Chiang Rai is a beautiful city situated in the northernmost past of Thailand. The city is the largest city in the northernmost part of Thailand. The city was established as the capital city in the reign of king Mangrai in 1262 CE. Chiang Rai is also a province of Thailand and Chiang rai city is the capital of this province. Chiang Rai is different from Chiang Mai which borders the Chiang Rai province towards the west. Chiang Rai city has a total area of 60.85 square kilometers and a population of roughly about 70,000 as of 2012.
Talking briefly about the history of this amazing city, Chiang Rai became the capital of Mengrai dynasty in 1262. Then, after a certain turn of events, Chiang Rai was conquered by Burma and was under the control of Burma for quite some time. In 1933 Chiang Rai officially came under the territory of Thailand.
Chiang Rai is located about 860 kilometers north of Bangkok and about 200 kilometers northeast of Chiang Mai. The Golden Triangle, which is the tripoint of the three neighboring countries Thailand, Myanmar and Laos is just 55 kilometers away from Chiang Rai. The city lies in the flat alluvial plains of Mae Kok River.
Suitable Time for a Visit
Being a tropical region the climate of Chiang Rai is very similar to any other tropical city of Thailand which is characterized by a warm and wet climate almost throughout the year. The city never becomes too cold or too hot, thus Chiang Rai is one place which one can visit any time of the year. Chiang Rai is 1280 meters above sea level and the presence of rivers, grassy plains and jungles usually keeps the climate very comfortable. Considering that Chiang Rai experiences a lot of heavy rainfall during its summer and monsoon months, the time period of October to December would be a good time to visit Chiang Rai.
Chiang Rai is usually not as popular a tourist destination as Chiang Mai is, but even then it has a lot to offer to any tourist.
The night bazaar is located in downtown Chiang Rai and has several things that a tourist can enjoy. There are over forty restaurants, many souvenir shops and cultural performances which keep happening regularly. This is surely a must visit place for any tourist who plans on visiting Chiang Rai.
It is a well-known fact that Chiang Rai is one of the most bicycle friendly cities in Thailand. The city has roads which are very suitable for all cyclists. One of the best ways to explore this beautiful and amazing city is by heading out on a peddle driven bicycle. There are several shops in Chiang Rai which rent out bicycles.
White Temple (Wat Rong Khun)
This is one of the best and most popular temples in Chiang Rai. The temple is extremely beautiful and is an architecture marvel. The Temple is popular amongst the tourist by the name of white temple but it is actually called Wat Rong Khun. The temple is an unconventional Buddhist temple and was designed by Chalermchai Kositpipat in 1997. The temple is filled with Buddhist teachings which are either present in direct or implied forms. Upon entry to the temple the first thing that comes to sight is a sea of hands bowing out from the ground. The sights of the temple are quite spectacular and different from other temples present in Thailand. The temple is located nearly 13 kilometers away from the city but public transport facilities are available to take tourists to this temple. The temple is still a work in progress and the full completion of the temple might take a few more years.
Boomerang Adventure Park
This park which is constructed in the shape of a Boomerang is situated 3 kilometers Northwest of Chiang Rai and is a paradise for mountain climbers and other adventure sports lovers. The park boasts of some amazing rock climbing opportunities and also has the largest swing in Asia. It also has zip lines, and several other such adventurous activities. There are also a few caves which are worth seeing. Apart from the park, the Mae Kok River which is just a 15 minutes’ walk away from the park also provides ample opportunities for rock climbing.
The golden triangle is the region where not only the three countries (Laos, Thailand and Myanmar) meet each other but also it is the place where the river Mekhong meets the Ruak River. The golden triangle is nearly 55 kilometres away from Chiang Rai and is worth a visit. The region is locally known as Sop Ruak.
The city is a calm and peaceful place filled with bounties of nature and offers a great destination for a peaceful and quiet vacation. The city does have a few discotheques and other such places of interest which are aimed at providing entertainment for foreign tourists. The city is fairly different from other tourist destinations in Thailand because this place is more popular for its serenity and its soothing atmosphere.
So, now you know if someone is talking about the best tourist destination in the northernmost part of Thailand, someone is talking about Chiang Rai