Chiang Mai - the cultural capital of Thailand

Thailand's second largest city after itsThe capital is the most beautiful and ancient city of the northern province of the same name - Chiang Mai (Chiang Mai), which in Russian sounds like a "new fortress". The city, founded in the 13th century as the capital of the then independent kingdom of Lang, is located among the mountains - Doi Inthanon and Doi Suthep.

Today, despite the accelerated industrial development and a relatively short distance from it to the current capital, the city still retains its old-world charm.

First of all, this is due to the developmentprivate craft industry, among which the leading place is occupied by its exclusive appearance - green ceramics. In addition, local artisans produce the most unique silverware, lacquer miniatures, hand-painted paper umbrellas and much more.

The primordial spirit of Chiang Mai is given by the exotic tribes that inhabit it, which have preserved the traditional tribal way of life.

In addition, there is a large number (about three hundred) of ancient Buddhist temples (Vatas) and other historical monuments. Here are some of them:

  • Wat Phra Singh, created in 1345. Famous for the precious Buddha Phra Singh.
  • A little later, in 1383, on the top of Mount Doi Suthep was erected Wat Prahat Doi Suthep (Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep). The history of its formation is interesting. According to legend, at this place an elephant, to the back of which was attached a sarcophagus with the ashes of the Buddha, began to walk in circles and desperately blow the trunk, which the locals considered to be a commemoration and buried here holy relics. And at the burial site built a temple.
  • At the very beginning of the 15th century, Wat Chedi Luang was erected, with the largest monumental relic storage facility in Thailand - stupa (or chedi) and others.
Staircase to the temple of Wat Doi Suthep

Staircase to the temple of Wat Doi Suthep

All this together with the hospitable hospitality of the locals, exotic cuisine and colorful holidays and festivals make the city a cherished goal for tourists from all over the world.
Here I would like to dwell a bit on the consideration of festivals that take place in the city on a regular basis. It:

  • Loy Krathong (Loy Kratong) - a reward of honors to the God of water, forwhich people launch boats from banana leaves into the water, decorated with candles. This festival is held, as a rule, in November and always at full moon.
  • During the flowering of tropical plants, which falls on the first weekend of February, the city holds flower festivalwhere flowers appear in all their original glory and diversity.
  • And in the middle of April, there are celebrations of the Thai New Year Songkran (Songkran), the main event of which is pouring cold water.
Kratong float on the water, taking away all the troubles away

Kratong float on the water, taking away all the troubles away

Thailand Flower Festival, parade carts

Thailand Flower Festival, parade carts

Having been to Chiang Mai once, it is impossible not tofall in love! Yes, there is no sea, but this is even a plus, as there are no package tourists here yet, and the atmosphere here is special, not at all touristy and without the smell of money.

If you are going to visit Chiang Mai and are looking for accommodation, I remind you that we have Chiang Mai's 22 guesthouses overview. Or you can search and book a hotel in Chiang Mai on the service RoomGuru.

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