Founded around 700 years ago, the Lanna Kingdom dominated most of what is now northern Thailand, stretching from Xishuangbanna Province in China to Luang Prabang in Laos and into some parts of Myanmar. A vital staging post on the historic Silk Road, it lay at a real cultural crossroads.
After the kingdom was assimilated by Siam in the early twentieth century, the Lanna identity slowly eroded. While many people still retain their unique languages, traditional dress and customs within the local community today, the most visible elements of Lanna culture are the many beautiful wooden houses and ornate temples which dot Chiang Mai, and their distinctive architecture.
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