Mai province, "the rose of the North", is home to Thailand's
second largest city. As well as having a wealth of its own
beautiful and interesting sights, Chiang Mai is also a convenient
gateway to many other Northern destinations, including the
neighboring countries of the greater Mekong region. Despite
it rapid urbanization, Chiang Mai remains a favorite destination
for most visitors to the kingdom.
story of Chiang Mai province is a turbulent, if not fascinating
one. From its origins in the late 13th century, when it was
the capital of the Lanna Tai kingdom to its present day status
as home to the nation's second largest city, Chiang Mai is
a wealth of historical interest.
people of Chiang Mai enjoy one of the most distinctive cultural
identities to be found in the whole of Thailand. It is known
as Lanna - " Land of a million rice fields".
A region of forested hills and fertile valleys, Chiang Mai
province is an enchanting and somewhat cooler contrast to
the central plains and to Bangkok.
a population of nearly 1.6 million, the people of Chiang Mai
are probably one of its biggest assets.
Mai was until recently, the capital of its own independent
kingdom known as Lanna Tai. Not until 1937 did it come under
the governmental control of Bangkok and truly become part
of the Royal Kingdom of Thailand. The rapid urban and economic
growth witnessed over the past two decades has turned this
once quiet little backwater into a modern vibrant city and
major tourist destination.
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