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Khum is a traditional house, while Chao Burirat means a higher level government office in the local political system. What makes this place unique is its architecture. It's a fusion of the western style and the local traditional style of building. The influence came from the British traders who came here for teak trading. The round arch is typically British while the roof is essentially Thai in style.
Interested in learning to climb, or exploring the underworld of caving? Or are you an expert, looking to add northern Thailand to your list of climbing and caving adventure locales? Located at the center of town is the climbing Club, where you can enjoy the bouldering wall, rent or purchase gear, and talk to the expert staff about your needs. Then head out to Crazy Horse Buttress, where novice climbers can take a top-rope course, and intermediate/advanced climbers can learn lead or multi-pitch climbing. If you want to explore caving, you can enjoy a 60meter rappel into the expansive cave system, through courses designed for novice and technical cavers. CMRCA also offers private guide services and special group programs. - Nora Dunn
The city of Chiang Mai is known for its beautiful Buddhist temples that represent serenity and peace, Wat Saen Fang being one of them. Formerly, a royal abode, it was transformed into a Viharn in 1878. Elaborately carved exterior and use of rich colors like gold and blue remind you of its glorious past. For more details, call ahead.
The city of Chiang Mai, officially called Nopaburi Srinakornping Chiang Mai, was constructed and established as the capital city of the Lanna Thai Kingdom in 1296 by King Mangrai the Great in consultation with his two close friends, King Ramkamhaeng of Sukhothai and King Ngammuang of Phayao. Depicting the three kings in a friendly stance, this is one of Chiang Mai's most important monuments. Celebrations often take place in the square beside the monument in the center of the old city.
This is a beautiful temple with an interesting history. In the 16th Century, an earthquake partially destroyed the chedi (spire) at the top. It was partially reconstructed in 1992, but ever since only the 60-meter-high (197 feet) foundation remains. For 84 years, it housed the famous Emerald Buddha that now stands in Wat Prakaew in Bangkok. Rumors say it was here that King Mengrai, a former ruler of the North, was struck by lightning. Although the wat was recently cleaned and preserving agents were added to maintain its appearance, some parts are still in ruins.
This temple, founded by King Mengrai in 1296, is Chiang Mai's oldest and in fact was constructed concurrently with the old city. The large viharn features massive teak columns and lavish royal red-and-gold wall paintings. The smaller viharn to the right contains the famous crystal Buddha, Phra Setangamani, thought to originate from Lopburi about 1,800 years ago. Next to it sits the marble Buddha, Phra Sila, another venerated image dating back some 2,500 years. Also of interest is the "sacred elephant encircled stupa," located behind the large temple on what was the site of the King's residence 700 years ago.
Located in the Doi Inthanont National Park, the Brichinda Cave is not a very large cave, but makes up for it in beautiful stalagmites. The cave has a huge cavern right at the entrance which has a skylight in the ceiling that opens to the sky. The cave is a huge tourist attraction and is a must visit on every tour. Do contact the tourism board for details.
Located at Witchayanon Road, is the ancient Wat Chai Sri Phum. This splendid temple is known for its spacious and grand viharn. The serene atmosphere is perfect for meditation and reflects calmness and peace. The original structure of the 'ho trai' or library has been replaced with a 2 tiered one. While in town, do visit Wat Chai Sri Phum. Call for details.