King Mengrai founded the city 1296 AD and Chiang Mai became the capital of the Lanna Kingdom. The city was surrounded by the moat and defensive wall, since nearby Myanmar was a constant threat.

The first temple built was Wat Chiang Man and dates back to the year 1297 AD and nowadays is a reminder of the glorious past.  Other temples like Wat Chedi Luang, Wat Phra Singh and Wat Doi Suthep on 1300 m altitude followed later. There are about 300 temples clustered all over Chiang Mai!