"The Rose of the North"Chiang Mai, the second city of Thailand, capital of the North, was founded in 1296 on the River Ping by king Men Rai as the new capital of Lanna Thai. Weakened by internal struggles for the throne and by oppression, the city fell to the Burmese forces of King Bayinnaung in 1558. For over two centuries (1558-1774) Chiang Mai was under Burmese control. The fortunes of the city declined for the Burmese exploited the city-state for military purposes in their wars with Ayutthaya. Eventually northern Thai forces allied with the Siamese king Taksin, king of Thonburi, drove the Burmese out in 1775. But the city was so weak that it was totally abandoned. Allied to the Siamese Thai, Chiang Mai gained strength. During the 19th century increasing Western interests in the teak forests of the north, however, forced King Chulalongkorn (Rama V) of Siam to take over the administration in 1892.
Chiang Mai is a city built on the roots of a traditional heritage that dig deep into the soil of time. It's a city with a beautiful cultural personality of its own. In addition, it's been blessed with much majestic beauty in nature. The people themselves are an unforgettable part of Chiang Mai. Handicrafts of silk, silver and wood are timeless souvenirs for visitors from all over the globe.