Chiang Mai is translated to "New City" and is the biggest city in the mountainous region of northern Thailand. Chiang Mai is the official capital city of the province of Chiang Mai. The city was established in 1296 and was once the capital city of the kingdom of Lan Na. Chiang Mai is conveniently located in proximity to the Ping River as well as other major trade routes. Chiang Mai is home to the beautiful Old City region, which still features remains and ruins from the ancient times, which represent the history and development of the people and city of Chiang Mai. The walls and moats herein are a representation of Chiang Mai city as a cultural and religious center. Several intricately designed Buddhist temples also reign here, for instance, the Wat Phra Singh Temple from the fourteenth century and the carved serpent-themed Wat Chedi Luang of the fifteenth century. On the outskirts of the Old City in Chiang Mai, the busy Nimmanhaemin Road is home to numerous sophisticated, intricate boutiques and beautiful galleries with beautiful art and craftworks being sold. This area attracts many tourists who want to catch a few souvenirs as they tour Chiang Mai. Another such spot is the Night Bazaar, a vast region of open-air markets that offer the best trades in beautiful silky handicrafts, fine silverware, as well as stunning lacquerware. In the same area, the street is lined with cafes, food shops, and restaurants, which serve the tasty local dishes like khao soi - virtually a bowl of egg curry and noodles. More local meals like the khantoke are served around town, complete, and served n lowly tables in teak pavilions. These are enjoyed along with beautiful Thai music and dance presentations. Within Chiang Mai, there is also a provision for a way through for treks and trails into the mountains close by, where visitors get to visit stunning temples, engage in elephant training, as well as the nearby rehabilitation camps and visits to the isolated villages of the hill tribes.
With its mountainous placement, Chiang Mai experiences a tropical savannah climate mostly because of the low latitude as well as the mild elevation. The climate is characterized by days that range between warm and hot all year round and nights that are cool with tolerable temperature. Chiang Mai experiences two major seasons - the wet, rainy season and the dry season. The rainy season, from May to November, is usually typical of hot, humid days and cool, tolerable nights. The most torrential rains are experienced in September. The dry season, from December to April, is characterized by mild temperature during the day and cold weather at night. In February, for three days, Chiang Mai holds the Flower Festival, which is also referred to as the "Rose of the North" amid colorful displays of flowers that are blossoming during the time. It also involves dancers and dressing up shows as well as various indigenous flower exhibitions. In April, Chiang Mai celebrates the Songkran / Thai New year amid all the colorfulness and festivities that involve food parties, music, and dance shows across the entire Chiang Mai, with a culmination of dazzling fireworks. In November, the Loi Krathong, also known as the festival of lights, is celebrated. Thousands of small lit candles are set afloat on the rivers during this celebration.