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History of Lanna

February 5, 2011

Lanna (lan na), the land of a million rice fields, was a kingdom in what is today northern Thailand. It united with Siam in 1899. The capital Chiang Mai was founded by the Thai-speaking King Mangrai in the late 13th century. Before the Thais, Lanna was a part of the Mon kingdom Haripunchai, with its capital in what is today the city of Lamphun, just 20 km from Dokmai Garden. The Mon people come from Burma, but their language is also related to Cambodian. Art from this time has a clear Cambodian influence.

Such basic facts are essential to understand the Chiang Mai surrounding us today. To learn more, I warmly recommend the book ‘History of Lanna’ by Sarassawadee Ongsakul (2005). Silkworm Books. It is still available at bookstores downtown and at Dokmai Garden.

Eric Danell

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