Chiang Mai is the largest town in the north of Thailand, it is also a capital of the same name province. The town is located among the mountains, on the Ping River, the tributary of the Menam Chao Praya river. In 90 km to west of the city is the highest mountain in Thailand-Doyinthanon. The Doi Suthep Mountain is located near the town, and it is also a part of the National Park Doi Suthep-Depuy. Chiang Mai is known as the ancient cultural center of the country and it is one of the tourist centers. In the city is one of the largest university-Chiangmai University, whose student campus occupies almost a quarter of the city.
Chiang Mai was founded in 1292 by Prince Mengray. The name of the city means a «New Fortress», because there was built a wall for protection against intrusions by Burma. In 1556 the town was captured by Burmese, who owned it until 1774. In 1774, when King Takisin conquered it from the Burmese, Chiang Mai became a part of Siam. Then the city began to grow and became the second in importance in the country after the capital.
In Ciang Mai are about 300 Buddhist temples. The most interesting will be such temples as Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep, Wat Chiang Man, Wat Phra Singh, Wat Chedi Luang, Wat Chet Yot, Wiang Kum Kam, Wat Umong, Wat RamPoeng, Wat Suan Dok, Two gurdwaras( Siri Guru Singh Sabha and Namdari), and the Hindu temple.
In Chiang all adapted for tourists. There is a wide choice of various hotels, restaurants and cafes, spa, modern shopping malls, and traditional night markets. The popular tourist attraction there are culinary schools, offering short-term and long-term courses of Thai cuisine. In Chiang Mai are opened historical and art museums, and exhibitions of contemporary art. In the vicinity of the city are beautiful parks with evergreen forests mixed with oaks, chestnut trees, and magnolias. There are also majestic waterfalls, thermal mineral springs, and abundant wildlife.On the outskirts of the city, on the 200 acres of land, located a zoo with about seven thousand animals, where are mostly hit are pandas.