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  • Alex Gillam

Chiang Mai, Thailand's Riverside Gem

Chiang Mai (New City) was founded in 1296 by King Meng Rai as part of the first independent Thai state, Lanna Thai (Kingdom of One Million Rice Fields), and it served as the capital city until 1558, at which point the Burmese captured the city. As a result, Burmese influence on religion, architecture, language, cuisine, and culture remains strong, and in further contrast with the more densely packed Asian cities of today, Chiang Mai still retains much of its sprawling, village-like atmosphere, resulting in one of Thailand’s best cities to explore both on foot or by bicycle.

Even still, if you were to take away the bustling markets, the generational craft centers and the cherished local temples that are found all over the city, Chiang Mai would still attract visitors from across the world as a result of its incomparable outdoor experiences; owing to Chiang Mai’s fortuitus location near the awe-inspiring Mae Taeng River, the city is the perfect gateway to the wonders of the natural world.

Step outside and you will have the opportunity to hike through lush forests, go for a walk alongside a herd of elephants en-route to a local stream, explore majestic mountain temples, or even hop behind the wheel of a Tuk-Tuk for a one of a kind driving experience.

Embodying the art, traditions, cuisine, and everything else that makes northern Thailand so beautiful, Chiang Mai enchants all who visit with its laid-back atmosphere that brings with it a wealth of world-class attractions.

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