Located in northern Thailand, Chiang Mai, also written Chiang Mai, is the largest city and second largest province in Thailand. Known as the Rose of the North, not surprisingly it is also the most culturally significant city in this exotic and beautiful country. Tourists by the thousands journey to Chiang Mai every year seeking the spectacular attractions and fascinating history the city has to offer. It is not as metropolitan in spirit as Bangkok but it is becoming increasingly modern and has several luxury and economical hotels to offer. It offers a cooler mountain climate and breathtaking natural beauty. It is an ideal retreat for those seeking a tranquil and sedate vacation.
Some vital information you might like to know during your travels in Chiang Mei is that Chiang Mai's official population peaks at 150,000 people. However including its demographic overlap into neighbouring districts, the total Chiang Mei Metropolitan Area boasts a population of 700,000. The city is divided into four wards: Nakhon Ping, Srivijaya, Mengrai and Kavila. Kavila is located on the east side of Ping River, a major tributary of Chao Phraya River , while the other three wards are situtated on the west.
Stunning tourist attractions include the Chiang Mai National Museum where you'll get loads of historical information about this beautiful city and the Kingdom of Lanna . Lanna was situated in Northern Thailand around the Chiang Mai area and it enjoyed its most prosperous age in the 1400s. The eighth of the Buddhist Councils existed in Lanna and focused primarily on improving Buddhist Scriptures.
Investigate Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep, the most famous and one of the most stunning temples located atop a hill northwest of Chiang Mai. Its history dates from 1383 wherein its builders chose the site by placing a statue of Lord Buddha atop an elephant and allowing the animal to roam about until it finally trumpeted and sat down.
Another enigmatic temple, Wat U-Mong is situated inside of a cave wat in the western region of Chiang Mai. It is known for its bizarre fasting Buddha and hundreds of proverbs that are posted on trees throughout the grounds.
If you happen to visit Chiang Mai in November you can participate in Loi Katrong, a stunning celebration worshipping the Goddess of Water. Chiang Mai citizens design banana-leaf containers affixed with flowers and candles and set them afloat the city's waterways. Mountain trails, golf courses and elephant farms are among other enjoyable sites and certainly worthy of a visit.
Should you frequent the Lanna Kingdom you will no doubt be impressed by its architectural style. The Kingdom feature several acres of gorgeous, green landscape, exotic plantations and stunning hotels. Buildings resemble an Asian palace boasting elaborate Colonial architecture. You are certain to be dazzled by the natural beauty, friendly natives and the plethora of enjoyable activities that are to be found within Chiang Mai's modern culture.