Chiangmai used to be a separate kingdom from Thailand.
In the late 13th century the Lanna Kingdom covered most of Northern Thailand as we know it today as well as neighbouring parts of Myanmar(Burma), China and Laos. Back then it was bordered by Burma (now Myanmar) to the West, China to the North, the Khmer Empire of Angkor (now Cambodia) to the East and Siam (now Thailand) in the South.
The Lanna Kingdom was ringed by high mountains, teak tree forests and well stocked rivers and its fertile valleys and plains were a rich source of agriculture. Chiang Mai was the main trading town between southern China and the sea ports of Burma. As such it was frequently attacked by its neighbours who tried to claim this prized gem as their own.
Like their brothers, the Lanna women are very light skin and have remarkably gentle and radiant facial features. One could argue that this is how Chiangmai got its title as “Rose of the North”.