Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai - is not just the capital of Northern Thailand, and the second largest city in the Kingdom of Thailand after Bangkok and its cultural capital.
 Chiang Mai is located in the North of the country among the high mountains in the Ping river valley. The city of Chiang Mai, once the capital of the medieval state of Lanna, is unique in that its historic center (called old town or Old town) is encased in a powerful and impregnable fortress walls and built in the form of a large square mandala, which can be seen from the surrounding hills, for example, from the road leading to The famous A trip to Chiang Mai at any time of the year can significantly enrich your knowledge about Thailand, its history and culture, show the other side of the Thai state.
Chiang Mai - the largest city in the North of Thailand, the capital of the province of the same name, 700 km North of Bangkok. Nestled among the mountains on the Ping river a tributary of the Menam Chao Phraya, and 90 km South-West of the city is the highest mountain peak of Thailand Golindano, in the vicinity of the city is DOI Suthep, a part of the national Park of DOI Suthep-Dupuy.  Its height is 2776 meters above sea level. This place is the only place in the whole Kingdom where snow falls. Chiang Mai is known as the ancient cultural center of the country and is one of the tourist centers. The city is one of the largest Thai universities - Chiang Mai University.
The city was founded in 1292 by Prince (then king) Mengrai. The name of the city means "new fortress", as after the victory of Mengrai over the mon Kingdom of Haripunjaya (in Northern Thailand) here from the city of Chiang Rai was moved the capital of the Kingdom of Lannathai. King Mengrai built a wall around the city to protect against Burmese invasions. The history of the confrontation between Siam and Chiang Mai is reflected in the epic poem in Thai "yuan Phai". In 1556, the city was captured by the Burmese, who periodically owned it until 1774. From 1774 Chiang Mai became part of Siam when king Taksin conquered it from the Burmese. In the future, the city began to grow and became the second most important in the country after the capital.
In Chiang Mai, there are about 300 Buddhist temples (Wat), of which the following can be noted: Wat Prahat DOI Suthep: the famous temple on a hill to the North-West of the city. The temple was built in 1383 on top of Doisuthep mountain at an altitude of 1600 m above sea level.. On the back of the elephant put sacred Buddhist relics, and in this place the elephant began to blow and walk in circles, which was considered a good omen for the construction of the temple. Wat Chiang man: the oldest temple founded by king Mengrai. In the temple are placed relics of the jade Buddha and the crystal Buddha. Wat Phra Singh: the temple inside the city within the city wall, founded in 1345, is made in the classic North Thai style, contains the precious Buddha Phra Singh. The temple complex includes Vihan Lai Kham, decorated with wood carvings, frescoes in the Northern style, a pagoda with bas-reliefs and a tower in the shape of a bell. Wat Chedi Luang: founded in 1401, the temple is adjacent to the famous stupa (Chedi), partially damaged by an earthquake in the XVI century. Wat Chad Yot: located on the outskirts of the city, founded in 1455, was used for the world Congress of Buddhists in 1977. Viang Kumkam: the ruins of the old city on the outskirts of Xiang-May, here was the residence of king Mengrai ten years before the founding of Chiang Mai. Many destroyed temples. Wat U-Mong: forest and cave temple West of the city near the University. Wat Suan Dok is a temple of the XIV century to the West of the city wall. The name of the temple is translated as"field of flowers". The temple is surrounded by a large number of stupas. The temple includes the campus of Maha Chulalongkorn. Wat Sri Suphan: silver temple, built in an area where artisans have long lived, mainly specializing in silver products.
In Chiang Mai, a huge selection of the most inexpensive hostels and guest houses to luxury chain hotels, where you can stay for a short time, and for a few months. The city has a huge number of private tourist offices, various cafes and restaurants (where not only traditional Thai cuisine, but also many cuisines of the world), spas, modern shopping centers, as well as traditional night markets. Numerous guides recommend visiting the old part of the city on foot, using the maps of Hiking trails, and the surrounding area - on bicycles (for tourists, the city has a lot of offices, renting bicycles). A popular tourist attraction are also culinary schools offering short-term and long-term courses of Thai cuisine. Historical and art museums, exhibitions of modern art, expositions about the life of the mountain peoples of the North of the country are opened in the city.
The main urban transport is "songteo" - covered pickups with benches on both sides of the body, painted in red (around the city center), yellow (in the North of the city), blue (in the South of the city), green (in the North-East of the city) and white (in the East of the city) colors and have their own certain established routes, usually with a fixed price. In the city distributed motorickshaws (tuk-tuks) and still meet pedicabs. Taxi service is represented by "Grab". There are bus routes, they are represented by the organization "RTC Chiangmai Smart Bus". Chiang Mai is connected to other cities of Thailand by bus and rail. The most popular and affordable transport are buses that connect Chiang Mai with Bangkok (10-12 hours), and with many other cities in the country. Also in Chiang Mai there is a railway station that takes 5 passenger trains a day from Bangkok. Within the city limits, Chiang Mai international airport is located, serving both local and international airlines.
In the vicinity of the city there are picturesque reserves with evergreen forests mixed with oaks, chestnuts and magnolias, majestic waterfalls, thermal mineral springs, as well as rich wildlife. On the outskirts of the city on 200 acres of land is a zoo with about seven thousand animals, the main hit of which are pandas.
In Chiang Mai, as in the whole Kingdom there are three main seasons: the Moderate season: Lasts from November to February. At this time, the heat subsides, although the nights are still warm. It is this period of time is considered to be the most suitable for a holiday in Chiang Mai. Hot season: Starts in March and lasts until the end of June. It is at this time that the heat rises to a maximum of 40 degrees. This heat contributes to the emergence of fires in the jungle and surrounding areas. The city is periodically shrouded in a smokescreen coming from the burning forests. This is the worst time to visit the town. Rainy season: as in the whole Kingdom, from July to the end of October in Chiang Mai begins the rainy season. Cold monsoon of India brings out the coolness and regular showers. Despite the changeable weather, the nature of the city remains picturesque for a year and fascinates everyone who comes there.
In the province of Chiang Mai lives more than a million Thais, of which 170 000 only in the capital. The population of Chiang Mai looks different from other Thais: people there are more swarthy, low and looks more like the Chinese. But they differ not only in appearance but also in character. Thais, in General, are known as a very smiling and friendly people. The local population of Chiang Mai and does seem to tourists an ideal nation. Calm and pleasant in communication, they are ready to help everyone. On the territory of this small province live various ancient tribes and nationalities with their own history and customs, whose small villages are not even marked on the map. They are mainly engaged in the cultivation of tea and rice, hunting wild animals and livestock. Other local residents living in the main part of the village also spend a lot of time on agriculture. But the main profit they bring, of course, the tourism industry. In addition, the capital of the city is known worldwide for quality carpets, which are created by local artisans. Most of the locals speak one of the dialects of the Thai language. But, since the city is always a lot of tourists, in dealing with them Thais move on, it is acceptable English.
Visit the province of Chiang Mai - a unique place, a lot of attractions that one day to get around is not possible. You will be very happy with this trip. And it will remain in your memory for life!