Chiang Mai is located between latitude 17° N and 21° N with Myanmar as its northern neighbour. It is bordered by Lamphun and Tak on the south, Chiang Rai, Lampang and Lamphun on the east and Mae Hong Son on the west. Situated at about 300 m. above sea level, it is 696 km. away from Bangkok by road and about one hour by air.
With a total area of 20,107 sq. km., Chiang Mai is the second largest province of Thailand.
There are three seasons in a year -- the rainy season from June to October, the hot season from March to May, and the cool season from November to February. Generally, Chiang Mai is cool and pleasant for the most parts of the year. The coolest months are December and January. The temperature throughout the year varies between 14° - 30° C, while the yearly average temperature is 26° C.
About 69% of the area of Chiang Mai consists of mountains covered with forests. Mostly located in the north, these mountains form the sources of several rivers and streams which provide the water necessary to Chiang Mai's agriculture. The largest and most important river is the Ping, flowing along for 540 km. from north to south. The highest mountain peak is Doi Inthanon, at 2,575 m. above sea level.
1,658,298 (end Feb 2007) with 815,529 males and 842,769 females. About 10% of the population are hilltribe people living in approximately 1,000 villages in the mountainous districts of Chiang Mai. Six major tribal groups are Karen, Lahu, Lisu, Akha, Yao and Meo.
**Note** The total population includes only permanent residents.
The provincial administration of Chiang Mai has jurisdiction over 22 counties (amphoes) as follows: Muang, Chiang Dao, Doi Saket, Fang, Hot, Mae Chaem, Mae Taeng, Phrao, San Kamphaeng, San Sai, Wiang Haeng, Chom Thong, Doi Tao, Hang Dong, Mae Ai, Mae Rim, Omkoi, Samoeng, San Pa Tong, Saraphi, Chai Prakan and Mae Wang.
Standard Thai is used as the official language, but the northern dialect is more widely spoken among the local people. English is understood in business circles and tourist areas.
The most important products are silk, silverware, woodcarvings, lacquerware, ceramics, tobacco and fruits.