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Escorted Rail Tours of Chiang Mai

The capital of northern Thailand

Also referred to as 'the Thai capital of the north', Chiang Mai is Thailand's second largest city. Chiang Mai was first founded in 1296, and due to a prominent location on the River Ping and close to the Burmese border, it soon became the capital of the Lanna kingdom. As the city continued to develop and increase in importance, many defensive walls and other structures were built, along with the magnificent temples that are dotted throughout the Old Town today. In time relations with the Burmese became strained, and with an increasing number of attacks Chiang Mai lost its status as a capital, and began to diminish in importance. After the end of the Lanna Kingdom, in 1774 the city formally became part of Siam, and once again the city began to expand.

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The Ancient Kingdoms of Thailand and Laos

Embark on an unforgettable exploration of this mystic corner of the globe, discovering the magnificent temples of Bangkok, journeying across the River Kwai on the historic Death Railway, and experiencing the spiritual city of Chiang Mai. Sail along the Mekong to the ancient kingdom of Laos and absorb its enchanting mixture of culture and charm.

16 days from Please call for detailsView tour details
The Eastern & Oriental Express

Explore three wonderfully contrasting, exotic countries of south-east Asia on this breathtaking tour. Travelling on the iconic Eastern & Oriental Express, we visit Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore, experiencing ancient temples, royal residences and modern skyscrapers.

12 days from Please call for detailsView tour details
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More about Chiang Mai

Northern Thailand
Today Chiang Mai is a thriving city, and it serves as a focal point for much of Thailand's northern region. The city is seen as a centre that represents all that is distinctly different from the south in Thai culture, as many of the surrounding northern provinces still continue with ancient customs such as making paper umbrellas.

Buddha's temple
Arguably one of Chiang Mai's most popular highlights is the Wat Phra That Doi Suthep temple. Perched on a hilltop overlooking the city, the temple was founded in the 1380s and takes its name from the hill it sits on. According to legend, the temple was built on the site where a bone - believed to be the shoulder bone of the Buddha - was found. Decorated with a lavish interior and crowned with a fantastic golden tower, the temple is very popular with locals and visitors alike.

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