Chiang Mai, sometimes written as "Chiengmai" or "Chiangmai", is the largest and most culturally significant city in Northern Thailand. The city sits astride the Ping River, a major tributary of the Chao Phraya River.
Chiang Mai means "new city" and was so named because it became the new capital of the Lan Na kingdom when it was founded in 1296, succeeding Chiang Rai, the former capital founded in 1262. Chiang Mai has positioned itself to become a Creative City and is considering applying for Creative City status with UNESCO. Chiang Mai's historic importance is derived from its close proximity to the Ping River and major trading routes.
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