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CHIANGMAI INFORMATION- THAILAND
 
 


CHIANG MAI  Accommodations | Maps | Photos | Shopping

Chiang Mai
is a city built on the roots of a traditional heritage that dig deep into the soil of time. It's a city with a beautiful cultural personality of its own. In addition, it's been blessed with much majestic beauty in nature. The people themselves are an unforgettable part of Chiang Mai.

Handicrafts of silk, silver and wood are timeless souvenirs for visitors from all over the globe. Along with all this, a wide variety of accommodations, restaurants, and entertainment all help to make Chiang Mai one of Thailand's prime tourist attractions.

Location:
Chiang Mai, 761 kms. by rail, approximately 700 kms. by road north of Bangkok, with an area of 20,107.1 sq.ms., is Thailand's second largest city and capital of the northern region.


Situated between north latitude 17-21 and east longitude 98-99, the province of Chiang Mai is found in the upper area of Thailand's northern region. Chiang Mai valley is 310 meters (1,027 feet) above sea level. The widest point of the province measures 136 kms. (85 miles), and the longest 320 kms. (200 miles).

To the north, a 277 kms. (141.82 miles) stretch of mountains divides Chiang Mai's northern districts of Fang and Mae Ai from Myanmar's (Burma's) Chiang Tung (Shan) State. In certain areas, the Kok River also acts as a border between Chiang Mai and Myanmar.

On the east, Chiang Mai is bordered by the Chiang Rai, Lampang, and Lamphun provinces. The Mae Tuen River, Ream Mountain, and Luang Mountain separate Chiang Mai's South from the province of Tak. Some portions of Chiang Mai's South also border the Lamphun province. Tothe west, Chiang Mai is bordered by Mae Hong Son province.

Topography
A large part (69.31 %) of Chiang Mai's land is covered by mountains and forests. These generally run in a north-south pattern through the province and give birth to several streams and tributaries (such as the Mae Jam, Mae Ngud, and Mae Klang) which in turn feed important rivers and irrigation canals (such as the Muang and Faay) which provide the water necessary to Chiang Mai's agriculture. Chiang Mai's largest and most important river is the Ping, which originates in the mountains of Chiang Dao and flows southward for 540 kilometers (337.5 miles). It is along the banks of this river that Chiang Mai's flat, fertile valley area lies.
Chiang Mai is also home to Inthanon Mountain, which stands 2,575 meters (8,448 feet) above sea level and is Thailand's highest mountain.

Climate
Cool Season
: (late October to end of February). average temperature 21ΒΊ C and much cooler at night. The coldest months are December and January.
Hot Season : (early March to end of May) Average temperature 29.9ΒΊ C. The hottest month is April.
Rainy Season : (early June to end of October). Average temperature 25.5ΒΊ C. The wettest month is September.


Population
With a population of 1,547,085 Chiang Mai is one of Thailand's largest provinces. Of the above number, 170,348 are currently living in Chiang Mai's city area with the rest distributed throughout Chiang Mai's 21 districts, 2 sub-districts. 80% of the people in Chiang Mai are locals by birth, and speak a dialect that is a slight variation of the central Thai language. The remaining 20% is made up of Thai nationals and foreigners who have moved to Chiang Mai to work, study, or retire.

There are many hilltribe people living in the mountainous districts surrounding Chiang Mai such as Omkoi, Mae Jam, Chiang Dao, and Mae Ai. Statistics 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 people. Of this amount, 106,116 were from the Karen tribe, 27,392 from the Lahu (Musur) tribe, 17,198 from the Hmong (Meo) tribe, 10,873 form the Lisu tribe, 8,862 from the Lua tribe, 2,609 from the Akha tribe, 1,145 from the Mien (yao) tribe, and 485 from the Palong tribe. The hilltribe people are agricultural; planting fields, raising animals, and hunting for a living. Since each tribe has its own culture and language, they blanket the hills of Chiang Mai with an interesting patchwork quilt of diverse variety.

The majority (80%) of the Chiang Mai people earn a living through agriculture and agricultural related professions. The second largest vocation is tourism and its directly and indirectly related jobs. General commerce and industry--mainly in the form of handicrafts, and of processing agricultural products--are the two other major professions in which the Chiang Mai people are involved.

History
Chiang Mai's rich history goes back hundreds of years. Because of its prime location and fertile land, the valley that extends from the base of Suthep Mountain to the Ping River was settled in early times by several different ethnic groups, including the hilltribe group known as the Lua tribe.

Later, King Mengrai unified the different towns and villages into what came to be known as the Lanna Thai Kingdom. In 1296, he fortified the fertile valley area with a rectangular shaped brick wall measuring 1.6 kilometers (1 mile) wide, and 2.0 kilometers (1.25 miles) long. Parts of the wall are still intact today, and the area within it is often called the "old city". King Mengrai went on to expand his kingdom to both sides of the Ping River and beyond, naming it "Nop Buri Sri Nakorn Ping Chiang Mai". This city became the center of the Lanna Thai Kingdom that later expanded and covered much of Northern Thailand.

After that there was sporadic warfare for several generations, and Chiang Mai fell several times to both the Burmese and to a powerful kingdom to the south that was centered around the Choa Phaya Basin. In the end, Chiang Mai was taken by Krung Thon Buri, the capital of Thailand during that time, and under the fifth Rama, became a part of Thailand. Since the time of the Lanna Thai Kingdom, Chiang Mai has been a city for a total of 701 years.

  Information provided by T.A.T (Tourism Authority of Thailand)

 
 
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