With an abundance of natural and cultural wonders, Chiang Mai has loads of attractions for tourists visiting Thailand. It is gradually becoming a modern city and draws millions of visitors coming from different parts of the globe every year. They can find plenty of natural features like rivers, mountains and waterfalls while touring this amazing city. Presence of an indigenous culture preserved by various hill tribes would truly fascinate travelers coming to this region. The diverse offerings of Chiang Mai are such that even two weeks would not be enough for backpackers to explore the entire city. It has been voted as one of the top destinations to live in Asia, and it has managed to retain its old charm despite the efforts of modernizing it. It not only attracts nature lovers, but also the individuals who are interested in adventurous activities such as trekking.
Chiang Mai, which means 'New City', was founded in the year 1296 by King Mengrai on the location of a previously existing city called Wiang Nopburi. As Burma and the Mongol Empire was a big threat to this city, a moat and defensive wall was built around it to ensure its protection. But, the city was eventually occupied by the Burmese in mid-sixteenth century and remained under their rule till a Thai King known as Taksin annexed it from them in the late seventeenth century. Continuous counter-attacks from the Burmese resulted in Chiang Mai being abandoned, which made way for the development of trading and cultural activities. It grew in economic importance and became the unofficial capital of northern Thailand.