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• Site Around City
 • Golden Triangle • Mae Kok River • Chiang Saen Lake • Doi Tung • Doi Pha Tang • Phu Chee Fah • Wiang Kalong • Hilltribe Museum and Education Center • Ho Watthanatham Nithat • King Mengrai Memorials • Oub Kham Museum • Rai Mae Fah Luang • Wat Doi Thong • Wat Phra Chao Lan Thong • Wat Phra Kaeo • Wat Phra Sing • Wat Rong Khun • Wat Klang Wiang • Chiang Saen National Museum • Wat Phra That Chedi Luang • Wat Pa Sak • Wat Phra That Chom Kitti • Wat Phra That Pha-Ngao • Chiang Sean Hall of Opium • King Mengrai Festival • Lychee Fair • Songkran Festival • Elephant Camp & Karen Village • Baan Haad Klai • Mekong River Trips • Hilltribe Development & Welfare Centre • Pamee Akha Village • Doi Hua Mae Kham • Laan Tong Mekong Basin Cultural Park • Nam Tok Khun Kon Forest Park • Doi Mae Salong • Khun Nam Nang Non Forest Park • Doi Luang National Park • Khun Chae National Park
Geography Demographics Telephone
Capital: Chiang Rai
Location: Northern
Area: 11,678.4 km2
Population: 1,129,701
Density: 97 /km2
Calling code
Town and Districts
Chiang Rai, Wiang Chai ,Chiang Khong, Thoeng ,Phan ,Pa Daet ,Mae Chan, Chiang Saen , Mae Sai, Mae Suai ,Wiang Pa Pao, Phaya Mengrai, Wiang Kaen ,Khun Tan ,Mae Fa Luang, Mae Lao , Wiang Chiang Rung, Doi Luang
General Information
Chiang Rai is the most northern province of Thailand and covers some 11,678 square kilometers with a population of 1.23 million. The neighboring provinces are Phayao, Lampang and Chiang Mai. In the north it borders Shan State of Myanmar and Bokeo and Oudomxai of Laos.
The average elevation of the province is 580 m. The north of the province belongs to the so-called Golden Triangle, at which the borders of Thailand, Laos and Myanmar converge - an area which was very unsafe because of the drug smuggling across the borders. The Mekong river forms the boundary with Laos, the Mae Sai River to Myanmar. Through the town Chiang Rai itself flows the Kok River.
While the eastern part of the province is relatively flat river plains, the western part consists of mountainous terrain. While not the highest elevation of the province, the 1322 m high Doi Tung (Flag hill) is the most important hill. The Wat Phra That Doi Tung temple on top of the hill according to the chronicles dates back to the year 911. Nearby is the Doi Tung royal villa, former residence of princess mother Somdej Phra Srinagarindra. Thanks to her activities the hills were reforested, and the hill tribes changed from growing poppy to other crops.
Chiang Rai was founded in 1262 by King Meng Rai and was the first capital of Lanna Thai (Kingdom of a Million Rice fields). Thirty-four years later, he founded Chiang Mai as a capital city and centre of the Lanna Thai Kingdom (circa 1262-1558 A.D). Thus the two towns have had brotherly relations for a long time. The Lanna Thai Kingdom covered the area of Chiang Mai, Chaing Rai, Phayao,Nan and other provinces in the North of Thailand at present. The kingdom became a Burmese colony from 1558 to 1774 A.D.
But finally, King Taksin (1767-1782 A.D.), the king of Siam of the Thonburi period, won it back from the Burmese, and the Lanna Thai Kingdom became a dependency of Siam (former name of Thailand). And Chiang Rai was ruled as a frontier town until 1933 when it became a province of Siam.
Historically, this beautiful and important place has been, unfortunately, almost entirely overlooked. The reasons for this are largely political. Long ago, everywhere, political unity depended on allegiance rather than geographical boundaries. Then Europeans came, bringing new complications. Also, the culture of border areas, as opposed to that of Sukothai, has traditionally been foreign to that of the Central Plains and their coastal outlets. Lanna became neglected, but that it was more essential to the actualization of a Thai Kingdom than shown in history as normally taught will be explained in the following account.
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