History of the city of Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai Old City


Founded in the thirteenth century by King Mengrai, Chiang Mai quickly became the capital of the Lanna Kingdom. Although protected by an imposing wall and a moat, the city has suffered several attacks by the Burmese and Thai from the kingdom of Ayutthaya. Between 1558 and 1725 it became part of Burma, before being abandoned for nearly fifteen years. It was not until 1774 that Chiang Mai came under the influence of Siam, before gradually becoming the second largest city in Thailand after Bangkok. In 1921, a railway was built to connect Chiang Mai to the rest of the country.

Now regarded as the capital of northern Thailand, Chiang Mai has its own cultural Lanna identity and some of its inhabitants still speak the local dialect, Kham Muang. However, the city has greatly modernized and has quality infrastructure to receive many visitors who flock there every year to discover crafts (umbrellas, wood carving, jewelry, etc ...) and its rich history and culture.

Strolling through the streets of Chiang Mai, you will soon realize that the city is home to almost as many monuments as Bangkok and that they are particularly emblematic architectural styles of the north. Renovating historic buildings is also underway to celebrate the 700 years of the founding of Chiang Mai.

Immerse yourself in the history of Chiang Mai with a half-day bicycle tour or a city tour!