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Chiang Mai
Related Link: Chiang Mai Package | Chiang Mai Hotel | Chiang Mai Destination Guide |

Chiang Mai Destination Guide

OVERVIEW
Chiang Mai is recognized as Thailand's Northern Capital, "The Rose of the North", It's a city with a beautiful cultural personality of its own. In addition, it's been blessed with much majestic beauty in nature. As well as guest from overseas, regard Chiang Mai as the holiday place to visit.

Chiang Mai was founded in the late 13th century and is one of the oldest continually inhabited settlements in Thailand. It was once the capital of Lanna, an independent Thai Kingdom and has preserved its unique cultural heritage to a marked degree.

Chiang Mai is Thailand's principal northern province. It is some 700 kilometres north of Bangkok and covers an area of 20,000 square metres. The city is located in a fertile valley some 300 metres above sea level,which accounts for its slightly drierand cooler climate than most other parts of this country.

The population is estimated to be 250,000persons.The province itself is large,measuring 130 kms from east to west,and 320 kms from north to south .As well as Thai national,it is the home of various colourful minorities,many with Thai citizenship,including the Lua,Mon,Lisu,Akha,Hmong and Muser people.

Culture of Chiang Mai is architecture reflects Lanna Thai,Burmese,Sri Lankan and Mon influences.There are some 300 temples in the city and on its outskirts. The Golden Age of Lanna-Chiang Mai lies some 500 years back in the time of king Tilokarat,but the city has recently been undergoing a process of regeneration,and while full of the bustle of modern life,it hasn't lost touch with its glorious past.

When you come to Chiang Mai.You can be sure that its people will welcome you with their traditional charm and hospitality.

WEATHER
Unless you don't mind almost daily torrential rain, the best time to visit Chiang Mai is between October and April, with the other months a virtual monsoonal washout. The mildest temperatures are in December and January. Nights in Chiang Mai are regularly cooler than in southern Thailand.

Cool Season
(late October to end of February). average temperature 21C and much cooler at night. The coldest months are December and January.

Hot Season
(early March to end of May) Average temperature 29.9C. The hottest month is April.

Rainy Season
(early June to end of October). Average temperature 25.5C. The wettest month is September.

ATTRACTIONS
Wat Suan Dok
Wat Suan Dok has the north largest chapel royal.
It's built in a 14th century Lanna Thai monarch's pleasure gardens and is a favourite spot for photographers, particularly for striking sunsets.The principal Buddha statue is a huge cast mage named Phra Chao Kao Tu


Wat Phar Sing
Wat Phar Sing has the most complete version of lanna chapel and is home to Phra Buddha Sihing,considered Chiang mai's important and sacred Buddha image.


Wat Chiang Man
Wat Chiang Man is situated in town.It was the first temple built in chiang mai around 1300 A.D. Formerly it was the residence of King Mengrai,the founder of chiang mai. It is noteworthy for a chedi supported by rows of elephantine buttresses Phra Buddha Sila inside is a copy of the original Indian image brought here from Ceylon in 1290.There are two famous Buddha images in this temple.


Wat Chedit Luang
Wat Chedit Luang is situated in town.It was built in 1411A.D. At one time, Wat Chedi Luang housed the revered Emerald Buddha image now enshrined in Bangkok's Wat Phra Kaeo.The big Chedit was damaged by an earthquake in 1545 A.D.and has never been retired.


GETTING AROUND
Saam Lor (3-wheel)
For relatively short distances you can take a bicycle "Saam Lor" (three-wheel). Short rides within the city cost between 20 and 30 Baht. Longer rides may cost as much as 40-50 Baht. It's a nice leisurely way to look around.


Tuk Tuk
If you want a faster and some adventure services try Tuk Tuk. For a short ride, it costs about 20-30 baht per trip and 40-60 baht for a longer ride. Do negotiate the price for your destination. Remember sit back, relax, but hold tight!.


Red Cab
The red taxi so-called "Se-Lor", a modified pick-up truck with a roof over the back, is the most common taxi for commuters in the urban area. Visitors just tell them the destination and negotiate the price before making a trip. They normally pick up and drop other passengers along the way until they reach a final destination. It normally costs about 10 baht per person, however it may cost up to 20-30 baht, depending on either his or your destination as well. If you or your group are the only passengers,Let him name his price-and bargain until both you and the driver are satisfied

SHOPPING
Chiang Mai is, quite simply, Thailand's major center for quality handicrafts. The visitor need merely visit the nearest city emporium or night market to purchase handicrafts. A major advantage of shopping in Chiang Mai is that the visitor may watch artisans working within the city and in several outlying villages, particularly along the Bo Sang-San Kamphaeng road where, in genuine cottage industries, parasols, silk and cotton weaving, jewellery, woodcarving, silverware, celadon, and lacquerware are manufactured, and number among popular purchases.

Umbrellas-Parasols
These are inextricably associated with Bo Sang where villagers have been engaged in their manufacture for at least 200 years. All materials, silk, cottons, sa paper (manufactured from the bark of the mulberry tree) and bamboo are produced or found locally. Visitors to Bo Sang will see literally hundreds of design and sizes ranging from the miniature to the gigantic.

Furniture / Woodcarving
Chiang Mai is a major center of furniture making. Major woods and materials include teak, rosewood and rattan. Items may be unadorned or, especially with teak and rose wood, artfully carved in traditional or modern designs. Woodcarving is a traditional northern Thai art featured in numerous temples. In recent years, wood carving has increasingly embellished furniture, gracing screens, chairs, tables beds, indeed anything bearing a wooden surface large enough to be carved. Carved elephants, figurines and tableware number among other popular purchases.

Silverware
The finest Thai silverware is exquisite, and is made in Chiang Mai, where certain families have practiced their art for several generations. Traditional skills and a guaranteed content of at least 92.5% pure silver invest bowls, receptacles and decorative items with authentic value. Silver shops are concentrated on Wua lai Road, where silverware artisans and their families live.

Cottons & Silks
First-class Chiang Mai cottons and silks are of incomparable quality. Cottons and silkshave innumerable fashion and furnishing applications. The largest possible selection is available in San Kamphang.

Gold Plated Orchids & Butterflies
Orchids and butterflies are preserved and plated with 24-carat gold to create unusual gift items such as necklace pendants, hairpins and earrings.

Lacquerware
Striking black and gold designs give lacquerware its visual appeal and sheen. This decorative are enhances items made of wood, bamboo, metal, paper and baked clay, in the form of receptacles, ornaments and various souvenirs.

Hilltribe Products
These include silver ornaments, such as bracelets, necklace, pendants and pipes of intricate design, and embroidered items including tunics, jackets, bags, purses, caps and dress lengths.

Pottery
Chiang Mai is the major center of Thailand's pottery industry. Prized items include high-fired celadon which is produced in many forms, including dinner sets, lamp bases and decorative items.

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