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Chiang Mai

Pictures by QT Luong

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Chiang Mai is Thailand's northern capital. It is the country's second largest city, but while Bangkok has a population of more than 6 million, Chiang Mai's only a quarter of a million. It is a pleasant and vibrant city, which has more than 300 temples in which some Burmese architectural influence can be seen. It is particularly nice to bicycle around. Longer term visitors appreciate it as a cosmopolitan place with a well developped tourist infrastructure, and a center for arts, crafts,cooking, and massage. The surrouding hills are populated by several hill tribes, many of which can be found selling their wares at the interesting Night Bazaar, a great place to shop for Thai (and even designer) goods.

The hills around Chiang Mai are pleasant to explore in a rented motorcycle. They are home to a number of hill tribe villages. Although Do Pui village has undergone significant development (ie is somewhat of a tourist trap), there are still traditional dress and housing to be seen there. Striking for its location and its brillant gold chedi, Wat Phra That Doi Suthep is one of the most sacred pilgrimage sites in the country. Its location in the mountains ("Doi"), a place formerly inhabited by an hermit named Sudevoy, was chosen by an elephant carrying some buddha relics ("Phra That").

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Chedis in blue light with bright clouds, Wat Suan Dok, dusk. Chiang Mai, Thailand ( color) Wat Suan Dok temple at dusk. Chiang Mai, Thailand ( color) Three kings monument. Chiang Mai, Thailand ( color) Ruined Wat Chedi Luang with elephants in the pediment. Chiang Mai, Thailand ( color) Elephants at Wat Chedi Luang. Chiang Mai, Thailand ( color) Nagas at Wat Chedi Luang. Chiang Mai, Thailand ( color) Wat Phra Singh, typical of northern Thai architecture. Chiang Mai, Thailand ( color) Buddha images of several sizes. Chiang Mai, Thailand ( color) Wat Chai Phra Kiat. Chiang Mai, Thailand ( color) Wat Kuu Tao, with its unique chedi of Yunnanese design. Chiang Mai, Thailand ( color) Night Bazaar, a legacy of the original Yunnanese trading caravans. Chiang Mai, Thailand ( color) Akkha tribeswoman in the Night Bazaar. Chiang Mai, Thailand ( color) Vendors in the Night Bazaar. Chiang Mai, Thailand ( color) Hills in the outskirts of the city. Chiang Mai, Thailand ( color) Hmong village. Chiang Mai, Thailand ( color) Flower garden in Hmong village. Chiang Mai, Thailand ( color) Children in traditinal hmong dress in flower garden. Chiang Mai, Thailand ( color) Naga (snake) staircase leading to Wat Phra That Doi Suthep. Chiang Mai, Thailand ( color) Bells at Wat Phra That Doi Suthep. Chiang Mai, Thailand ( color) Worshiper rings bells at Wat Phra That Doi Suthep. Chiang Mai, Thailand ( color) Worshiper makes offering at Wat Phra That Doi Suthep. Chiang Mai, Thailand ( color) Worshipers at Wat Phra That Doi Suthep, the North most sacred temple. Chiang Mai, Thailand ( color) Worshipers at the Chedi of Wat Phra That Doi Suthep. Chiang Mai, Thailand ( color) Gold umbrella and chedi of Wat Phra That Doi Suthep. Chiang Mai, Thailand ( color) Wat Phra That Doi Suthep at sunset. Chiang Mai, Thailand ( color)

All text and photos © . See conditions for use of images. There are 25 color pictures of Chiang Mai on this page
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