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Chiang mai Travel Guide

Chiang Mai is the largest city in northern Thailand and also the capital of Chiang Mai Province. Located 435 miles north of Bangkok, Chiang Mai is the most cultural significant city in Thailand and has become an increasingly modern city, attracting approximately 1 million visitors each year. The city has been a major center for handcrafted goods, umbrellas, jewelry, and woodcarving for many years. Chang Mai is Thailand's fifth largest city.

The population of Chang Mai's metropolitan area is 1.6 million as of 2004 and the district has a population of 150,000, where 91.8% of the majority living are Buddhist.

The weather in Chang Mai is relatively cool all year round, with an average January temperature of 71 degrees F (21.6 degrees C) and average July temperature of 82 degrees F (28 degrees C). Average annual rainfall is 47.5 inches (120.6 cm).

The 'Rose of the North' has a long history of great age-old traditions and well as breathtaking scenery, arts and crafts that visitors will enjoy. Chang Mai has over 300 Buddhist temples for tourists for take a look and see. The city's most famous temple is the Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep. It is a sacred site to many Thai people. This temple was founded in 1383 and it is famous for its large gold-plated chedi. This site was chosen by placing a relic of Buddha on an elephant's back and letting it until it trumpeted, then circled and died.

The Wat Chiang Man is the oldest temple of Chang Mai. Founded by King Mengrai in 1926, this temple houses two important Buddha figures, the marble Phra Sila, reflecting the frine workmanship of Indian craftsmen, and the crystal Phra Satang Man, which is thought to have the power to bring rain.

Chiang Mai hosts many Thai festivals, including Loi Kratong, Songkran, and the Flower Festival. The Loi Kratong (known locally as Yi Peng) is celebrated annually and is held on the full moon of the 12th month (November) in the traditional Thai lunar calendar. During the night of the full moon, people will float small rafts on a rover or any other body of water to honor and pay respect to the goddess of water.

The Songkran is celebrated as Thailand's New Year's Day in during the month of April. A variety of religious and fun activities takes place each year, along with parades and a beauty competition.

The Chang Mai Flower Festival is a three-day festival held in first weekend in February each year, just in time for the city's tropical and temperate flowers are in full bloom. There are parades, floral, floats, and a beauty competition.

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