Keep hearing that Chiang Mai is the second largest city in Thailand? Read our article to find out the facts!
It may have begun life as a “New City” back in the late 13th century, but Chiang Mai didn’t actually make the cut for official city status until 1936. And, believe it or not, from 1972 to as recently as 1994, Chiang Mai was Thailand’s only city municipality making it the largest of its kind in the country!
Fast forward to today and many folk are under the distinct impression that Chiang Mai is the second largest city in the Land of Smiles. And that’s not just the perception among foreign travellers and expats either. Why, even the Thai government’s Public Relations Department and the Tourism Authority of Thailand boldly claim it is! So to set the record straight once and for all, Perfect Homes did some digging to find out exactly how the “Rose of the North” stacks up in size against all other cities up and down the country.
Taking a city’s administrative area as a measure, it probably won’t come as a shocker to learn that Bangkok’s 1568.74 square kilometre territory scoops the prize. In fact, the capital’s sprawling mega metropolis absolutely dwarfs Chiang Mai municipality’s humble 40.22 square kilometres. Or to put it another way, the city of Chiang Mai could fit into that of Bangkok a whopping 39 times! On top of which, Chiang Mai also lags behind nine other cities, namely Khon Kaen, Udon Thani, Pattaya, Sakon Nakhon, Chiang Rai, Surat Thani, Laem Chabang, Samui and Chaophraya Surasak.
Using December 2017’s population figures from the Thai government’s Department of Provincial Administration instead, Bangkok again eclipses its peers with a touch less than 5.7 million registered residents. With a head count of just 132,556, Chiang Mai trails in fifth position behind the cities of Nonthaburi, Pak Kret and Hat Yai.
So there you have it – contrary to popular belief, Chiang Mai isn’t Thailand’s second biggest city! As if to add insult to injury, Chiang Mai isn’t even the second-most visited city in Thailand. According to the latest “Top 100 City Destinations Ranking” by global market research and analysis giant, Euromonitor International, Bangkok leads the pack followed by Pattaya and, beating Chiang Mai to third place, Phuket island’s city.
Still, to many of us, size isn’t everything. Chiang Mai, with its small town feel, will always be the number-one spot in Thailand to work, rest and play!
Do you agree with our findings? Or perhaps you’re convinced otherwise and wanna pitch in with your own evidence? No matter which, we’d really love to get your perspective so please do leave us your comments below!