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Chiang Mai is the most important city in northernThailand and is located within a fertile river valley three hundred metres above sea level.
The City of Temples was founded in 1296 and was once the capital of Lanna Thai, the 'Kingdom of a Million Rice Fields' and the centre of the first independent kingdom in Thailand, situated within the famous Golden Triangle.
Two hundred ninety steps lead up to the city's main landmark, the mountain temple of Wat Doi Suthep, on the northern edge of the city.
Chiang Mai Zoo was inaugurated in 1957 and today, it is the largest and finest zoo in Thailand and contains hundreds of varieties of animals.
The world famous village of Bo Sang is located nine kilometres from the city. It is where a fascinating range of parasols are manufactured, according to age old tradition, with silk, cotton and paper parasols made by hand and are decorated with various animal and floral motifs.
A visit to a training centre for elephants is a fascinating experience. The elephants perform what they have learned in the school and diligently carry out each of their trainer's commands.
Chiang Mai's evening market is well worth a visit. Although it has changed with the times, haggling is still the norm.
Mysterious and exotic, colorful and friendly, such is Thailand's 'Rose of the North', Chiang Mai.