is the Doi Suthep Pui National Park where the Bhuping Palace is located. The palace is the winter residence of the royal family. Other parks include the Sri Lanna, Ob Luang, Huay Naam Dang, Mae Ping, Mae Phang, and Chiang Dao National Parks. You can do various things in these parks like river rafting, swimming, picnicking, and trekking.

As a center for Buddhism in Northern Thailand, the temples in Chiang Mai are also included it its list of must-see attractions. The temples make you appreciate the beauty of their architecture, have a deeper understanding of Buddha’s teachings, or even enlighten you more about religion in general. Some of the temples you can visit are the Wat Phra Sing, Wat Chedi Luang, Wat Phan Tao, and Phra Tat Si Chom Thong Temple.

To see more of Chiang Mai’s wildlife and other natural wonders, there are attractions like the Chiang Mai Zoo, Night Safari, Ratchaphruek Garden, Fang Hot Springs, and Mae Sa Elephant Camp. Aside from Asian and African animal species, the zoo also has an aquarium that houses sea and river animals. The Ratchaphruek Garden isn’t just about plants and flowers; it is also a place where you can appreciate some really good Thai artwork and architechture. Although each place has its unique features, one thing’s for sure: you’ll appreciate nature more when you visit them.

Other attractions you can check out are the Eagle Track Zipline, Chiang Mai Gymkhana Golf and Sports Club, Highlands, Mae Chaem, Ban Wat Chan Pine Forest, Walking Street, and City Arts & Cultural Center.

Accommodations

Chiang Mai is very welcoming to travellers on a budget as it has plenty of cheap guest houses like the Thapae Gate Lodge, Hollanda Montri Guesthouse, Baan Jaja, Green Tulip House, Huen Panicha, and Mojito Garden. If you’re the hotel staying type of guest, you can also choose from a wide selection of hotels or hotel resorts like the Shangrila Hotel, Four Seasons Resort, Le Meridien, Mandarin Oriental, Rachamankha, and Raminglodge Hotel & Spa.

Whether you’re a nature lover or you simply have great love for traveling, visiting Chiang Mai should definitely be part of your to-do list.