Land of misty mountains , colourful hill tribes and the rich of Lanna history's heritages
Chiang Mai is one of the cities which has a long history of more than 700 years. Chiang Mai means “New City”. Chiang Mai was founded in 1296 as the new capital of the Lanna Kingdom by King Meng Rai succeeding in the former capital, Chiang Rai. Chiang Mai not only became the capital and cultural core of the Lanna Kingdom, but it was also to be the center of Buddhism in northern Thailand and founded many of the city’s temples that remain important to this day. Chiang Mai is one of the few places in Thailand where it is possible to experience both historical and modern Thai cultures coexisting side by side: the city features centuries-old pagodas and temples next to modern convenience stores and boutique hotels. This dichotomy is best appreciated within the moat-encircled old city, which retains much of the fortified wall that once protected the city center as well as the four main gates that provided access to the former Lanna capital city.