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Chiang Mai Province

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Revision as of 14:55, 28 September 2012 by Seligne (Talk | contribs)

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Chiang Mai Province is a region in Northern Thailand.

Cities

  • Chiang Mai - largest city in the north
  • Chiang Dao - gateway to hill tribe trekking
  • Fang - gateway to hill tribe trekking, close to Chiang Mai
  • Samoeng
  • Thaton - small village with good guesthouses in the vicinity of Chiang Mai The village has a relaxed atmosphere, and some people hang out for a few days before moving on.

Other destinations

Understand

Chiang Mai is situated at 300 meters above sea level in a large mountainous area. Located approximately 700 km from Bangkok, Chiang Mai Province is famed for its gloriously high mountain ranges, plentiful flora and fauna and crisp fresh weather. The province in Thailand is one of the country’s largest, covering 20,107 square kilometers.

The actual meaning of Chiang Mai itself is “new city” and it was founded as the capital of the Lanna Kingdom in 1296 by King Meng Rai. Chiang Mai not only acts as the capital of the kingdom, the province was established as the religious center of the north and so innumerable temples have been built.

Culture

In the north of Thailand the culture is Lanna in origin and the people are very proud of their northern roots. The region is home to distinctly different food, music, arts, way of life and even language. Chiang Mai is also a melting pot of hill tribes and their own unique cultures.

Maintaining their traditional lifestyles, the six major hill tribes--Akha, Hmong/Miao, Karen, Lahu, Lisu, Mien/Yao--live in relative isolation independent of Thai society. All of them, in their villages anyway, still wear their unique dress, speak their own dialects, and eat their own food.

  • Akha have the largest population of hill tribes in the region. Originating from Tibet and Southern China, they dwell on high ground around 1,200 meters above sea-level. In their villages they build Spirit Gateways to protect them from evil spirits.
  • Hmong/Miao from southern China are located on high land. They raise livestock and grow rice, corn, tobacco and cabbage. They are also known for their embroidery and silver.
  • Karen live in areas of the region which have valleys and riverbanks.
  • Lahu from the Yunnan area and live in high areas. They are known as hunters and planters.
  • Lisu from southern China and Tibet are renowned for their colorful dress and also build their dwellings on high poles. They harvest rice and corn and their men are skilled in hunting.
  • Mien/Yao reside on mountainsides and grow corn and other crops. They are skilled blacksmiths, silversmiths and embroiderers.

Chiang Mai province is renowned as one of the world's top centres of cottage industry. The area is a haven for traditional handicrafts made by craftsmen using skills which have come down through countless generations. They include: silverware, lacquer ware, celadon pottery, silk and cotton, hand-painted paper umbrellas and more.

Climate

The best time of the year to see Chiang Mai is from November to April when the weather is super-fresh and crispy and all the province's renowned flowers are out in full bloom. In fact, in the mountainous areas temperatures can dip down to freezing point. It doesn’t snow, but sleet is known to fall at times. One of the best times to visit Chiang Mai during this period is at Songkran (Thai New Year) as the town is synonymous with Songkran tradition, color and fun. During the hot season, March to May, temperatures especially in the city are high, going up to the high 30s. The rainy season in the north is from June to October and trekking is not advised due to the chances of storms, wind, and rain. From May to October there is a lot of rain, but since the climate is tropical, the rain falls in quick, heavy, but short, downpours.

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Do

  • Earth Home (Sustainable living and community tourism), 76 Moo 1, Baan Mae Jo, Tambon Baan Pao, Amphoe Mae Taeng, Chiang Mai 50150, 66(0)812870641, [1]. Earth Home is located in a valley in the mountains of rural Chiang Mai and welcomes guests who are interested in learning about or just enjoying wholesome, natural living. You can stay in an earthen brick hut, eat fantastic Thai food, admire or make handicrafts, have a massage or practice Thai boxing. Moreover, you can participate in earthen home building, Thai cooking and organic farming workshops. The staff at Earth Home can also help arrange homestays with local villagers if you prefer to sample the local way of life. From 150 baht a night (for homestays) to 900 baht a night (at Earth Home including all the meals and workshops).

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