The Emblem of Chiang Mai

     Chiang  Mai is a city built on the roots of a traditional heritage that dig deep into the soil of time. It's  a  city  with  a  beautiful  cultural personality of its own. In addition, it's been blessed with much majestic  beauty  in  nature.  The  people  themselves  are  an  unforgettable  part  of Chiang Mai. Handicrafts  of  silk,  silver  and  wood  are  timeless souvenirs for visitors from all over the globe. Along  with  all  this, a wide variety of accommodations, restaurants, and entertainment all help to make Chiang Mai one of Thailand's prime tourist attractions.

     Chiang  Mai,  761 kms.  by rail, approximately 700 kms. by road north of Bangkok, with an area of 20,107.1 sq.lms., is Thailand's second largest city and capital of the northern region.

     Situated  between  north  latitude 17-21 and east longitude 98-99, the province of Chiang Mai is found  in  the  upper  area  of  Thailand's  northern  region. Chiang Mai valley is 310 meters (1,027 feet)  above  sea  level.  The  widest point of the province measures 136 kms. (85 miles), and the longest 320 kms. (200 miles). To the north, a 277 kms. (141.82 miles) stretch of mountains divides Chiang  Mai's  northern  districts  of  Fang  and  Mae  Ai  from  Myanmar's (Burma's) Chiang Tung (Shan)  State.  In  certain  areas,  the  Kok  River  also  acts  as a border between Chiang Mai and Myanmar.  On  the  east,  Chiang  Mai  is  bodered  by  the  Chaing  Rai,  Lampang, and Lamphun provinces.  The  Mae  Tuen  River, Ream Mountain, and Luang Mountain separate Chiang Mai's South  from  the  province of Tak. Some portions of Chiang Mai's South also border the Lamphun province. Tothe west, Chiang Mai is bordered by Mae Hong Son province.

     A  large part  (69.31 %)  of  Chiang  Mai's  land  is  covered  by  mountains  and  forests. These generally  run  in a north-south pattern through the province and give birth to several streams and tributaries  (such  as the Mae Jam, Mae Ngud, and Mae Klang) which in turn feed important rivers and  irrigation  canals  (such  as  the  Muang  and  Faay)  which  provide  the  water  necessary to Chiang  Mai's   agriculture.   Chiang  Mai's  largest  and  most  important  river  is  the  Ping,  which originates in the mountains of Chiang Dao and flows southward for 540 kilometers (337.5 miles). It is along the banks of this river that Chiang Mai's flat, fertile valley atea lies.

     Chiang  Mai  is  also home to Inthanon Mountain, which stands 2,575 meters (8,448 feet) above sea level and is Thailand's highest mountain.

Cool Season :      (late October to end of Februry). average temperature 21? C and much cooler                                   at night. The colest months are December and January.
Hot Season :        (early March to end of May) Average temperature 29.9? C. The hottest month is                                   April.
Rainy Season :   (early June to end of October). Average temperature 25.5? C. The wettest                                   month is September.

     With  a  population  of  1,547,085  Chiang  Mai  is  one  of  Thailand's  largest  provinces.  Of the above  number,  170,348  are  currently  living  in  Chiang  Mai's  city  area  with the rest distributed throughout  Chiang  Mai's  21  districts, 2 sub-districts. 80% of the people in Chiang Mai are locals by  birth, and speak a sialext that is a slight variation of the central Thai language. The remaining 20%  is made up of Thai nationals and foreigners who have moved to Chiang Mai to work, study, or retire.

     There  are  many  hilltribe  people  living  in the mountainous districts  surrounding  Chiang  Mai  such  as  Omkoi,  Mae Jam, Chiang   Dao , and  Mae  Ai.  Statistics  reported  by  the  Tribal Research  Institute  of  Chiang  Mai  stated  that in the year 1992 there  were  1,049  hilltribe  villages in the Chiang Mai province, constituting  a  total  of  174,195 people. Of this amount, 106,116 were  from  the  Karen  tribe,  27,392 from the Lahu (Musur) tribe, 17,198  from  the  Hmong  (Meo) tribe, 10,873 form the Lisu tribe, 8,862  from  the  Lua  tribe,  2,609 from the Akha tribe, 1,145 from the Mien (yao) tribe, and 485 from the Palong tribe. The hilltribe people  are  agricultural;  planting  fields,  raising  animals, and hunting  for  a  living.  Since  each  tribe  has  its own culture and language,   they   blanket   the  hills  of  Chiang  Mai  with  an  in-
teresting patchwork quilt of diverse variety.
     The   majority   (80%)   of   the   Chiang   Mai  people  earn  a  living through     agriculture    and    agricultural    related   professions.  The second   largest   vocation  is  tourism  and  its direc tly and indirectly related   jobs.  General  commerce and industry-mainly in the form of handicrafts,  and  of  processing   agricultural  products - are  the  two other   major  professions  in  which  the  Chiang  Mai  people  are  in-