Travel to Chiang Mai, Thailand
Trip Start Jun 12, 2009
34Trip End Jul 15, 2009
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We took a five hour bus trip from Sukothai to Chiang Mai. We checked in to the Montri Hotel (the best hotel accommodations of our trip to Northern Thailand). We had lunch then a rest. We then went for a short walk and site seeing tour of the old walled city. Chiang Mai dates back to the 13th century.
Here's what our guidebook had to say about Chiang Mai:
Tourists are suprised by the fact that there is always something new to discover in Chiang Mai which means "new city". King Meng Rai founded the city as the capital of the Lanna Kingdom in 1296. It then became the capital and the center of Buddhism in northern Thailand
The Brumese conquered the Lanna Kingdom in 1556 and influenced the architecture which is visible in the many temples. At the end of the 18th. century King Taksin the Great regrouped the Thais in the south and drove the Burmese out of Lampang and regained the Thai independence from Burma.
Chiang Mai was then governed by a succession of princes who ruled the north as a Siamese protectorate under the Chakri dynasty. In the late 19th. century King Rama V appointed a high commissioner in Chiang Mai and it was only in 1939 the Chiang Mai finally came under the direct control of the central government in Bangkok, the same time the country was renamed Thialand.
Chiang Mai was only accessible by river and elephants. The railway line was completed in the late 1920"s.
The first motor vehicle driven from Bangkok arrived in Chiang Mai in 1932, thus helping to nuture and preserve the unique Lanna culture in Chiang Mai.
When looking at Chiang Mai today, it is the economic, cultural, and communications hub of northern Thailand complete with excellent infrastructure, good roads, by-passes and road tunnels, and other reliable means of communications.