Chiang Mai, the largest city in northern Thailand
Chiang Mai sometimes written as "Chiengmai" or "Chiangmai", is the largest city in Northern Thailand. It is the capital of Chiang Mai Province and was a former capital of the Kingdom of Lan Na (1296–1768), which became the Kingdom of Chiang Mai, a tributary state of Siam from 1774 to 1899 and finally the seat of a merely ceremonial prince until 1939.
It is 700 km north of Bangkok and is situated amongst the highest mountains in the country. The city sits astride the Ping River, a major tributary of the Chao Phraya River.
Chiang Mai is bordered by Myanmar to the north, Lamphun and Tak provinces to the south, Chiang Rai, Lampang and Lamphun provinces to the east and Mae Hong Son province to the west.
Partially encompassed by an ancient moat and walls, Chiang Mai has luxurious restaurants, vendors on the street with various foods, from 5-star hotels to normal hotels, 2 biggest night markets selling traditional Thai products, Doi Suthep is one sacred places in Thailand, artwork museum and shopping center. Chiang Mai is assessed to be cooler and cleaner air than in Bangkok. People here are really friendly and hospitable.
The mountainous terrain is mostly comprised of jungle, parts of which lie in national parks, which are home to plenty of wildlife and exotic flora. The mountains are also home to the many hill tribes who still retain much of their cultural identity, including the Hmong, Yao, Lahu, Lisu, Akha and Karen. Most of Chiang Mai’s mountains are oriented from north to south. Together they create a multitude of streams and tributaries including Mae Chaem, Mae Ngat and Mae Klang, which flow into the Ping River. Along the river basins are flat, fertile valleys, where settlement is most dense.
Besides beautiful sceneries, Chiang Mai is also famous for many products with and good quality reasonable price. Moreover, Chiang Mai cuisine is really variety with different flavour and recipie such as Khao Soi (egg noodle curry), Khan Toke, Sai Oua (grilled herb sausage), Nam Prik Ong (red chilli dip), Nam Prik Nume (green chilli dip), Khanom Jeen Nam Ngeow (rice vermicelli with soybean curry), Miang Kham (bite-sized wrapped snacks), etc.
Tourist attraction in Chiang Mai can be seen to Wat Chedi Luang, Wat Phra Singh, Art in Paradise, Elephant Park, Doi Suthep, Silve Temple, Chiang Mai National Museum, Chiang Mai Historical Centre, Lanna Traditional House Museum, and so on.
The best time to visit Chiang Mai is the end of November to the beginning of February when a lot of flowers are in bloom. Annually, in February having Flower Festival in this city through parading on the street. Songkran Festival is held in April to give the signal of rainy season. Moreover, visitor cannot miss Loy Krathong festival on the night of the full moon in November, Thais launch their krathong on a river, canal or a pond, making a wish as they do so. The festival may originate from an ancient ritual paying respect to the water spirits.