Chiang Mai province

Province of Thailand
Chiang Mai
จังหวัดเชียงใหม่ · ᨧᩢ᩠ᨦᩉ᩠ᩅᩢᨩ᩠ᨿᨦᩉᩲ᩠ᨾ᩵
Flag of Chiang Mai
Official seal of Chiang Mai
"ดอยสุเทพเป็นศรี ประเพณีเป็นสง่า บุปผชาติล้วนงามตา นามล้ำค่านครพิงค์" ('Doi Suthep is Sri, Tradition is elegant, Beautiful blossoms and Invaluable name of Nakornping')
Thailand Chiang Mai locator map.svg
18°50′14″N 98°58′14″E / 18.83722°N 98.97056°E / 18.83722; 98.97056Coordinates: 18°50′14″N 98°58′14″E / 18.83722°N 98.97056°E / 18.83722; 98.97056
Founded byMangrai
CapitalChiang Mai
 • GovernorPrajon Prachsakul
(since October 2021)
 • Total22,135 km2 (8,546 sq mi)
 • Rank1st
 • Total1,779,254
 • RankRanked 5th
 • Density79/km2 (200/sq mi)
  • RankRanked 63rd
Human Achievement Index
 • HAI (2017)0.6159 
"somewhat high"
Ranked 21st
Time zoneUTC+7 (ICT)
Postal code
Calling code052 & 053
ISO 3166 codeTH-50
Vehicle registrationเชียงใหม่
Accession into Siam (Thailand)1910
Chiang Mai province
Lanna- Thai Chiang Mai.svg
"Chiang Mai" in Thai language (top) and
Northern Thai with Tai Tham script (bottom)
Thai name
RTGSChiang Mai
Northern Thai name
Northern Thaiᨩ᩠ᨿᨦᩉᩲ᩠ᨾ᩵
This article contains Lanna text. Without proper rendering support, you may see question marks, boxes, or other symbols instead of Tai Tham script.

Chiang Mai (Thai: เชียงใหม่, pronounced [t͡ɕʰīa̯ŋ.màj] (listen); Northern Thai: ᨩ᩠ᨿᨦᩉᩲ᩠ᨾ᩵, pronounced [tɕiaŋ.màj]) is the second largest Province (changwat) of Thailand. It lies in upper northern Thailand and has a population of 1.78 million people. It is bordered by Chiang Rai to the northeast, Lampang and Lamphun to the south, Tak to the southwest, Mae Hong Son to the west, and Shan State of Burma to the north. The capital, Chiang Mai, is 685 kilometres (426 mi) north of Bangkok.


Chiang Mai province is about 685 km (426 mi) from Bangkok in the Mae Ping River basin and is on average at 300 m (1,000 ft) elevation. Surrounded by the mountain ranges of the Thai highlands, it covers an area of approximately 20,107 km2 (8,000 sq mi). The mountains of the Daen Lao Range (ทิวเขาแดนลาว) at the north end of the province, the Thanon Thong Chai Range (เทือกเขาถนนธงชัย) with the highest mountain in Thailand, Doi Inthanon at 2,565 metres (8,415 ft), stretching in a north–south direction, and the Khun Tan Range in the east of the province are covered by rain forest. The Mae Ping, one of the major tributaries of the Chao Phraya River, originates in the Daen Lao mountains. Several national parks are in the province: Doi Inthanon,[4] Doi Suthep-Pui,[5] Ob Luang,[6] Sri Lanna,[7] Huai Nam Dang,[8] Mae Wang,[9] and Pha Daeng.[10] The total forest area is 15,404 km2 (5,948 sq mi) or 69.6 percent of provincial area.[1]


Chiang Mai the capital of Chiang Mai province was capital of the Lanna Kingdom after its founding in 1296, during the same period of time as the establishment of the Sukhothai Kingdom.[11] From then, Chiang Mai not only became the capital and cultural core of the Lanna Kingdom, it was also the centre of Buddhism in northern Thailand and King Meng Rai built innumerable temples.

In 1558, Chiang Mai became a colony of the First Toungoo Empire. Chiang Mai remained its colony for more than 200 years, until in the Burmese–Siamese War (1775–1776). In 1774 the Burmese colonial regime were finally driven out of Chiang Mai by a coalition of Lanna and Siamese forces and it then became a tributary state of Siam, which later installed a Lanna chieftain ally, Kawila, to independently rule over Lampang and Chiang Mai region as a monarch.

In the reign of King Rama V of Siam, under his administrative centralization policy and due to inept of Chiang Mai ruling family, Chiang Mai eventually lost her independent, was annexed and became a second level subdivision of Siam as an administrative unit of Monthon Phayap, the remains of the Lanna Kingdom, was dissolved.

From 1933 on, Chiang Mai received its status as a "province" of Siam and remained so until the present day.


Of the population, 13.4 percent in the province are members of hill tribes:

  • Akha the largest population of any hill tribe in the region. Originating from Tibet and Southern China, they dwell on high ground around 1,200 metres (3,937 ft) above sea-level. Within their villages they build a spirit gateway to protect them from evil spirits.
  • Hmong from southern China. Prefer higher elevations. They raise livestock and grow rice, corn, tobacco, and cabbage. Known for their embroidery and silver.
  • Karen occupy valleys and riverbanks.
  • Lahu from southern China and live in high areas. They are known as hunters and planters.
  • Lisu from southern China and Tibet are renowned for their colorful dress and also build their dwellings on high poles. They harvest rice and corn and their men are skilled in hunting.
  • Tai Lue live in dwellings of usually only a single room wooden house built on high poles. They are skilled in weaving.
  • Tai Yai, Burmese in origin, harvest rice, farm, raise cattle and trade. Their craftsmanship lies in weaving, pottery, wood carving and bronze ware.
  • Yao reside on mountainsides and grow corn and other crops. They are skilled blacksmiths, silversmiths and embroiders.

Religion in Chiang Mai

  Buddhism (91.66%)
  Christianity (7.7%)
  Islam (0.39%)
  Hinduism (0.05%)
  Confucianism (0.02%)
  Sikhism (0.1%)
  Not Religious (0.14%)
  Unknown (0.01%)
  Other (0.03%)


The seal of the province shows a white elephant in a glass pavilion. The white elephant is a royal symbol in Thailand, and it is depicted to remember the offering of a white elephant by Thammalangka, a ruler of Chiang Mai, to his overlord, King Rama II of Bangkok. The pavilion symbolizes that Buddhism prospered in Chiang Mai, especially when in 1477 the teachings of Buddha, the Tripitaka, were reviewed.[12]

The provincial flower and tree is the "flame of the forest" (Butea monosperma).[12]

The provincial slogan is In the shadow of Mount Doi Suthep, blessed with rice customs and traditions, beautiful wild flowers, magnificent Nakhon Phing.[12]

Administrative divisions and postal codes

Map of 25 districts

Chiang Mai is subdivided into 25 districts (amphoe). The districts are further divided into 204 subdistricts (tambon) and 2,066 villages (muban).

  1. Mueang Chiang Mai: 50000
  2. Chom Thong: 50160
  3. Mae Chaem: 50270
  4. Chiang Dao: 50170
  5. Doi Saket: 50220
  6. Mae Taeng: 50150
  7. Mae Rim: 50180
  8. Samoeng: 50250
  9. Fang: 50110
  10. Mae Ai: 50280
  11. Phrao: 50190
  12. San Pa Tong: 50120
  13. San Kamphaeng: 50130
  14. San Sai: 50210
  15. Hang Dong: 50230
  16. Hot: 50240
  17. Doi Tao: 50260
  18. Omkoi: 50310
  19. Saraphi: 50140
  20. Wiang Haeng: 50350
  21. Chai Prakan: 50320
  22. Mae Wang: 50360
  23. Mae On: 50130
  24. Doi Lo: 50160
  25. Galyani Vadhana: 50270[13]

Local government

As of 26 November 2019 there are:[14] one Chiang Mai Provincial Administration Organisation (ongkan borihan suan changwat) and 121 municipal (thesaban) areas in the province. Chiang Mai has city (thesaban nakhon) status. Mae Jo, Mae Hia, Mueang Kaen Phatthana and Ton Pao have town (thesaban mueang) status. Further 116 subdistrict municipalities (thesaban tambon). The non-municipal areas are administered by 89 Subdistrict Administrative Organisations - SAO (ongkan borihan suan tambon).[2]



Chiang Mai has a tropical wet and dry climate (Köppen Aw), tempered by the low latitude and moderate elevation, with warm to hot weather year-round, though nighttime conditions during the dry season can be cool and are much lower than daytime highs. The maximum temperature ever recorded is 42.4 °C (108.3 °F) in May 2005.[15]

Human achievement index 2017

Health Education Employment Income
Health icon Thai.png Round Landmark School Icon - Transparent.svg Employment icon.png Numismatics and Notaphily icon.png
39 10 56 17
Housing Family Transport Participation
Parents, enfants, famille.png
Groundtransport inv.svg Icon Sociopolítica y relaciones internacionales (wikiproyect, es.wp).png
39 70 26 11
Province Chiang Mai, with an HAI 2017 value of 0.6159 is "somewhat high", occupies place 21 in the ranking.

Since 2003, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Thailand has tracked progress on human development at sub-national level using the Human Achievement Index (HAI), a composite index covering all the eight key areas of human development. The National Economic and Social Development Board (NESDB) took over this task in 2017.[3]

Rank Classification
  1–15 "high"
16–30 "somewhat high"
31–45 "average"
45–60 "somewhat low"
61–77 "low"
Map with provinces and HAI 2017 rankings
HAI 2017 rankings.png


Chiang Mai International Airport showing Doi Suthep temple in the upper left corner
  • Road: Chiang Mai is on Highway 11, the only 2-digit road number in the province. Other roads connect the city of Chiang Mai with the north and south of the province, as well as with the east towards Chiang Rai province.
  • Train: Chiang Mai railway station is the northern terminus of the Northern Line, operated by the State Railway of Thailand.
  • Air: Chiang Mai International Airport (CNX) is one of the seven Thai international airports under the aegis of the Airports of Thailand Public Company Limited (AOT).[16] As Chiang Mai International Airport is the major gateway to northern Thailand, it plays an important role in promoting travel and tourism throughout the northern region. Today, 14 airlines serve the airport and more than 3,000,000 passengers, 15,000 flights, and 16,000 tons of cargo are handled annually.[citation needed]*Songthaew


Chiang Mai province is the tourist hub of the north and one of Thailand's most important tourist destinations.[citation needed] It is considered one of the most scenic provinces in the country due to its mountain ranges, valleys, flora, and fauna. For example, the Hang Dong Canyon is coveted as a great tourist attraction. Furthermore, unlike most of Thailand, in some months, the climate in the north and Chiang Mai is cool, fresh, and misty.


Each amphoe of Chiang Mai has its own hospital, but among the largest are located in Mueang Chiang Mai District and include Maharaj Nakorn Chiang Mai Hospital and Nakornping Hospital.

Local products

Chiang Mai is a handicrafts centre, with a variety of antiques, silver jewellery, and embroidery, Thai silks and cottons, basketry, celadon, silverware, furniture, lacquerware, woodcarvings, and parasols.[17]

Local culture

The north of Thailand's culture is Lanna in origin and the people are proud of their northern roots. The region is home to distinctive foods, music, arts, way of life, and even language. Chiang Mai is home to various hill tribes and their own distinctive cultures.

Local food

Khao soi
  • Nam phrik ong is a type of Nam phrik chili paste which is made of minced pork and tomatoes. It is usually eaten with soft-boiled vegetables, pork crackling, or deep-fried crunchy rice cakes.
  • Nam phrik num meaning "chili paste young man", is another kind of paste which can be eaten with pork crackling.
  • Sai ua is a local sausage that is very aromatic and spicy and is usually eaten with sticky rice.
  • Kaeng meaning "curry", is not made with coconut milk in the north.
    • Kaeng hang-le is northern-style pork curry
    • Kaeng om is a spicy curry consisting of intestines
    • Kaeng khae is a spicy curry consisting mainly of vegetables.
  • Khanom chin nam ngiao is a traditional northern noodle dish with chicken or pork.
  • Khao soi is a noodle dish which can be made from chicken, pork, or beef made with coconut milk and garnished with chopped fresh shallots, pickled cabbage, chilli paste to taste, and a slice of fresh lime.


There are two main sport stadia in Chiang Mai and its environs: 700th Anniversary Stadium and Province Stadium. 700th Anniversary Stadium is on Klongchonpratan Road, 7 km (4.3 mi) from Chiang Mai University. There are swimming pools, diving pool, basketball arena, and 11 tennis courts.

  • Chiang Mai, Yi Peng Festival

    Chiang Mai, Yi Peng Festival

  • People floating krathong rafts during the Loi Krathong festival in Chiang Mai

    People floating krathong rafts during the Loi Krathong festival in Chiang Mai

Sister cities

The province is twinned with eight provinces/states.[18]

Notable inhabitants

  • Thaksin Shinawatra (Thai:ทักษิณ ชินวัตร) (born 1949), politician and businessman
  • Yingluck Shinawatra (Thai:ยิ่งลักษณ์ ชินวัตร) (born 1967), politician



  1. ^ a b "ตารางที่ 2 พี้นที่ป่าไม้ แยกรายจังหวัด พ.ศ.2562" [Table 2 Forest area Separate province year 2019]. Information, Forest statistics Year 2019, Thailand boundary from Department of Provincial Administration in 2013 (in Thai). Royal Forest Department. 2019. Retrieved 6 April 2021.
  2. ^ a b รายงานสถิติจำนวนประชากรและบ้านประจำปี พ.ส.2562 [Statistics, population and house statistics for the year 2019]. Registration Office Department of the Interior, Ministry of the Interior. (in Thai). 31 December 2019. Retrieved 26 February 2020.
  3. ^ a b Human achievement index 2017 by National Economic and Social Development Board (NESDB), pages 1–40, maps 1–9, retrieved 14 September 2019, ISBN 978-974-9769-33-1.
  4. ^ "Doi Inthanon National Park". Tourist Authority of Thailand (TAT). Archived from the original on 1 May 2015. Retrieved 21 Mar 2015.
  5. ^ "Doi Suthep-Pui National Park". Department of National Parks (DNP) Thailand. Archived from the original on 24 May 2015. Retrieved 24 May 2015.
  6. ^ "Ob Luang National Park". Department of National Parks (DNP) Thailand. Archived from the original on 9 November 2013. Retrieved 24 May 2015.
  7. ^ "Si Lanna National Park". Department of National Parks (DNP) Thailand. Archived from the original on 24 May 2015. Retrieved 24 May 2015.
  8. ^ "Huai Nam Dang National Park". Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT). Archived from the original on 2 April 2015. Retrieved 21 Mar 2015.
  9. ^ "Mae Wang National Park". Department of National Parks (DNP) Thailand. Archived from the original on 12 February 2015. Retrieved 24 May 2015.
  10. ^ "Pha Daeng National Park". Department of National Parks (DNP) Thailand. Archived from the original on 24 May 2015. Retrieved 24 May 2015.
  11. ^ "Chiang Mai". Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT). Archived from the original on 30 March 2015. Retrieved 21 Mar 2015.
  12. ^ a b c "Office of the Royal Society" (in Thai). Section เชียงใหม่.
  13. ^ The code 25 was assigned to a planned district named Wiang Kham, which however wasn't created.
  14. ^ "Number of local government organizations by province". Department of Local Administration (DLA). 26 November 2019. Retrieved 10 December 2019. 13 Chiang Mai: 1 PAO, 1 City mun., 4 Town mun., 116 Subdistrict mun., 89 SAO.
  15. ^ "Daily Climate Weather Data Statistics". Retrieved 2012-04-29.
  16. ^ "Chiang Mai International Airport". Airports of Thailand Public Co., Ltd. Archived from the original on 4 December 2016. Retrieved 24 May 2015.
  17. ^ "Shopping Chiang Mai". Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT). Archived from the original on 24 May 2015. Retrieved 24 May 2015.
  18. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2015-09-23. Retrieved 2016-06-23.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  19. ^ "MOU of the Establishment of Friendship between Province of Chiang Mai and Prefecture of Hokkaido" (PDF). Retrieved 2018-12-29.
  20. ^ "ประยุทธ์เยือนพม่า-ขอสื่ออย่าระบุสัญชาติผู้ต้องหาเกาะเต่า".

External links

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Chiang Mai Province.
Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Chiang Mai.
  • Chiang Mai Creative City Page
  • Website of Chiang Mai provincial administration
  • Website of Chiang Mai Provincial Administration Organization
Places adjacent to Chiang Mai province
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