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Rose of the North

By Linda Tancs

Affectionately known as the “Rose of the North” for its pristine natural resources, Chiang Mai was built in the 1200s as a walled city surrounded by a moat. Established as a center of Buddhism in northern Thailand, its centuries-old pagodas and temples belie the city’s ethnic diversity as the home of several hill tribes. Each hill tribe has its own customs, language, dress and spiritual beliefs, drawing the interest of tourists from around the world. In fact, the hill tribe trekking industry is booming, a welcome development for tribes interested in promoting native arts and handicrafts.

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