Chiang Mai

Popularly known as the Rose of the North, Chiang Mai is blessed with stunning natural beauty and unique indigenous cultural identity. The kingdom was founded by King Mengrai by merging the various city states in the region in 1296. Today Chiang Mai is the economic, communications, cultural and tourism centre of Northern Thailand.
About 700 kilometres from Bangkok, Chiang Mai is situated in the Mae Ping River basin some 310 metres above sea level. Surrounded by high mountain ranges, it covers an area of approximately 20,107 square kilometres. The fertile terrain consists mainly of mountains and jungles parts of which are within national parks and are verdant with plentiful flora and fauna.  There are many sites and locations which tourists can visit to study the lifestyle of the tribal people who live in the hills.