Chiang Rai province covers some 11,678 square kilometres with a population of 1.23 million.The average elevation is 580 metres above sea level, Myanmar borders on the north, and Laos on the north and northeast. The provincial capital is 829 kilometres north of Bangkok.
Chiang Rai was founded in 1262 by King Meng Rai and was the first capital of Lanna Thai (Kingdom of a Million Ricefields). The province contains Thailand’s northernmost point at Mae Sai which is well known for its crisp mountain scenery, and hilltribes. North Chiang Rai and falls within the region known as the Golden Triangle, the area where the borders of Thailand, Myanmar and Laos converge.
King Meng Rai the Great Monument:Â This is located on the city outskirts, beside the northern road to Mae Chan, and honours the monarch who founded Chaing Rai in 1262.
Ku Phra Chao Meng Rai:Â Situated in Wat Ngam Muang, on Ngam Muang Hillock, this stupa contains King Mengrai’s ashes and relics.
Wat Phra That Doi Thong:Â This ancient hilltop pagoda overlooks the Mae Kok River and predates the founding of Chiang Rai as the capital of Lanna Thai.
Wat Phra Singha:Â This temple, on Singhakhlai Road, is a fine example of Lanna Thai religious architecture. The Phra Buddha Singh image now hourse in Chaing Mai’s Wat Phra Singh was formerly enshrined here.
Wat Phra Kaew:Â Located behind Wat Phra Singha, this temple is said to have been the original place where the Emerald Buddha.( now venerated in Bangkok’s Wat Phra Kaew Chapel of the Emerald Buddha).
Haad Chiang Rai:Â Located 4 kilometres from the city, this scenic riverside area and promenade is a recreatioin area for local inhabitants.
Mae Kok River:Â Known in Thai as Maenam Kok, this scenic 130-kilometre long waterway runs through the heart of Chiang Rai. The river is a major transportation artery from neighbouring Chaing Mai province, especially the town of Tha Ton (180 kilometres north of Chaing Mai provincial capital), whence tong-tailed boats make the 3-4 hour journey every day at 12.30 PM (Chaing Rai-Tha Ton: 10.30 AM). The river passes several hilltribe settlements and elephant camps from where jungle treks originate.
Khun Korn Forest Park Waterfall:Â Located 30 kilometres south of Chiang Rai provincial capital, along Routes 1211 & 1208, the 70-metre high Khun Korn Waterfall is the highest in the province.