Chiang Rai, the northernmost province of Thailand
Chiang Rai 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. Chiang Rai city became the capital of the Mangrai Dynasty. 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.
Chiang Rai a paradise for travelers and nature lovers
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 'laid back' 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.
Getting Chiang Rai
You can get Chiang Rai by plane, by bus, by train or car. Chiang Rai International Airport (CEI) is located on Phaholyotin Road 8 kilometres from downtown Chiang Rai.
Chiang Rai is about 820km north of Bangkok and is easily accessible from Bangkok via highways # 1 / # 32 and from Chiang Mai on highway # 118.
If you choose to come by train, the nearest train station is in Chiang Mai.