Education & Language
Thailand, and in particular Chiang Mai province, is something
of a geopolitical melting pot. Set between the former colonial
empires of the French in Indochina, the British in Burma and
the great historic empire of China, there has been a tendency
for many of the diverse ethnic groups of Southeast Asia to
National boundaries have had little effect on this movement
of peoples - and the Thais themselves migrated to this rich
and fertile land under pressure from the powerful Chinese
Empire some 1200 years ago. Accordingly, perhaps the most
important asset Chiang Mai province can claim is its diverse
people. Their beauty, hospitality and good manners have become
legendary throughout Thailand
Chiang Mai is the second largest province in Thailand in terms
of physical area and the fifth largest in population size.
Statistics for 1998 estimated the population to be 1,582,222.
the official recorded figure is under 200,000, it is thought
that more like 500,000 people now live in and around the Chiang
Mai city area. The remainder distributed throughout Chiang
Mai's twenty-two districts and two sub-districts.
1996 it was estimated that there were 1,172 schools with 11,530
classrooms and 13,830 teachers for 263,266 students.
though about 80% of the people in Chiang Mai are locals by
birth, they speak a dialect that is a slight variation of
the central Thai language. This dialect can be easily recognized
by its softness and in the fact that many Thais from the North
will invariably speak a good deal slower than their southern
neighbors. The remaining 20% of the population is made up
of Thai nationals and both Asian and Western foreigners who
have migrated to Chiang Mai to work, study or retire. In addition,
there are many hilltribe people living in the mountainous
districts surrounding Chiang Mai such as Omkoi, Mae Jam, Chiang
Dao and Mae Ai.
reported by the Tribal Research Institute of Chiang Mai stated
that in the year 1992 there were 1,049 hilltribe villages
in the Chiang Mai province, constituting a total of 174,195
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