Chiang Mai, is the largest and most culturally significant city in northern Thailand, and is the capital of Chiang Mai Province. It is located 435 miles north of Bangkok, among the highest mountains in the country. The city is on the Ping river, a major tributary of the Chao Phraya river. In recent years, Chiang Mai has become an increasingly modern city and attracts approximately 1 million foreign visitors each year. Chiang Mai gained prominence in the political sphere in May 2006, when the Chiang Mai Initiative was concluded here between the ASEAN nations and the "+3" countries (China, Japan, and South Korea). It has also recently positioned itself to become a Creative City and is considering to apply for Creative City Status with UNESCO.
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