As the capital of the kingdom of Lan Na, Chiang Mai once dominated the mountainous area of continental Southeast Asia between Southern Yunnan and Northern Thailand. During a golden age in the 15th and 16th centuries, the city played a major role in the development of Buddhism in Thailand. However, the kingdom was to disappear in political struggles, and Chiang Mai became a backwater of Siam until the city's heritage and mystique as the gateway to the mountainous Golden Triangle helped bring about its revival as the center of culture and commerce in Northern Thailand.
With the expertise of a resident, Oliver Hargreave first presents Chiang Mai as a historical city of tradition that has evolved into a thriving modern city. Then he takes the city as a starting point for journeys into the picturesque valley and the surrounding mountains. This latest edition includes developments that came under the government of Thaksin Shinawatra, a native of Chiang Mai who was Thailand's prime minister (2001-2006) before becoming its most controversial exile.
Exploring Chiang Mai is an invaluable handbook for visitors who want to stay in Northern Thailand's cultural capital and travel into the surrounding scenery.
+ Second international edition of this popular guidebook, first published in Thailand
+ Written by an expatriate resident fluent in Thai
+ Text divided into easy-to-use travel sections
+ Numerous sidebars covering history and culture
+ Unique collection of more than 250 color photographs with informative captions