This issue of
Citylife

Chiang Mai Citylife > Articles > Chiang Mai or Chiangmai?

Chiang Mai or Chiangmai?

British Ralph Fitch was the first recorded westerner to visit Chiang Mai in 1587, writing the name of our city as Jamahey. In 1615 the East India Company spelt Chiang Mai as Jangoma while the Portuguese were the first to spell it Chiangmai. 

The Dutch wrote it down as Ischeen May or Tsieengh Maeij and the French Xieng Mai.

King Rama VI, who was proficient in the English language, spelt Chiang Mai in a variety of ways, including Chiang May, Chiang-may and Zam-may.

This information was from the archives of the late Major Roy Hudson, who passed away earlier this year at 99 years old. Major Hudson first came to Thailand during the Second World War in 1945 and lived in Chiang Mai for nearly 60 years. 

This is a collection of spellings of Chiang Mai Major Roy Hudson found recorded through history. 

Tiongh May, Tjiang Mai, Tschieng Mai, Tsching-mai; 1373Lanna Xieng May; 1380 Chimai; 1544 Chiammay; 1544 Jangumaa; 1545 Jangomaa; 1552 Chiamai; 1552 Chiamai; 1553 Jangoma; 1572 Chiamay; 1587 Iamahey; 1587 Iamayhey; 1588 Jamahay; 1588 Jamahey; 1588 Tamahey; 1599 Jangomi; 1611 Xamoi; 1611 Xhamoi; 1612 Jangemay; 1614 Jangama; 1614 Kiangmai; 1614 Zangnomang; 1614 Zangomaye; 1615 Jagama; 1615 Jagoma; 1615 Jagomai; 1615 Jagoman; 1615 Jangamay; 1615 Janggamay; 1615 Jangnna; 1615 Jangomai; 1615 Jangoman; 1615 Jangomay; 1615 Janguma; 1615 Kiang-mai; 1615 Xiengmai; 1615 Zangomay; 1636 Jangonia; 1636 Jiengmai; 1636 Jongoma; 1640 Jangema; 1640 Tsieeengh Maeij; 1640 Tsieeng May; 1647 Ischeen Mey; 1647 Ischeen Mey; 1691 Chiamai; 1750 Chia Mai; 1752 Shia mai; 1791 Shiamai; 1791 Yangoma; 1794 Shia may; 1794 Shiamay; 1795 Zemme; 1800 Shiamai; 1801 Zemee; 1803 Chiengma; 1822 Chang-mai; 1822 Che-ung Mai; 1822 Jang-mai; 1822 Zimai; 1826 Zimay; 1828 Chang Mai; 1828 Che-ung Mai; 1831 Zamee; 1834 Zimmy; 1836 Jangoma; 1839 Chengmie; 1839 Zemmai; 1839 Zimmay; 1850 Xieng Mai; 1850 Xieng-mai; 1854 Xieng-mie; 1855 Saymmay; 1855 Shiangmai; 1856 Xieng mai; 1856 Xieng-mai; 1857 Chiang-mai; 1858 Chung Mai; 1859 Chiang May; 1859 Chiang-may; 1859 Zam-may; 1860 Kiang Mai; 1860 Xieng Me; 1860 Xiengmie; 1861 Ca-nah-ma; 1861 Ja-mah-ma; 1863 Changmai; 1865 Changmai; 1866 Cheang Mai; 1868 Cheangmai; 1870 Chieng Mai; 1871 Zimme; 1873 Chengmai; 1883 Chiungmai; 1884 Cheung Mai; 1885 Tsching Mai; 1885 Zimme; 1885 Zimme; 1885 Zimmei; 1885 Zinme; 1890 Chienghmi; 1890 Tyima; 1906 Chieng-mai; 1908 Schiengmai; 1910 Chieng-Mai; 1918 Siang Mai; 1930 Sandabul; 1932 Chiengmai; 1936 ChiangMai; 1937 C’ieng Mai; 1950 Chiangmai; 1956 Xieng-mai; 1967 Chiang Mai; 1971 Chieng May; 1980 Chieng-mai.

In 1958 Thailand’s Royal Institute officially decreed Chiang Mai’s spelling In two words, like Los Angeles or Hong Kong. 

So there is no doubt that there is only one spelling for Chiang Mai. This is not a debatable topic. 

It’s Chiang Mai jao! Not Chiangmai. 

Thank you ka lung Roy!