Didem Doğan

Chiang Mai and Northern Thailand

Chiang Mai is a city located in the northern region of Thailand, famous for its temples and the oil lamp festival held in November. Different from the chaos of Bangkok and the atmosphere of the islands, it has become one of the cities most visited by tourists with its mountains and serenity, both in nature and cultural importance.

Chiang Mai was the capital of the Lanna Kingdom for about three hundred years, then transferred to Myanmar, then captured again by the kings of Siam, and had an independent government until the late 19th century.

In recent years, it has become a popular place with a foreign population, especially Westerners who had the chance to work remotely after the pandemic, with hundreds of cafes where you can often meet digital nomads. This city, which also has rich examples of handicrafts, is known as a craft center. Handmade umbrellas are one of them.

There are hundreds of temples in the walled old city of Chiang Mai, most of which were built in the 13th and 14th centuries and are open to visitors. With these monuments and temples, Chiang Mai was included in the world heritage list by Unesco in 2015.

One of the photographs that makes Chiang Mai famous is of the burning lamps in the sky. Thousands of burning oil lamps are sent into the sky on the holy days of November.

If you are wondering which of the many temples in the old city you should see, you can visit Wat Chedi Luang and Wat Phra Sigh. Wat Phra That Dori Suthep, the hilltop temple, is also worth visiting and can be reached by passing through the forest at the top of the city.

After spending enough time in Chiang Mai's old city, you can travel to Dai Inthanon National Park, which offers daily tours, and Chiang Rai, which is well-known for its White Temple. Direct flights are available from major cities like Bangkok and Phuket to Chiang Mai.

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