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Celebrating the Charm of Chiang Mai - by John Natharal

Chiang Mai - Chiangmai Gate Hotel entrance porch

Chiang Mai is the central hub of northern Thailand. Situated as it is, at a height and surrounded by mountains and verdant greenery, it is cooler than most of Thailand and has a more relaxed and refreshing attitude.

Chiang Mai - Wat Chedi Luang - Phra Dhatu - Elephant CornerThe temples of Chiang Mai dominate the landscape with tall spires and dramatically sloping roofs. There are over 300 temples within the city limits and some of them actually still function as temples and people worship here.

Because of the dominance of the temples, Chiang Mai has many festivals which are fun and exciting to watch and participate in. The most famous festival, Loi Kratong is celebrated across Thailand. The festival is believed to take away troubles and is known locally as Yi Peng. Houses and streets are festooned with sky lanterns, in the Lanna tradition. The sky lanterns are made of thin paper and house a small candle. Watching many sky lanterns float in to the waiting night is wonderful and make for a beautiful sight. Small krathong or rafts made from banana leaves and decorated with flowers and candles are set afloat in the rivers and canals to worship the goddess of water. This is generally held in November.

Celebrate a Natural Way of Life in Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai - Wat Chedi Luang - City Pillar Shrine - YakshaThe Songkran festival ushers in the Thai New Year with many activities. Key among these is the water celebrations where everyone in the vicinity is doused with water and the spirit is fun filled and happy. The dates for the Inthakin or City Pillar festival changes from year to year but the carnival feel is carried through with graceful Thai dances, musical performances and food stalls. The festival revolves around Wat Chedi Luang which has the city pillar. Offerings are made by the citizens of Chiang Mai to pay their respects to the guardian spirits of the city. Chiang Mai also has an annual flower festival in February, just when the gardens of the city are filled with tropical blooms.

After watching all this festivity, you can celebrate Nature and it's beauty by trekking through the lush greenery that surrounds Chiang Mai. An excellent place to commune with Nature is the Doi Inthanon National Park. The park has many waterfalls scattered across it, and is dotted with crumbling ruins of temples. It's a great place to go trekking, hiking and exploring. Excitehotels.com offers soothing hotels in Chiang Mai where you can indulge in a Thai massage.

Excite hotels offers Refreshing Hotels in Chiang Mai -Excite hotels as a leading hotel reservation agency takes the traveler to experience a vacation in Chiang Mai hotels. Tourists can enjoy great hotel accommodations with Excitehotels.com and have a memorable holiday.

Source: www.PopularArticles.com

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