Chiang Rai Travel
The northernmost huge city of Thailand, Chiang Rai, is located in the Chiang Rai District of Chiang Rai Province, known for the Golden Triangle – junction of Thailand, Myanmar and Laos. Chiang Rai travel is a wonderful mishmash of Nature’s splendor and manmade amusements.
Chiang Rai was the capital during 1262 AD, of King Mangrai. Later it was captured by the Burmese and remained under their rule for several centuries. In 1933, it was included in Thailand.
Chiang Rai has numerous Wats (temples) and churches, which you should visit for their superb architecture. Some prominent among them are Bandaam Museum (AKA Black House or Black Temple), Chiang Rai First Church, Munniti Chiang Rai, Wat Klong Wiang, Wat Ming Meuang and many more.
Also don’t miss wonderful museums like, Chiang Rai Cultural Centre, Princess Mother ’90 Museum, Oub Kham Museum, Lanna Museum and many others.
Enjoy panoramas of the city from Buffalo Horn Hill.
And also don’t miss beautiful waterfalls and hot springs, during Chiang Rai travel, like Kun Korn, waterfall and tribal museum at Mae Sai village, Akha village waterfall and Pong Phra Bat hot springs. Further on the road, from the hot springs, you will get Pong Prabat Waterfall, surrounded by amazing natural beauty. Also visit hot springs at Pha Soet and Huai Hin Fon.
Shopping is a less prominent activity in Chiang Rai and Night Bazaar (between bus stand and Phaholyothin Road) and Saturday Walking Street (every Saturday night, along Thanalai Road) are perhaps your best chances for shopping. Since August 2011, a Sunday Walking Street has also been started along Sankhongnoi, where you will find more cultural activities and performances.
Chiang Rai is also a unique place, where artists and craftsmen work on their own terms, and if you wish to buy their art, you have to approach them, even in mountains. But the pieces are really worth buying. On the other hand, there are several artisans here who promote their items, like textiles, tribal crafts, herbal teas, health foods and spa products.
In Doi Chang coffee house, you can buy the top-quality coffee beans, grown in Doi Chang Mountain.
Golf is a major sport in Chiang Rai and you will find several golf courses here.
Due to the scenic mountainous landscape of Chiang Rai, the place is perfect for mountain biking.
The 130-km course of River Mae Kok is perfect for rafting, with spectacular scenery, tribal villages, crystal-clear waters, lush forests and mountain cliffs. You can also enjoy the river trip in a long-tail boat. You can also trek along the river bank to explore some wonderful caves like Buddha Cave and Lion Hill Cave. Thailand’s largest red fig tree is housed on Lion Hill.
Another must-do in Chiang Rai is trekking on fantastic trekking routes, like Doi Tung, Doi Pa Tang, Doi Mae Salong, etc.
You can also enjoy an exciting elephant ride through the lush jungles.
While exploring Chiang Rai restaurants, which are abundant, you should enjoy the traditional Khantok dinner, served in the northern parts of the country, along with which spectacular traditional dances are showcased. The Khantok dinner features dishes like Khan Khanoon (spiced jackfruit curry), sticky rice and Sai Ooa (spiced pork sausages).
Along with the exciting Songkran and Loi Krathong, Chiang Rai has its own events too, which are equally enjoyable. One of them is King Mangrai Festival, held in January-February, in form of dazzling parades, food stalls, cultural shows and competitions, commemorating the formation of Chiang Rai and Lanna Dynasty.
Relish the wonderful lychees of Chiang Rai, in the Lychee Festival, during mid-May.
If you plan your Chiang Rai travel in November, don’t miss Mexican Sunflower Blossom, when the flower is in full bloom in Doi Hua Mae Kham. The event is also marked by various tribal sports competitions, food, tea-tasting and traditional Northern dinner.