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Chiang Mai Travel & Tourism Guide



Chiang Mai and North Thailand Eco-tourism

  • The biogeographical region of North Thailand consists of a mountainous region with river valleys which include the highest elevations in Thailand. Accordingly many central Asian species of animals and plants reach their southern distributions in these mountain areas.By biogeography we refer to the distribution of animals and plants and particular geography.
  • The major ecosystems in Northern Thailand are Hill Evergreen Forest, Mixed Deciduous Forest, Deciduous Dipterocarp Forest and Pine Forest.
  • There are 59 National Parks in North Thailand. North Thailand also can be divided between the Upper North and Lower North areas. National Parks in Chiang Mai Province are listed and linked opposite.




Chiang Mai Art and Culture For Tourism

  • Thai art and architecture culture in Northern Thailand follows themes for each ethnic group or empire. Apart from some prehistoric artifacts the first major archaeological remains and art are those of the Mon people and the Haripunjaya Empire [ 8th – 13th C ]. These were influenced by the prevailing Indian concepts, cosmology and mythology.
  • The dominant Tai influences were those of the Siamese Tai of Sukhothai in Lower North [ late 13th to mid 15th C ] and of the Tai Yuan [ Khon Muang ] Lan Na art  style in Upper North [ 13th –19th C ]. The differences in Thai art are illustrated in images of Buddha, bas-reliefs, Wat and stupa construction.
  • Later, for 218 years [ mid 16th C to mid 18th C ] Lan Na was occupied by the Kingdom of Pegu from Burma [ now Myanmar ] during which period all art works were influenced by their views. In the 19th C the Shan people [ Tai Yai ] arrived from Burma bringing with them their northern Burmese Shan styles of art and architecture.
  • These various styles are demonstrated in terracotta and bronze figures [ particularly Buddhist themes ], temple and stupa design, woodcarvings, stucco, gilt and lacquer. These styles and themes are discussed and where to see examples of each are detailed in the North Thailand tourism links.