In 1296 King Mengrai founded Chiang Mai on the ruins of an older city Wiang Nopburi. The city was developed with the intentions of becoming apart of King Mengrai thriving kingdom of Lanna (million rice fields).
The First buddhist temple is built in Chiang Mai in 1926, the construction commenced on constructed in Siamese controlled on order from King Mengrai. The first temple was very significant in Chiang Mai's history as it influenced the acceptance of Buddhism into the people of Chiang Mai's values and traditions. To this day Chiang Mai is still very influenced by the Buddhist religion.
During 1345 another Buddhist temple was constructed and was the first to introduce the now traditional northern thai architecture. In latter years other buildings begin to mimic the style of the Buddhist temples design and is now very apart of typical Siamese architecture.
In 1577 Chiang Mai is invaded by the Burmese as an attempt to expand the dominions of at the time ruler of the King Bayinnaung. This invasion introduced Burmese culture and traditions into Chiang Mai which is pivotal in the development of Chiang Mai's current cultural identity.
During the 1700s the Siam forces were able to take back Chiang Mai from the suppressive Burmese rules. Yet the Siamese ruler at the time King Taksin realised that having the Capital of Siam in Chiang Mai would leave them in a poor strategic position against the Burmese and wisely ordered that the capital of Thailand be relocated to Thonburi (bangkok). The city of Chiang Mai was for many years left completely uninhibited.
In 1796 that King Taksin sent Chao Kawila to reinhabit Chiang Mai and latter became the viceroy for the city. This is significant since though Chiang Mai was no longer the capital of Siam (Thailand), it allowed Thai people to reinhabit and be exposed to Burmese culture which was left behind.
During 1873 a deal is made between the Siamese and the british, they were requesting for protection as they were logging areas around the border. The Siamese only agreed to their deal as they didn't want to british to take control of the area themselves. This was the first that western values and traditions were introduced into Thailand.
During WW2 the japanese invaded the now renamed Thailand, they enslaved a great deal of the Thai population and used them as slave labour to construct roads which are used in the modern day. The roads built though the conditions of their construction wasn't ideal it did lead to Thailand being further developed than its neighbouring countries.
During the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s Chiang Mai was taken control by a succession of military governments. With the Rule of these military governments there was mass mutilation after a student uprising, after which many Chiang Mai individuals moved into the surrounding mountains living out of the control of the Thailand military government.
During the 1990s the tourism industry become wildly profitable for the Chiang Mai, as a result Chiang Mai began to invest into the tourism industry. This is significant as Chiang Mai is now working in investing more into the tourism industry in the future and will eventually shape the values and ideas of the Thai people to those far reaching outside of Thailand.