Thailand’s “Rose of the North” contains both cultural and natural diversity, a multitude of attractions, and welcoming hospitality. Located about 700 kilometres from Bangkok, it is one of Thailand’s better known and most visited provinces. Chiang Mai literally means “new city” and has retained the name despite celebrating its 700th anniversary in 1996. Originally the capital of the Lanna Thai kingdom created by King Mengrai in 1296 around the same time as the establishment of the Sukhothai Kingdom. Chiang Mai not only became the capital and cultural core of the Lanna Kingdom, but also the center of Buddhism in northern Thailand and one of the kingdom’s most beautiful provinces with mountain ranges and hills amidst lush greenery and jungle. The province is also famed as being a home to numerous tribal peoples. Some of the main attractions in the area include Wat Phra That Doi Suthep and Doi Intanon – Thailand’s biggest mountain.