- Location: Northern Thailand
Population: About 1,198,656
Area: About 11,678 square km
Telephone area code: 066-053
Lying in the heart of legend Golden Triangle, the Province of Chiang Rai covers an area of 11,600 square kilometers at the average height of 580 meters above sea level and shares borders with Thailand, Myanmar and Laos. This is the paradise of travel lovers. Here, tourists can join in a wide range of activities amidst stunning mountain scenery, go sight-seeing to historic Biddhist shrines & exotic hilltribes, have elephant trekking or take riverine adventures among the interesting attractions.
The Provincial Capital, Chiang Rai, lies 785 kilometers to the north of Bangkok, was fouded in 1262 AD by King Mangrai. The city offers a lot of monuments which dedicated to King Mengrai the Great and Buddhist temples as Emerald Buddha, Wat Phra Singh and Wat Pha Kaeo – home of most Buddha images of Thailand. Other highlights includes: King Mangrai Statue Temples, a bronze statue of the founder of Lanna Kingdom; Phra That Doi Tung, a temple comprising the Buddha’s left collar bone on the 1364m top; Chiang Saen Museum, well-known for its invaluable Chiang Saen Kingdom’s antiques and Buddha images; Golden Triangle, the world-famed place; Doi Mae Salong; Pu Kaeng and Other waterfalls, etc. Chiang Rai is also the home of some colorful hilltribes living in the mountainous areas, each of which has its own characters of custom, language, religious belief and costumes. They are friendly and hospitable.
Lying along the Mekong and Mae Kok Rivers, Chiang Mai offers tourists numerous chances of interesting activities as boating, rafting and elephant trekking. You can combine rafting trips with “inland” excursions which is elephant riding to hilltribes villages and nearby mountains. Trekking is also a popular activity, through gilltribe villages, spectacular mountain terrain, photogenic waterfalls, pristine jungle, elephant camps and unusual caves. Also, travel by jeeps, motocycles or long-tail boat is becoming more popular.
Chiang Rai hosts a wide range of exciting festivals as Doi Tung Blossom Festival (Feb 15) with a large amount of colour and various species in bloom, Mekong Frendship Festival (Jan 15-17), Tea Exhibition (Feb 5-7), Chiang Rai Lychee Fair (May 14-16) with a lot of local goods on sale. Each festival has its own character which brings interests for tourists.