Chiang mai thailand.

Posted by AoODiEnAToR | 8:05 PM

chiang mai thailand



Chiang Mai also sometimes written as "Chiengmai", is the largest and most culturally significant city in northern Thailand, and is the capital of Chiang Mai Province. It is located at 18°47′20″N, 98°59′00″ECoordinates: 18°47′20″N, 98°59′00″E, some 700 km north of Bangkok, among some of the highest mountains in the country. The city stands on the Ping river, a major tributary of the Chao Phraya river.

In recent years, Chiang Mai has become an increasingly modern city, although it lacks the cosmopolitan gloss of Bangkok. It has many attractions for the thousands of foreign visitors who come each year. Chiang Mai's historic importance is derived from its important strategic location on an ancient trade route. Long before the modern influx of foreign visitors, the city served as an important centre for handcrafted goods, umbrellas, jewelry (particularly silver) and woodcarving.

While officially the city (thesaban nakhon) of Chiang Mai only covers most parts of the Mueang Chiang Mai district with a population of 150,000, the urban sprawl of the city now extends into several neighboring districts. This Chiang Mai Metropolitan Area has a population of almost 700,000 people, nearly half the total of Chiang Mai Province.

King Mengrai founded the city of Chiang Mai (meaning "new city") in 1296, and it succeeded Chiang Rai as capital of the Lannathai kingdom. Mengrai constructed a moat and a wall around the city to protect it against raids from Burma. With the decline in power of the Lannathai kingdom, the city lost importance and often was occupied by either the Burmese or Thais from Ayutthaya. As a result of the Burmese wars that ended with the fall of Ayutthaya in April 1767, Chiang Mai was so depopulated that its remaining inhabitants abandoned the from 1776 to 1791. During that time, Lampang functioned as the capital of what remained of Lannathai.

Chiang Mai formally became part of Siam in 1774, when the Thai King Taksin captured it from the Burmese. Chiang Mai rose in both cultural, trading and economic terms to adopt its current status as the unofficial capital of the north of Thailand, second only in national importance to Bangkok.

The people generally speak Kham Muang (also known as Northern Thai or Lanna) amongst themselves, but the Central Thai of Bangkok is used in education and is understood by most. The old Kham Muang alphabet is now only studied by scholars and Northern Thai is commonly written using the standard Thai alphabet.

Chiang Mai has over 300 Buddhist temples (called "wats" in Thai). These include:

Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep: the most famous temple in the area, standing on a hill to the north-west of the city. This temple dates from 1383. Its builders allegedly chose its site by placing a relic of the Lord Buddha on an elephant's back and letting the elephant roam until it came across a place where it trumpeted and circled before lying down. The onlookers took this as marking an auspicious place to build the temple. The temple's location also affords superb views over the city on a clear day.

Wat Chiang Man: the oldest temple in Chiang Mai. King Mengrai lived here while overseeing the construction of the city. This temple houses two very important and venerated Buddha figures - Phra Sila (a marble Buddha) and Phra Satang Man (a crystal Buddha).

Wat Phra Singh: located within the city walls, dates from 1345 and offers an example of classic northern Thai style architecture. It houses the Phra Singh Buddha, a highly venerated figure, transferred here many years ago from Chiang Rai.

Wat Chedi Luang: founded in 1401 and dominated by the large Lanna style chedi which dates from the same time, but took many years to finish. An earthquake damaged the chedi in the 16th century and now only two-thirds of it remains.

Wat Ched Yot: located on the outskirts of the city, this temple, built in 1455, hosted the Eighth World Buddhist Council in 1977.

Wiang Kum Kam: the site of an old city situated on the southern outskirts of Chiang Mai. King Mengrai used this for ten years before the founding of Chiang Mai. The site has a large number of ruined temples.

Wat U-Mong: a forest and cave wat in the foothills in the west of the city, near Chiang Mai University. Wat U-Mong is known for its grotesque concrete fasting Buddha and hundreds of pithy Buddhist proverbs in English and Thai posted on trees throughout its grounds.

Wat Suan Dok: a 14th century temple located just west of the old city-wall. The temple was built by the King of Lanna for a revered monk visiting from Sukhothai to spend the rains retreat. The name translates as "the field of flowers temple." There are several unique aspects to this temple. One is the temple's large ubosot (ordination hall). This is unusual not only for its size, but also that it is open on the sides instead of enclosed. Secondly, there are a large number of chedis housing the ashes of the rulers of Chiang Mai. The temple is also the site of Mahachulalongkorn Rajavidyalaya Buddhist University.

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