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Photographer's Note

One in a series of pictures taken in the Northern Thai city of Chiang Mai. Chiang Mai is a haven of peace after the hustle and bustle of Bangkok. With over three hundred Buddhist temples there is much to see and all in relative tranquility. It also offers access to the Golden Triangle and some impressive mountain scenery.

Some information from Wikipedea:

Chiang Mai is the largest and most culturally significant city in northern Thailand. It is the capital of Chiang Mai Province, a former capital of the Kingdom of Lanna (1296–1768) and was the tributary Kingdom of Chiang Mai from 1774 until 1939. It is located 700 kilometers (435 miles) north of Bangkok, among the highest mountains in the country. The city lies along the Ping River, a major tributary of the Chao Phraya River. Chiang Mai means "new city" and was so-named because it was the new capital, founded in 1296, succeeding Chiang Rai (founded 1262) in the capital of the Lanna kingdom.

In recent years, Chiang Mai has become an increasingly modern city and has been attracting over 5 million visitors each year, of which between 1.4 million and 2 million are foreign tourists.

It has recently positioned itself to become a Creative City, and is considering applying for Creative City Status with UNESCO. Chiang Mai is the only tourist destination in Thailand to have made it into the 2012 list of "25 Best Destinations in the World" of the popular travel website TripAdvisor, it stands in place 24.

Chiang Mai's historic importance is derived from its close proximity to the Ping River and major trading routes.

King Mengrai founded the city of Chiang Mai in 1296 on the location of an older city of the Lawa people called Wiang Nopburi. Chiang Mai succeeded Chiang Rai as the capital of the Lanna kingdom. The ruler was known as the Chao.

The city was surrounded by a moat and a defensive wall, since nearby Burma was a constant threat as well as the armies of the Mongol Empire which only decades earlier had conquered most of Yunnan, China, and in 1292 overran the bordering Thai Lü kingdom of Chiang Hung. Parts of the moat and restored defensive walls are still visible.

With the decline of the Lanna Kingdom, the city lost importance and was occupied by the Burmese in 1556. Chiang Mai formally became part of Siam in 1775 by an agreement with Chao Kavila, after the Thai King Taksin helped drive out the Burmese. Because of the Burmese counterattacks, Chiang Mai was abandoned between 1776 and 1791. Lampang then served as the capital of what remained of Lanna. In the intervening years Chiang Mai has subsequently regained its position, slowly growing in cultural, trading and economic importance to its current status as the unofficial capital of northern Thailand, second in importance only to Bangkok.

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Additional Photos by Stephen Nunney (snunney) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 6147 W: 61 N: 17883] (80537)
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