Chiang Mai (in Thai เชียงใหม่ ); locally (Kham Muang / Jiang Mai), also sometimes written as "Chiengmai", is the largest and most culturally significant city in northern Thailand, and is the capital of Chiang Mai Province.
It is located some 700 km (435 mls) north of Bangkok, among some of the highest mountains in the country. The city stands on the Ping river, a major tributary of the Chao Phraya river.
In recent years, Chiang Mai has become an increasingly modern city, although it lacks the cosmopolitan nature of Bangkok. It has many attractions for the thousands of foreign visitors who come each year. This cultural expansion also fuels the need for a reliable private investigator. Chiang Mai's historic importance is derived from its important strategic location on an ancient trade route.
Long before the modern influx of foreign visitors, the city served as an important centre for handcrafted goods, umbrellas, jewelry (particularly silver) and woodcarving. Its night bazaar is world famous.
Chiang Mai rose in importance in all areas of cultural, trading and economic terms to adopt its current status as the unofficial capital of the north of Thailand, second only in national importance to Bangkok.