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Compared to Bangkok, the city of Chiang Mai is a small and relatively peaceful city. The city is surrounded by mountains and forests, which make up approximately 70% of the land in the Chiang Mai province. The city sits approximately 300 kilometres above sea level and is located approximately 700 kilometres from Bangkok. The population of the Chiang Mai province stands at around 1,600,000 although the city itself has an estimated 170,000 people. 

Chiang Mai is home to many historically and culturally interesting sites and temples. The city, also referred to as the “Rose of the North”, has a reputation for it’s cool weather, pretty girls, historic temples and mountainous jungle surroundings. 

Founded in 1296, and capital of the ancient Lanna Kingdom, the city of Chiang Mai is surrounded by a square walled moat. The area inside this moat is now referred to as the “old city”. The old city is one of Chiang Mai’s main tourist attractions and features many bars, cafe’s and restaurants. Additionally, there are more than 30 temples in the old city, some of which were built in a style influenced by the Burmese and Sri-lankan’s.  

One of the most iconic scenes associated with the city of Chiang Mai is the Doi Suthep temple located on the top of the Doi Suthep mountain. Doi Suthep is a tourist hotspot. You can either walk up the mountain, through the jungle and past the waterfalls, or take a red truck or taxi. You will of course get a great view of the city from the top of the mountain. Alternatively, there is Doi Kam which is several kilometres away. Roughly two hours from the city of Chiang Mai is Doi Inthanon. Doi Inthanon is Thailand’s highest mountain, at approximately 8,448 feet above sea level. 

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