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About Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai (Thai: เชียงใหม่) sometimes written as "Chiangmai", is the largest and most culturally significant city in northern Thailand. It is located 700 km (435 mi) north of Bangkok, among the highest mountains in the country. Chiang Mai means "new city" and was so-named because it was the new capital, founded in 1296.

In recent years, Chiang Mai has become an increasingly modern city and has been attracting over 5 million visitors each year, of which between 1.4 million and 2 million are foreign tourists. Chiang Mai gained prominence in the political sphere in May 2006, when the Chiang Mai Initiative was concluded here between the ASEAN nations and the "+3" countries (China, Japan, and South Korea). Chiang Mai is one of three Thai cities contending to host the World Expo 2020 (the others are Chon Buri and Ayutthaya). It has also recently positioned itself to become a Creative City and is considering to apply for Creative City Status with UNESCO. Chiang Mai is the only tourist destination in Thailand to have made it in to the 2012 list of "25 Best Destinations in the World" of the popular travel website TripAdvisor, standing in place 24.

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