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Eminently known as “The Rose of the North”, Chiang Mai is bestowed an attractive location on the banks of the Ping river. This elegant city and its exotic surroundings are exquisitely blessed with surprising natural beauty and a distinctively indigenous cultural identity. The fascinating place is located about 700 kms from the capital city of the country – Bangkok. The most picturesque scenery in the whole Kingdom can be found in this terrain. The best landscape among which remains the fertile Ping River Valley, shinning patchwork of paddy fields, rolling hills at the vicinity and the fringed forested mountains (including Thailand’s highest peak, Doi Inthanon), jungles and rivers.
Apart from the naturally brilliant landscape, Chiang Mai is prominent for its exceptional handicrafts that showcase their exquisite culture. It is considered to be the best shopping destination for arts and crafts as one gets the best items in silk, wood, silver, ceramics and more. Besides the stunning arts and craft, the place is known for the glorious ancient temples which fascinate visitors for their northern Thai architectural Styles and incredible decorative details.
Wat Phra Sing
It is a glorious temple which is poised on Sam Lan Road since 1345. The temple enshrines the revered Phra Phutthasihing Buddha image which is not only amazingly glamorous but is also significant for the festivities. The main highlight of the temple is that it serves as a focal point for the Songkran Thai New Year festivities on April 13-15. The temple’s charm lies in the compound which includes the Lai Kham chapel. The chapel exclusively features exquisite woodcarvings and northern-style murals, a splendid scriptural repository with remarkable bas-reliefs, and a interesting bell-shaped stupa.
Wat Suan Dok
It is another fascinating temple which has been poised on Suthep Road since 14th century. The highlight of the temple is the royal flower garden which stands as a delight to the eyes. Another interesting aspect of the place is the group of white Chedi which comprises the revered ashes of the members of Chiang Mai’s former Royal Family. Last but not the least - the temple enshrines a 500-year-old bronze Buddha. It comes under the list of Thailand’s largest metal images.
Wat Chiang Man
The temple has been poised itself at Ratcaphankhinai Road in the old walled city since 1296. It is believed to be Chiang Mai’s oldest temple. The highlight of the place is the striking group of Chedi which is further adorned by rows of intricate elephant buttresses and a stunning chapel. The temple further enshrines the ancient Buddha images of Phra Kaeo Khao and Phra Sila Khao.
Chiang Mai transforms itself to a glorious walking street every weekend from 5:00 p.m. onwards. The traffic is closed for public and locals and visitors are welcomed in a street full of authentic handicrafts, interesting local arts, intriguing hill-tribe crafts, splendid souvenirs, and handmade products. The place becomes an entertainment site with shows performed by local artists playing traditional and modern music, often accompanied by Thai dancers.