Chiang Rai, the northernmost province of Thailand is about 785 kilometers north of Bangkok. Situated on the Kok River basin, Chiang Rai covers an area of approximately 11,678 square meters with an average elevation of 580 meters above sea level. The province, which is located within the renowned Golden Triangle area where Myanmar, Laos and Thailand converge, is also known as the gateway to Myanmar, Laos and Southern China.
Chiang Rai, which was founded in 1262 by King Meng Rai,
was the first capital of the Lanna Thai Kingdom (Kingdom of a million rice fields), which was later conquered by Burma. It was not until 1786 that Chiang Rai became a Thai territory and was proclaimed a province during the reign of King Rama VI in 1910.
Today, Chiang Rai is a travelers paradise endowed with abundant natural tourist attractions and antiquities; the province itself is evidence of past civilization. Attractions range from magnificent mountain scenery, ruins of ancient settlements, historic sites, Buddhist shrines and ethnic villages as the province is also home to several hill tribes who maintain fascinating lifestyles. For those interested in the natural side of Chiang Rai, jungle trekking is recommended along various trails.
Chiang Rai which tends to be a little more â€™laid backâ€™ now competes with Chiang Mai as a tourist attraction and is fast becoming a popular escape for tourists wanting to get away from the troubles they left behind
Chiang Rai Attraction
Chiang Rai Art, Culture & Heritage
|The King Mengrai the Great MemorialIt is located in the town on the intersection leading to Mae Chan. Originally, King Mengrai was the ruler of Nakhon Hiran Ngoen Yang (an ancient town on the bank of the Mae Khong around Chiang Saen) before Chiang Rai was established as the administrative centre in 1262. He consolidated his power by merging the different city in the North and founded the Lanna Thai Kingdom in 1296 with Chiang Mai as the capital.
|Golden TriangleA trip to Chiang Rai province would not be complete without seeing the notorious Golden Triangle first hand! This famed border location where Thailand, Laos and Myanmar meet on the Mekong River was once supposed to be the center of all the poppy cultivation in Thailand.Travel approximately 9 kilometers north of old town Chiang Saen, along the road parallel to the Mekong River to the area where the borders of Thailand, Myammar and Laos converge. This area where the Mekong River meets the Ruak River is locally referred to as “Sop Ruak”. Within this area are remains of many ancient places and structures attesting to the fact that the area had been settled by people in the past. It is also the area where various legends concerning the Lanna ancestors originate.Boats can be hired in order to view the upstream scenery of the Golden Triangle and to travel downstream to Chiang Khong. The trip to the Golden Triangle and Chiang Khong would take approximately 40 minutes and 1 hour respectively, depending on river currents and water levels.
|Oub Kham MuseumOub Kham Museum is located near Den Ha market, one kilometer from the town center. The collection includes objects from the areas once belonging to or affiliated with the Lanna kingdoms encompassing northern Thailand and some parts of northeast Myanmar, southwest China and Vietnam. Apart from objects used in rituals the collection mainly consists of objects used at the royal courts including lacquer ware, silver jewelry and clothing. Most notable is a golden bowl, a masterpiece, used by royals. It is open daily from 9 am. to 6 pm. Admission fee is 100 bahts per person. For more information call 0 5371 3349.
|The Sirindhorn Chinese Language and Culture CenterThe Sirindhorn Chinese Language and Culture Center in Mae Fah Luang University. This was established through the cooperation of Mae Fa Luang University and the Peopleâ€™s Republic of China. The center was built as a memorial to honor Her Royal Highness Princess grandmotherâ€™s 100th birthday as a symbol of friendship between the two nations. The centerâ€™s design was drawn to adhere as depicted in China. The construction took 7 months to complete at cost approximately 60 million Baht. The architecture replicate the Suzhou Chinese structure, building decorations and the garden ornaments by complying with the design layouts and using authentic materials shipped from China. The roofing tiles, the doors and the marble tiles laid at the entrance are all examples of a few of the materials brought from China. Tel: 0 5391 7093, 0 5391 7097
|Chiang Saen National MuseumLocated in old town Chiang Saen, this museum exhibits artifacts excavated locally including a well-known Chiang Saen-style bronze Buddha image and Lanna Thai artifacts. Inscription stones from Phayao and Chiang Saen itself can be found in the museum. In addition, there are exhibitions of indigenous art objects of the Thai Yai, Thai Lu and other hill tribes. These items include musical instruments, ornaments and opium-smoking accessories. The museum is open on Wednesdays through Sundays from 9.00a.m. to 4.00p.m., except on national holidays.