Chiang Mai - the cultural capital of Thailand

The second largest city in Thailand after its capital is the most beautiful and ancient city of the northern province of the same name - Chiang Mai, which in Russian sounds like «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 the relatively short distance from it to the current capital, the city still retains its ancient charm..

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

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

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

  • Wat Phra Singh, created in 1345. Famous for the location of 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 whose back a sarcophagus with the ashes of Buddha was tied, began to walk in circles and desperately trumpet in its trunk, which the locals considered a commemoration and buried the holy relics here. And a temple was erected at the burial site.
  • At the very beginning of the 15th century, Wat Chedi Luang was erected, to which is adjacent the largest monumental structure in Thailand for storing relics - a stupa (or chedi), etc..
Staircase to Wat Doi Suthep Temple

Staircase to Wat Doi Suthep Temple

All this, together with the warm hospitality of local residents, exotic cuisine and colorful holidays and festivals, makes the city a cherished destination for tourists from all over the world..
Here I would like to dwell a little on the consideration of the festivals that take place in the city on a regular basis. This is:

  • Loy Krathong (Loy Kratong) - honoring the God of water, for which people launch boats made of banana leaves, decorated with candles, into the water. This festival is usually held in November and always on the full moon.
  • During the flowering period of tropical plants, which falls on the first weekend of February, the city hosts flower festival, where flowers appear in all their pristine splendor and variety.
  • And in mid-April, the Thai New Year's Songkran celebrations take place, the main event of which is pouring cold water.
Krathongs float on water, taking all troubles away

Krathongs float on water, taking all troubles away

Flower Festival of Thailand, parade carts

Flower Festival of Thailand, parade carts

Having visited Chiang Mai once, one cannot help falling in love with it! Yes, there is no sea here, but this is even a plus, since package tourists still do not come here, and the atmosphere here is special, not at all tourist 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 review of 22 guesthouses in Chiang Mai. Or you can search and book a hotel in Chiang Mai on the service RoomGuru.