"City of Artists and Lanna Architects" Top 5 Page for this destination Chiang Rai by Pat_Bangkok

Chiang Rai Travel Guide: 245 reviews and 746 photos

Chiang Rai Province

Chiang Rai province is located about 785 km north of Bangkok and it is the northernmost part of Thailand.
It borders Myanmar and Laos People Democratic Republic (PDR). This area is known as the ?Golden Triangle? because in ancient times,
drug trafficking and cannabis production was prevalent here. Now it is merely relegated to a museum.

Golden Triangle area is now becoming a major tourist center of Chiang Rai.
The city is gradually becoming a gateway to China, Myanmar, Laos PDR, Vietnam, and Cambodia. It is collectively called The Greater Maekong Sub-region (GMS).

Chiang Rai History

King Meng Rai, a friend of King Ramkhamhaeng (1279-1299) of the Sukhothai Kingdom of Thailand, established Chiang Rai in 1262 A.D. near the Kok River.
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.
The city of Chiang Rai is about 740 years old. If one were to include the ancient city of Chiang Saen, it would have a combined history totaling over 2000 years old.

  • Last visit to Chiang Rai: Mar 2007
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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