Get to know some background knowledge
This is our blog section. Here you can find interesting stories about Chiang Mai and Thai culture. Make sure to come back as we will add more articles on a regular basis.
Chang: Check out man’s best friend!
You know home’s far away when you’re climbing onto an elephant! These majestic creatures, man’s most useful ally in the jungle, will let you see Thailand from a whole new perspective. A journey you’ll never forget awaits you in Chiang Mai. So you have decided to go on a safari to an exotic location and see one of the world’s most beautiful animals – the elephant. You don’t have to head to Africa to see one of these gorgeous creatures either. Instead, you can find some of the tamest and beautiful elephants in Thailand. Thailand has long been known for these gentle giants, and they differ slightly from their African cousins.
The Indian Elephant
There are several species and sub-species of elephants found around the world. These species are the African and Asian. The Asian elephant is divided into sub-species of Sri Lankan, Indian, Sumatran and Borneo. Thailand’s famous elephants belong to the Indian species. Indian elephants are smaller than their African counterparts and there are subtle differences between other Indian elephants as well. Their height is shorter than other Indian elephants, they have shorter front legs and their body is thicker overall. Their ears are smaller than the African elephant and also shaped slightly differently as well. They have a more angled appearance than the larger African elephant. They also tend to have smaller tusks and not all elephants will have them, whereas African elephants do tend to always grow tusks.
Elephants are herbivores and they eat ripe bananas, bamboo, tree bark, leaves and various types of fruit. It takes an elephant 18 hours a day to eat until it’s full, consuming about 200 pounds of food a day. An elephant, however, will only digest about 40 percent of the food it eats so it must eat more than it will actually get the nutrients from in order to stay healthy.
Where They Live
Elephants are migratory, meaning they don’t tend to stay in one area all the time, they like to move around to find food. You will find Thailand elephants in the tropical forests that flank much of the country. The Thailand elephant was placed on the endangered s pieces list and efforts are being made to protect these animals so future generations can enjoy them. In recent years, scientists have found that the numbers of wild elephants have been increasing Thailand’s elephants have played an integral role in society. They have been used in manual labor and the tourism industry. There are many domesticated elephants now in the country and can be trained to live well with humans. If you are interested in learning more about these fascinating animals and seeing them in person, you can book a tour with one of the numerous tour companies in Chiang Mai. Ask your hotel reception for more information about booking a tour to see these fantastic animals.
01. November 2017 # Nature
Short history of Chiang Mai
Chiang Mai, also known as the New City in Thai, is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Asia. But how did Chiang Mai appear and what should you know about it? At first, there were a multitude of Mon settlements in the area, and some of these are around 15-16 centuries old. That being said, the Chiang Mai we know today took shape mostly thanks to King Mengrai.
At that time, the Lanna Kingdom covered most of the Northern Thailand. At that particular time, it was bordered by the Khmer Empire of Angkor to the East; China was in the North, Siam was in the South and Burma in the West. It was in 1296 when King Mengrai started to build Chiang Mai. His primary focus at that time was to make Chiang Mai the capital city of his kingdom.
There were some other capitals of the Lanna Kingdom at that point, with Chiang Rai, Chiang Saen, Wiang Kum Kam and Lamphun being some great examples. That being said, the last capital of the Lanna Kingdom before Chiang Mai was Wiang Kum Kam. This was created in 1281, and it was situated very close to the present-day Chiang Mai!
The problem is that Wiang Kum Kam was destroyed by flooding in 1294, due to massive weather changes that affected the Ping River. In fact, it was hidden for more than 700 years, since it was discovered by mistake at the end of the 20th century. Nowadays, the ruins of Wiang Kum Kan are guarded at all times, and they are a national treasure.
This was the context in which the Lana Kingdom was at that time. So, with their capital flooded, they wanted to find a place that had fertile valleys, plains, rivers and high mountains. The region where Chiang Mai was located brought in the perfect location for their capital. Soon, Chiang Mai became the primary trading town between Burma and the Southern Chinese sectors.
Obviously, having control over this region became a great opportunity, so many neighbors tried to take this city from the Lanna Kingdom. In fact, the fate of Chiang Mai was sealed as they had to defend the capital for centuries. Burma finally managed to conquer it in 1557, and they incorporated it as a vassal state.
It was during the next 200 years that Chiang Mai went through multiple leaderships, usually it was a shift of power between Siam and Burma. That being said, in 1771 the Lanna King at that time got to remove the Burmese supremacy from the region, with help from Siam.
Around a century later, in 1892, the Lanna Kingdom and its capital Chiang Mai became a part of Siam. The kingdom was eventually dissolved, and it became just a 20000 km2 area in the Chiang Mai region.
In 1932, the entire Chiang Mai region became a part of Siam, and in 1949 Siam became Thailand. So, Chiang Mai did have quite an interesting history that spans over more than 700 years. Nowadays it is a cherished location and one of the most popular tourist destinations in the entire country!
01. November 2017 # History
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