Chiang Rai, the northernmost province of Thailand is about 785 kilometres north of Bangkok. Situated on the Kok River Chiang Rai Plateaubasin, 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.
Chiang Rai, which was founded in 1262 by King Meng Rai, was the first capital of the Lanna Thai Kingdom 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 travellers paradise endowed with abundant natural tourist attractions and antiquities; the province itself is evidence of past civilisation. Attractions range from magnificent mountain scenery, ruins of ancient settlements, historic sites, Buddhist shrines and ethnic villages as the province is Chiang Rai White Templealso 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.
Chang Rai like Chang Mai is easily accessible by air which takes 80 minutes and road which takes some 9 hours on the bus. Train journeys are possible although you will need to change at Chang Mai or Lampang and take a bus for a further 90-120 minutes.