Between 1558 and 1774 Chiang Mai was part of a kingdom that had its power base in Burma, now called Myanmar. The history of relations between Burma and Thailand goes back many centuries. Large areas of Northern Shan State in Myanmar have been part of the Lanna Kingdom in the past. The Lanna Kingdom stretched from Northern Thailand to neighbouring Laos, Yunnan and Shan State. The Burmese heritage doesn’t show at first sight. You really need to have an informed to show you the influences in temple architecture, traditional Burmese shops and in current manifestations of Burmese culture. Very few people visit Wat Sai Moon temple where children of Burmese workers go to school. The Poy Sang Long festival is another manifestion of Shan/Burmese culture. Wat Nong Kham is the centre of the Pa-O people, a minority found only in Burma. There are other settlements of Burmese minorities such as the Kachin and the Palaung.
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