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Chiang Mai

The hub of the North is Chiang Mai. Founded in the late 13th century as the capital of the once independent Lanna Kingdom. While it is Thailandís second city, it is still only one fortieth the size of the capital and quite unlike it in most other respects, with sights and charms peculiar to itself. Situate 700 kilometers north of Bangkok and readily accessible by several daily flights, as well as by overnight train or coach, Chiang Mai combines modern city comforts with a veritable treasure house of the arts and architecture unique to the region. Within the cityís original perimeter, still marked by a moat and fortified gates, are numerous ancient Buddhist temples and other monuments attesting to a distinguished past. Attractively sited on the banks of the Ping River and situated amid a lush valley fringed by forested hills, Chiang Mai lies in the heart of some of Thailandís most beautiful natural scenery.

As well as offering a wealth of its own sights, and sceneries Chiang Mai is also a convenient gateway not only to other Northern destinations but also increasingly to neighboring countries of the greater Mekong Region - Myanmar, Laos and southern China. Not least in distinguishing the North from the rest of the country is a host of handicrafts traditional to the region. Chiang Mai has one of the largest concentrations of cottage industries in the world. Renowned celadon pottery, silverware, lacquer ware, woodcarving, silk and cotton, hand - painted paper umbrellas and more are all produced by craftsmen employing skills passed down from generation to generation.

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

 

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