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Chiang Mai skyline from Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep

Chiang Mai's skyline, as seen from Doi Suthep Mountain at the sacred temple of Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep. Located amongst Thailand's highest mountains in the Ping River valley, Chiang Mai is the country's sixth largest city and the north's most culturally significant. According to legend, it was founded in 1296 when King Mengrai saw two albino deer fend off a pack of wolves at this site. Seen as an auspicious sign, he relocated his capital here from Chiang Rai. His two regional allies, King Ramkamhaeng of Sukhothai and King Ngam Muang of Payao, helped design the walled city's layout. It remained the seat of the Kingdom of Lanna until 1768. (Brian K. Smith photo.)

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