Srivijaya, Mengrai, and Kawila consist of the western, southern, and eastern parts, respectively.
The city center—within the city walls—is mostly within Srivijaya ward.
It is 700 km (435 mi) north of Bangkok and is situated amongst the highest mountains in the country.
The city sits astride the Ping River, a major tributary of the Chao Phraya River.
The first three are on the west bank of the Ping River, and Kawila is on the east bank.
Nakhon Ping District includes the northern part of the city.
Chiang Mai then slowly grew in cultural, trading, and economic importance to its current status as the unofficial capital of Northern Thailand, second in importance only to Bangkok.
Below it are clouds representing the moderate climate in the mountains of northern Thailand.The maximum temperature ever recorded was 42.4 °C (108.3 °F) in May 2005.A continuing environmental issue in Chiang Mai is the incidence of air pollution that primarily occurs every year towards the end of the dry season between February and April.With the decline of Lan Na, the city lost importance and was occupied by the Taungoo in 1556.Chiang Mai formally became part of the Thonburi Kingdom in 1775 by an agreement with Chao Kavila, after the Thonburi king Taksin helped drive out the Taungoo Bamar.