Story of Chiang Mai

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Chiang mai is Thailand’s principal Northern city. It is the second largest metropolis in the country, next to Bangkok. The word Chiang means “walled city”, and Mai means This “new city” was created in the fertile valley through which runs the river “Ping”.

Mountains surrounding Chiang Mai form lower extremities of Himalayan foothills and host serveral hilltribes of Tibeto- Burman origin. Forests still worked by elephants, water falls, coves, gorges, cultivated orchards and plantations that invite detailed exploration.

The city of Chiang Mai was founded in 1296 by King Mengrai (or Mongrai), Prince of Chiangsaen. Chiang Mai became the capital of “Kingdom of Lanna” (Lanna means a million ricefields). In 1556 it was conquered by Burmese force and remained a Burmese Vassal State until 1775.

At that time it was liberated by King Taksin of Siam (Now is Thailand) and become a Siamese dependency.

From 1775 to 1938 Chiang Mai was ruled by Local Princes, as a vassal of the Kingdom of Siam. The Last hereditary Princes, Chao Kaew-Navarath died in 1938 and had no successor. King Chulalongkorn (Rama 5) of Siam took over the administration of Chiang Mai. In 1949 Chiang Mai was officially recognized as Thailand’s province until now


3 Kings monument, Chiang Mai

Picture : Left, King Phamuang from Phayao. Right, King Ram Kham Haeng from Sukhothai. In the middle, King Mengrai, who built Chiang Mai.

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