Categorized | ABPC Advice

Chiang Rai Province in Northern Thailand

Posted on 27 December 2014 by admin

A lesser known destination and home of a healthy expat community is Chiang Rai in the far north of Thailand.  Chiang Rai, Thailand’s mostly northerly province is around 800 kms from Bangkok and 580 meters above sea level.  The area, mostly covered with mountains and is 11,678 sqm. The most important river is Mae Kok which is about 130 kilometres long.

Chiang Rai is divided into 13 Amphoes and 3 King Amphoes : Muang, Chiang Kong, Chiang Saen, Mae Chan, Mae. Sai, Mae Suai, Pa Daet, Phan, Thoeng, Wiang Pa Pao, Wiang Chai, Phaya Mengrai, Wiang Kaen and King Amphoe Mae Fa Luang, Khun Tan and Mae Lao.


Chiang Rai was founded in 1262 A.D. by King Mengrai, whose statue can be easily seen on the way to Mae Chan.  It is the former capital of the Lanna Kingdom and later was conquered by Burma. It was not until 1786 that Chiang Rai became a Thai territory. It was proclaimed a province during the reign of King Rama VI in 1910 A.D. Nowadays Chiang Rai is famous for its fruit and tobacco as well as the Golden Triangle where Thailand, Laos and Burma meet.

Things to do in Chiang Rai

Rafting in Mae Kok River

The Mae Kok River is 130 kms long and runs through the heart of Chiang Rai.  It is said one of the most beautiful and unspoilt rivers of the world. It flows gently along jungle banks and towering mountain cliffs. Along its route live several hill tribes and jungle tribes of Chiang Rai. The people are friendly and the life aboard the raft is relaxing. There are regular well, organised rafting trips to and from Chiang Rai with many interesting destinations. Two popular tours are from Chiang Mai to Chiang Rai and vice versa.


The Golden Triangle is where the borders of the three countries (Laos, Thailand and Myanmar) meet. It is about 9 kilometres north of Chiang Saen.  From this place, Laotian and Myanmar borders can be seen across the Mae Khong and Ruak Rivers, respectively. Accommodations are available for tourists who want to stay over night. Boats can be rented for trips along the Mae Khong River.

Phrathat Doi Tung is a holy relic that draws devout Buddhists from as far as Laos and Myanmar for annual worship. It is on top of Chiang Rai’s highest mountain at Doi Tung, 2,000 metres above sea level. The shrine is reached by a torturous mountain road, winding its way up and down mountain sides for 17kms. off Highway No. 110. It is 48 kms. from Chiang Rai city. The unmatched panoramic view reaches to Myanmar and Laos on the horizon.

Phra Tamnak Doi Tung is a beautiful royal residence built for the Princess Mother on the way to Phrathat Doi Tung. The main attraction is Suan Mae Fa Luang, a very beautiful garden, decorated with different kinds of plants and flowers. The garden is open to visitors daily from 06:00-18:00 hrs.

Chiang Rai

Chiang Saen Lake To get to the lake, travel five kilometres from Chiang Saen along Highway No.1016, turning left at Km. 27, go a further two kilometres.


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