Chiang Mai is the largest city in northern Thailand. The "Rose of the North", as the city is sometimes called, is located about 700km from Bangkok. It lies on a plain surrounded by mountains at an altitude of 316 meters, along the river Mae Nam Ping. Due to its location, the climate is more pleasant than in other parts of Thailand.
Chaing Mai has been the country's cultural center for centuries. It was founded in 1296 by King Mengrai on the site of the ancient kingdom of Lanna. To defend against Burma and the Mongol Empire, defensive walls and a moat were built in the city. Chaing Mai flourished until 1556, when it was captured by the Burmese. Two centuries later, the Burmese were expelled with the help of King Taksin of Thailand, making the city the part of northern Thailand.
Due to its distance from the capital, the most convenient way to Chiang Mai is by air. It is also possible to arrive by train or bus. This journey takes about 12-15 hours. In the city itself, it is possible to use local buses (songthaew) for transport, the buses depart from the Warorot market on four different routes.
Landmarks and activity
If you did not have time to visit any Buddhist temple during your trip in Thailand, you will definitely not miss it in Chiang Mai. There are just over 300 temples from the 13th to 16th centuries throughout the city. The most famous temple Wat Pharthat Doi Suthep from 1383 is located in the northwestern part of the city. The temple is part of Doi Suthep National Park with an area of 262 km. Chiang Mai is also a great starting point to visit some of the mountain tribe villages, to observe the life of elephants at Chiang Dao Camp or to visit snake or butterfly farms. Orchid flower of Thailand, mostly comes from this area. Orchids are exported from here all over the world.