Chiang Rai, which was founded in 1262 by King Meng Rai, was the first capital of the Lanna Thai Kingdom (Kingdom of a million rice fields), 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.
Chiang Rai, Thailand’s northernmost province, is part of the Golden Triangle region bordering Laos and Myanmar (Burma). It’s distinguished by its remote hill tribes who live in mountainous terrain accessible by trekking. Chiang Rai City, on the Mae Kok Rive, has a well known night market and the White Temple (Wat Rong Khun), a modern Buddhist shrine with quirky modern sculptures and murals. ―
Chiang Rai a traveler paradise endowed with abundant natural tourist attractions and
antiquities; the province itself is evidence of past civilization. Attractions range from magnificent
mountain scenery, ruins of ancient settlements, historic sites, Buddhist shrines and ethnic villages as
the province is also home to several hill tribes who maintain fascinating lifestyles.
Chiang Rai City is a provincial town with a pleasant atmosphere. Compared to its sister town Chiang Mai, it has lots of historical and cultural attractions. Founded in 1262 as the capital of the Mengrai Dynasty, after Chiang Saen, today the city retains a strong Lanna identity, mostly through its impressive collection of temples, art, language, cuisine and music. The city offers in the area around the Clock Tower some nightlife, entertainment and shopping.
Downtown Chiang Rai is easy to get around in. Use the Clock Tower as a reference point, and south of it is a 300-metre stretch where you can go bar hopping after sunset. Chiang Rai City has also been blessed by a new artistic movement, which attempts to modernise the Lanna’s cultural essence so that it offers a new perspective on what constitutes ‘Lanna-ness’ in the modern world. The famous White Temple is an example of this.
The province itself is evidence of past civilization. Attractions range from magnificent mountain scenery, ruins of ancient settlements, historic sites, Buddhist shrines and ethnic villages as
the province is also 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 opens an organic fruit and vegetables center.
The market, Talat Lan Muang, is also expected to become a centre for the trading of fresh goods with Myanmar and Laos, thanks to the location of Chiang Rai.
Chiang Rai’s deputy governor Samrit Sawamipak said the market would help local farmers become more competitive and maintain the prices of locally grown fruit and vegetables.
Samrit also believes Chiang Rai will become known regionally as a centre of organic produce.
The construction of the market on a 160rai piece of land at Mae Korn intersection will cost about Bt2 billion.
Jianghai Market Plc executive director Wisarn Techateerawat said Chiang Rai farmers produce good quality products, but the price of their produce is relatively low. Also Chiang Rai locals do not have access to healthy and safe food products.
“Besides Chiang Rai’s location – adjacent to Myanmar and Laos, as well as a link to China – has the potential for a wholesale market. We have invited Sri Muang, a local market operator, to join the project,” Wisarn added.
Apart from organic products, Talat Lan Muang will also stock locally made goods in the hope of attracting tourists.
Napintorn Srisanpang, president of the Ratchaburi Central Vegetable and Fruit Market, said there is over 2million rai (320,000 hectares) of farmland in Chiang Rai, and given its proximity to Laos and Myanmar, the province could very well become a wholesale export centre for fresh fruit and vegetables.
Up to 10,000 tonnes of vegetables and fruit will be delivered and distributed via the centre daily.
Happy Chinese New Year
When to visit Chiang Rai
Chiang Rai experiences a tropical wet and dry climate.The general weather entails warm and pleasant winters that are moderately dry, scorching and humid summers and a monsoon season that lasts between mid-April and mid-October.
Winter runs from mid-November through mid-March. The temperature averages highs of 20°C (68°F) and lows of 15.5°C (59.9°F). Most days experience up to eight and a half hours of sunshine alongside the warm temperature, making it an excellent time to be outdoors in Chiang Rai.
Summer falls between May and September and has Chiang Rai recording extremely high temperature ranges between 31.6°C (88.9°F) and 35.3°C (95.5°F) during the day and between 17.6°C (63.7°F) and 22.3°C (72.1°F) at night. This season receives the highest rainfall in the year with as high as 358.4mm (14.1″) of rain and as many as twenty-four days of rain in the wettest month- August. The high rainfall can cause flooding and other hazards, being Chiang Rai’s monsoon season.
The peak of the travel period to Chiang Rai is between November and February. The period features excellent weather for outdoor fun and activities like trekking, biking, and picnicking, among others. This is when Chiang Rai is moderately dry and devoid of any weather-related hazards. The period between Mar and May has extremely high-temperature ranges, and between June and November is the peak of the monsoon season.
Some of the popular events in Chiang Rai include the Songkran or Thai New Year, which happens every April on varying dates. Chiang Rai holds feasts, boat races on the Kok River, performances, parades, and fireworks to usher in the New Year. Another event is the Chiang Rai Flower Festival, which is held in December amid colorful decorations and festivities.
Baan Din Dang (Red Earth Pottery Home) Chiang Rai
A humble place nestled in a quiet hill farmland area that exists to inspire. A walk-in natural studio of huge amounts of creative and colorful artworks fused with Japanese home style architecture, artist Somluk Pantiboon makes the visitor feel right at home. Pottery that can be both functional and aesthetically peaceful, is displayed across the red soil and bamboo shaded adobe. A magical gem that can have you transfixed in all of the craft for hours.