The ancient city of Chiang Mai (pronounced ChE-ng My-E) rests on a plain among the rolling foothills of the Himalayan Mountains in norther Thailand, about 435 miles north of Bangkok, nestled between lush countryside and mountains.
Founded in 1296, its historical center is the walled city, a nearly square area surrounded by a moat and walls, sections of which have been restored.
Chiang Mai is Thailand’s fifth largest city with a population of 170,000 in the city proper and nearly a million in the metropolitan area. There is a significant expat population here and city has a decidedly cosmopolitan air.
“The Rose of the North”
Life is slow, relaxing, and beautiful with an easy, languid pace. The air is fragrant with the exotic smells of lemongrass and street food. Gentle smiles and flowers surround; the soft, flat sound of people speaking in a moderate tone of voice floats through the air. Artists and musicians abound. She is Chiang Mai, the “Rose of the North”–my new home.