ABOUT CHIANG MAI
Chiang Mai sometimes written as “Chiengmai” or “Chiangmai”, is the largest and most culturally significant city in Northern Thailand. It is the capital of Chiang Mai Province and was a former capital of the Kingdom of Lan Na (1296–1768), which became the Kingdom of Chiang Mai, a tributary state of Siam from 1774 to 1899 and finally the seat of a merely ceremonial prince until 1939. It is 700 km (435 mi) north of Bangkok and is situated amongst the highest mountains in the country. The city sits astride the Ping River, a major tributary of the Chao Phraya River.
Chiang Mai means “new city” and was so named because it became the new capital of the Lan Na kingdom when it was founded in 1296, succeeding Chiang Rai, the former capital founded in 1262.
Chiang Mai has a tropical wet and dry climate with warm to hot weather year-round, though nighttime conditions during the dry season can be cool and much lower than daytime highs. The maximum temperature ever recorded was 42.4 °C (108.3 °F) in May 2005
The inhabitants speak Kham Muang (also known as Northern Thai or Lanna) among themselves, though central Thai is used in education and is understood by almost everyone. English is used in hotels and travel-related businesses.
Chiang Mai has positioned itself to become a Creative City and is considering applying for Creative City status with UNESCO. Chiang Mai was one of two tourist destinations in Thailand on TripAdvisor’s 2014 list of “25 Best Destinations in the World”, where it stands at number 24.
Chiang Mai is not as busy as Bangkok and has a much relaxed environment, where many people from around the world are coming to this charming city to get inspiration, create and design amongst others.
Read more about these movers and shakers of Chiang Mai on Roots and Leisure.