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Fascinating Thailand !!



Chiang Mai (Thai: เชียงใหม่ (help•info), Lanna (local): เจียงใหม่), also sometimes written as "Chiengmai" or "Chiangmai", is the largest and most culturally significant city in northern Thailand, and is the capital of Chiang Mai Province. It is located some 700 km (435 mi) north of Bangkok, among some of the highest mountains in the country. The city stands on the Ping river, a major tributary of the Chao Phraya river.

In recent years, Chiang Mai has become an increasingly modern city. It has several attractions for the approximately 1 million visitors who come each year. Chiang Mai's historic importance is derived from its strategic location on the Ping river as well as trade routes. Long before the modern influx of foreign visitors, the city served as a major center for handcrafted goods, umbrellas, jewelry (particularly silver) and woodcarving.[citation needed]

While officially the city (thesaban nakhon) of Chiang Mai only covers most parts of the Mueang Chiang Mai district with a population of 150,000, the urban sprawl of the city now extends into several neighboring districts. This Chiang Mai Metropolitan Area has a population of nearly one million people, more than half the total of Chiang Mai Province.

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