Surrounded by stunning mountains, Chiang Mai has a history dating back some seven hundred years. Referred to as “the rose of the north” Chiang Mai was built in 1296 as a walled city surrounded by a moat. The old city was roughly 1.5km square. Whilst a good portion of the original city wall has collapsed, the four corner bastions are still intact along with various other sections. The original moat is still in use to this day. Chiang Mai city is basically made up now of the old city (within the walled area) and the new city which has grown up around it.
A tourist’s dream come true, you will never be bored in Chiang Mai as there is an overabundance of things to see and do! You can tour the old city, visit historic temples, go elephant riding, nature trekking or visit a hill tribe village. Chiang Mai has a very distinctive culture of arts, festivals, and traditions as well as a thrilling mix of local, ethnic and expatriate communities from all over the world.
You can drive in any direction for thirty minutes and find many unique and stunning cultural attractions such as museums, ancient ruins, national parks, waterfalls, and mountain trails just to name a few. You will never tire of the multitude of diverse delights as Chiang Mai offers something for everyone! Nature lovers, culture aficionados, sports enthusiasts and those who just wish to lie back and be pampered in a luxurious spa will love what Chiang Mai has to offer.
In the last 25 or so years, tourism has gradually transformed this once sleepy area into a traveller’s paradise whilst still maintaining its provincial charm. The ever-friendly and polite Thai people are full of smiles (Thailand = LOS = Land of Smiles). There are a million things to see and do, the food tastes sensational, it is a shopper’s paradise and a visit to Chiang Mai can even be done on a shoe string.
If you like ancient temples (Wats) and buildings, then visit Chiang Mai and the surrounding areas, they are full of them, several hundred in fact. A good number of these ancient temples are still in use today by the Buddhist monks.
Whether you find yourself passing through or staying for a longer visit, it will never seem long enough and you will soon find yourself planning your next visit to Chiang Mai!