Catharine (Katie) Murnane
Chiang Mai, Thailand
A. Location and Topography
Chiang Mai is the second most populated province in Northern Thailand which is bordered by the countries of Myanmar (Burma) on its left and Laos on its right. It is tucked in a valley surrounded by forested mountains of the Khun Tan Range, whose mountains vary in size yet one, Doi Inthanon, reaches a maximum height of 2,565 meters. The mountain range forms a plethora of rivers, streams, and valleys that encompass the remaining thirty-one percent of Chiang Mai’s square area. The rivers and streams that originate in the North give the rest of Thailand fertile soil to cultivate rice grain in the valleys and plains which is why Thailand is commonly referred to as “rice country”. Chiang Mai is a seasoned traveler’s popular destination because of its misty and mountainous scenery.
Four-hundred and thirty-five miles north of Bangkok, Chiang Mai has a relatively cooler climate than its capital because of the elevated altitude. Throughout the calendar year, the province experiences three major changes in climate that naturally divide into three seasons. Their “winter” season starts in late October and extends to the middle of February. Temperatures are an average of 69 degrees Fahrenheit during this time and humidity is lower than average. Then, the “summer” stretches from the remainder of February through to May in which temperatures are averaged at 86 degrees Fahrenheit. Contrary to our “April showers bring May flowers”, Chiang Mai has an entire “rain” season which lasts from June to early October with average temperatures of 77 degr...