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Chiang Rai Province

Short Facts

Name: Changwat Chiang Rai
Area: About 11,678 km²
Inhabitants: About 1,200,000
Location: North Thailand
Capital: Chiang Rai
Neighboring provinces: Three (3): Chiang Mai, Lampang and Phayao. It also borders to Myanmar (Burma) and Laos.
Amphoe / Districts: Chiang Khong, Chiang Saen, Doi Luang, Khun Tan, Mueang Chiang Rai, Mae Chan, Mae Fa Luang, Mae Lao, Mae Sai, Mae Suai, Pa Daet, Phan, Phaya Mengrai, Thoeng, Wiang Chai, Wiang Chiang Rung, Wiang Kaen, Wiang Pa Pao.
Popular tourist destinations: Chiang Khong, Chiang Saen, Hall of Opium (Golden Triangle Park), The Golden Triangle, Doi Mae Salong, Mae Chan, Khun Chae National Park, Doi Luang National Park, Nam Tok Khun Kon Forest Park, Wat Phra That Doi Thong, Wat Phra Singha, Wat Phra Kaew, King Meng Rai the Great Monument and Laan Tong Mekong Basin Cultural Park.

About Chiang Rai

415 meters above sea level and approximately 785 km from Bangkok, one finds Thailand's northernmost province. The city of Chang Rai has an airport with regular flights to Bangkok, and for those who do not want to fly, there is also the opportunity to travel here by bus. Chang Rai border with both Myanmar (Burma) and Laos.

Tourists who come here do it sometimes to travel on to any of its neighbors, or to visit the area in which the province are best known for, the golden triangle. Mountain people who live here are known for a long time to have been one of the world's largest suppliers of opium. Today, however, ruling old poppy fields are converted into strawberry or tea plantations. Since many tourists visit the golden triangle every year there are plenty of souvenirs as t-shirts and opium pipes etc to buy. A museum with the name House of Opium has also been built near the fields.

Chang Rai has Thailand's most cool climate, especially at night, so if you visit Chang Rai it can be good to bring some warm clothes. Those who want to dress in a more traditional manner can also purchase various types of hand-made cotton garments here. Along with ornaments made of wood and silver, these cotton garments is the mountain peoples traditional handicrafts.

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The golden triangle is the area where Thailand meets Myanmar and Laos. Best known for having one of the world's largest opium fields. Today is the golden triangle more of a tourist attraction, which each year attracts large numbers of tourists.

Songkran occurs in the middle of April and every year celebrates Thailand, Laos, Myanmar and China, the Thai New Year with a joint festival. Beauty Contests and boat races on the Mekong River are some of the activities at the festival.

Kok River is a 130 km-long river that flows through the city of Chang Rai. If you want to travel along the river, there is possibility to rent a small boat or bamboo raft. The trip takes about three days altogether. For those who want to visit any of the several mountain tribes who live along the river you can choose to take a break in one of the villages.

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