Spotlight on Chiang Mai, Thailand


             Chiang Mai, is Thailand’s second largest city and is located in the northern part of the country. The major tourist attractions are found in the Old City, which is surrounded by a moat, and eastward to the Ping River. Within the moat area are several Wats which should be explored: Wat Chiang Man, the city’s oldest, Wat Chedi Luang, with its Golden Buddha, and Wat Phra Singh, with its Bronze Buddha. Other attractions lie just outside the city.

            Wat Phra That Doi Suthep is Chiang Mai’s most important landmark, and overlooks the city from its forested mountain setting. It is 15 kilometers (8 miles) from town and dates from the 14th century.  There are stairs (almost 200 of them) and a funicular up to the temple. The Golden Pagoda contains holy Buddhist relics and is a major pilgrimage site.

            On the same road, visitors will find the Phu Phing Palace, about 7 kilometers (4 miles) further along.  This is still the royal winter palace and its beautifully landscaped gardens and grounds are open to the general public on weekends and official holidays if  the Thai royal family is not in residence.

            Doi Pui Tribal Village is located about four kilometers (2.4 miles) from the Phu Phing Palace and offers a glimpse of modern tribal life in Thailand.

            Old Chiang Mai Cultural Centre, located on the road to Chom Thong, stages Lanna Thai cultural performances with a Kan Tok Dinner. 

            The Wat Phra That Si Chom Thong is 58 kilometers (35 miles) from Chiang Mai and dates from the 15th century. It has a collection of bronze Buddha images, and the secondary chapel contains a Buddha relic.


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