Chiang Mai is the major center of Northern Thailand, some 700 km from Bangkok. It is one of Thailand’s largest cities with a population of over 500,000 and growing. Located on a plain surrounded by mountains, the peak of Doi Suthep looms just 13 kilometers away and looks over the city and surrounding lush countryside. With history dated back over 800 years, Chiang Mai is one of the oldest cities of Thailand embracing abundant historical and cultural heritage.
Agriculture, mainly fruit, vegetables and some rice cultivation, is the mainstay of the local economy. Tourism has become an important economic growth point for the city. Other industry includes cottage industry, handicraft production, exporting, small scale business and manufacturing.
With a cosmopolitan air and a significant expat population, it’s much greener and quieter than Bangkok, factors which have led many Thais from other part of the country to settle permanently in Chiang Mai.