Chiang Mai also sometimes written as "Chiengmai", is the largest and most culturally significant city in northern Thailand, and is the capital of Chiang Mai Province., 700 km. north of Bangkok, The district is covered by many mountains, chiefly stretching in the south-north direction. The river Ping, one of the major tributaries of the Chao Phraya River, originates in the Chiang Dao mountains. The highest mountain of Thailand, the 2,575 meter high Doi Inthanon, is located in the district. Several national parks are in the district: Doi Inthanon, Doi Suthep Pui, Mae Ping, Sri Lanna, Huay Nam Dang, Mae Phang, Chiang Dao
In recent years, Chiang Mai has become an increasingly modern city, although it lacks the cosmopolitan gloss of Bangkok. It has many attractions for the thousands of foreign visitors who come each year. Chiang Mai's historic importance is derived from its important strategic location on an ancient trade route. Long before the modern influx of foreign visitors, the city served as an important centre for handcrafted goods, umbrellas, jewelry (particularly silver) and woodcarving.
Doi Inthanon NP.
Thailand's highest mountain, elevation 2,530 m., is undoubtedly the foremost bird watching locality in Northern Thailand: 343 species recorded so far . Dry diperocarp forests on lower slopes give way to stands of pines and to open, deforested areas which support wintering Grey Bushchats, Siberian Rubythroats, Buff-throated, Radde's and Yellow-streaked warblers and a few Little and Chestnut Buntings. Buzzards and occasional Grey- faced Buzzard Hill evergreen forest above 1,500 m grades into lower-stature, almost montane-type forest around the summit, where small marsh surrounded by rhododendrons proves very attractive to winter visitors. There are usually five or six Red-flanked Bluetails in the vicinity and, in good years, large, mixed thrush flocks. Predominant leaf-warblers are the two resident species, White-tailed and Ashy-throated, together with wintering Orange-barred. Flocks of Scarlet Rosefinches are often present and frequently contain occasional surprise visitor, such as Dark-breasted Rosefinch. The metalled access road branches west off Highway 108, 58 km southwest of Chiang Mai and 1 km before Chom Thong, and extends 46 km to summit of mountain.
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