Known locally as ‘the rose of the north’, Chiang Mai has a great deal to offer the cultural traveller. Far from the full moon parties in the south of Thailand, Chiang Mai is a busting metropolis that never really lost the laid back country-town feel. The mile square ‘old city’ which was once capital of the Lanna Kingdom, remains today at the heart of the region offering everything from ancient temples to modern street art. The city itself was constructed in 1296 and was heavily fortified to protect it from invasion from surrounding forces, particularly the Burmese Empire, and remnants of this fortification can still be seen today. The ‘old city’ is completely encircled by a moat and you can still see the remaining parts of the wall which once surrounded the entire city to protect from invading forces.
Chiang Mai is a city with a rich history which has progressed into the 21st century with all of the modern comforts available to travellers. From hip new restaurants in the centre to the university bar district in the north and even a budding art district in the west, Chiang Mai has so much to offer those willing to take the time to explore.
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