Lanna Culture, Chiang Mai – History and Style

A Brief History

The Lanna Kingdom or “The Kingdom of a Million Rice Fields” was originally an Indianized state and had several capital cities before it became “Chiang Mai”. During the 13th century, the Lanna Kingdom was bordered by Burma, Cambodia and China. At the time, its capital was Wiang Kum Kam but soon changed in 1296, when King Mengrai decided to relocate it to the now “Chiang Mai” due to heavy flooding from the Ping River in monsoon seasons. It was only until 1984 that Wiang Kum Kam was rediscovered and preserved as a national treasure. 

The Lanna Kingdom has always been rich in agriculture, surrounded by large mountains, tropical forest trees and a flowing river, it was desired by many surrounding countries, including the Burmese. Burma tried to colonize the priceless Kingdom countless times until it finally succeeded, when it finally fell into the Toungoo Dynasty (Burma) in 1577. 

Eventually by 1774, King Taksin, then King of Thonburi Kingdom, finally succeeded in driving the Burmese out. Burmese’ rule of the Lanna Kingdom finally came to an end but it was left abandoned for a while until 1776, where it was reconstructed and restored by prince Kawila. It soon became a port of trading teak, silk and opium for the Laos and Burmese, and the Lanna Kingdom became a part of Siam by 1892. The Lanna Kingdom was eventually developed and dissolved into what is now known as “Chiang Mai”. Chiang Mai then officially became a province of Siam in 1932 and by 1949 Siam finally changed its name to Thailand.

Lanna Style

Lanna style and culture has long lived in the histories of Chiang Mai. Lanna style was heavily influenced by Theravada Buddhism Art, that is, art in the form of paintings and sculptures explaining the histories and life lessons of Buddha. It was then influenced and developed by Indian style Pala Art, Bagan Art (Myanmar) and Sri Lakan style of Art, the Singhalese Style. The artworks depicted the socio-political interaction between the Lanna Kingdom and the countries. 

It was then influenced by the Dvaravati Kingdom of Hariphunchai, Chiang Saen and Mon Khmer. The culture and style was influenced by a combination of countries and regions until it was finally developed into “Lanna”. Because it was inspired by so many regions, the art and style mainly symbolize harmony for the people between the countries. This can be seen through sculptures, paintings, food, decorations, housings and so much more throughout the city of Chiang Mai. 
Rimping Village also adopts this traditional, culturally-valued Thai Lanna-Style decorations throughout the walks of the Boutique Hotel. You can see this from the decorations of the roof, walkways, walls and doorways of the Boutique. Soak in the culture of this traditional style and enjoy a relaxing vacation in a simple and comfortable room.