Nestled into the
foothills of northern Thailand, Chiang Mai is a sanctuary. The pace is
laid-back, the accoutrements are international and the landscape is
picturesque. It is a fine urban specimen with a much-celebrated traditional
culture ideal for sightseers, nature buffs and city connoisseurs.
The Lanna kings who
ruled the north from ancient Chiang Mai built a moated quarter filled with a
multitude of temples. These houses of worship are adorned with mirrored
mosaics, tinkling bells and gabled rooftops soaring skyward as if in
communication with the heavens. Wandering around these sacred spaces you'll
find art, architecture and enlightenment, as many offer monk chats and
meditation courses to tourists who are willing to do more than just look.
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