Chiang Mai was a bit of a lazy stop for me this time around - long flights, a cold, and speeding through as many islands as possible in Polynesia (oh woe is me) left me a bit worn out. The Old City is surrounded by walls on each side, and was originally founded in 1296 as the new capital of the Lan Na kingdom. Today the old city is still packed with Buddhist temples, and otherwise mostly tourist infrastructure (e.g., if you're craving any western food, toiletries, etc. this is the place for you)...although its interesting to see how both fit together. The global variety of tourists and supporting businesses are interesting, but I doubt many locals still live within the area and almost exclusively saw tourists walking through the streets.