Chiang Mai History, Thailand
Modern Chiang Mai is one of the largest cities of Thailand, although it has a very low population when compared to Bangkok. The city had a humble beginning and has now grown to be one of the preferred tourist spots of the Thailand.
The Ping river delta, located at about 700 km north of Bangkok, was the basis of early human inhabitance in the city of Chiang Mai. Archeological evidences, such as the iron tools found in the valley reveals that the first human settlement in the soil was about 2,000 years ago. However, the city of Chiang Mai itself has only a 700-year history as it was founded much later. Although the early settlers were the Lawa, they were displaced by a more powerful race called the Mon during 6-10th centuries. Mons were the first ones to establish the fertile city of Haripunchai. It was the Mangrai the powerful Tai king who founded the Chiang Mai after the capture of Haripunchai in 1296.
The city reached its zenith during the 15th century when it was the capital of the kingdom of Lanna. During this golden period, the official religion of the kingdom was Buddhism, which enriched the cultural wealth of the empire. Finally the city was captured by the brutal Burmese forces in 1558 and remained under their control for about two centuries. Although Tai forces along with the Siamese were able to beat the Burmese, the city became too weak to be rebuilt.
It was during the nineteenth century a large number of westerners and Chinese occupied the valley, which was rich with teak wood forests. It was then the first railway transport started functioning. A civil war known as the Shan Rebellion broke out during the early 20th century, which was a major blot in the history of Chiang Mai. The rich cultural city of Chiang Mai remained unnoticed until the Tai tourism department started promoting tourism in the valley. As of now the city is one of the modern cities of Thailand with a consumer work culture. With the metropolis of Bangkok getting over crowded, there has been a study growth of Chiang Mai in the recent times.
Of late, Chiang Mai with its modernity attracts a large number of foreigners making it a best tourist spot. Apart from being a tourist spot, the city of Chiang Mai serves as a major centre for handicrafts, umbrellas, silver jewelry, and woodcarving.
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