History is everywhere around you. There are historical structures such as temples, houses but there are also lots of stories. Northern Thailand was split up in numerous principalities until King Mengrai unified parts of the region in the Lanna Kingdom. King Mengrai of founded Chiang Mai in 1296. Chiang Mai became the political, cultural and economic centre of Lanna. During its heydays Lanna stretched out into parts of what is now China, Myanmar and Laos. From 1558 until 1774 Lanna was part of a Burmese kingdom. After the Burmese had been driven out the Lanna Kingdom was resurrected and unified again under King Kawila. At the end of the 19th century Lanna became an integral part of a Siamese Kingdom with Bangkok as its capital. Under pressure of the colonial powers France and Britain Lanna lost considerable areas that are now part of Laos and Myanmar. The legacy of Lanna is still very tangible in secular and religious architecture as well as in the arts and crafts.