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Travel Infomation

Travel Infomation

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An unique and interesting cultural city

Known as one of the hidden gems of Thailand, Chiang Rai is the northernmost province of the country and home to a little over one million inhabitants. The city of Chiang Rai lies amongst the lush hills of the province, a few miles south of the so-called Golden Triangle, where the borders of Thailand, Laos, and Burma converge. This fertile region, naturally rich in agricultural resources, has been settled by people all the way back to the 7th century. Because of its relatively isolated location, Chiang Rai has blossomed into a truly unique area over time, one with distinct forms of culture, cuisine, architecture, and, as we will discover in this post, a host of can’t-miss tourist destinations and activities.

Here are some reasons you should visit Chiang Rai on your next trip to Thailand…

Chiang Rai is home to a number of different hill-tribe communities including Karen, Akha and Lisu. If you would like to go to one of the villages, pay a visit first to the informative Hill-Tribe Museum in downtown Chiang Rai where you can learn more about the culture of the different communities and be given tips on etiquette and responsible tourism. Staff at the museum can help you book tours or you can also take a look at some of the options available from Local Alike, an award-winning social enterprise that enables travellers to enjoy authentic community-based experiences.

The lesser-known counterpart to the Chiang Mai night market, Chiang Rai’s night bazaar is still definitely worth a visit. Unlike the Chiang Mai version, Chiang Rai’s night market has maintained a sense of authenticity with more local handicrafts. The market is closely tied to the culture of the province, as many of the products on display are produced by the hill-tribes that live in the region. The attraction also hosts dozens of food stalls, most of them offering traditional Thai food to consumers- albeit cooked a little less spicy to cater to tourists’ taste. What’s more, the surrounding downtown area provides further entertainment in the form of ice cream shops, bars, and movie theaters.

One of the most famous artists in Thailand, Chalermchai Kositpipat, is a Chiang Rai native. If you visit Chiang Rai you can see his distinctive style on display at a number of locations. Chalermchai’s best-known work is located in his home village of Rong Khun just outside Chiang Rai city. It was here in 1997 where he began his labour of love which visitors from around the world know today as the White Temple. A stunning mix of classic and contemporary styles, the structure is part religious facility and part art gallery. The white exterior shimmers in the sunlight and when you walk inside you are greeted with walls that feature thought-provoking contemporary artwork. In a land full of temples, this is one of the most extraordinary you will see.

With its scenic trails, lakes, meadows, and restaurants, Singha Park is an enjoyable excursion from the city. Areas of the park are still a working farm with barley fields and tea plantations and there are also orchards and fields where visitors are allowed to pick fruit and vegetables. Hire a bicycle to ride around the expansive grounds or use the hop-on hop-off trams. A visit to Singha Park can easily be combined with a trip to the nearby White Temple.

Located within the Golden Triangle, the mountain of Doi Tung stands only a few miles away from the Thailand-Myanmar border. The mountain boasts peaks about 1400 meters into the air and offers spectacular views of both Burma and Thailand from its peak. Much of the draw to this tourist attraction is the magnificent Wat Phra That Doi Tung temple found atop the hill, an important Buddhist place of worship that dates all the way back to the year 911. Doi Tung is also home to the ornate Doi Tung Royal Villa, the former residence of the Princess Mother Somdej Phra Srinagarindra. On the slopes below the villa lie the Mae Fah Luang Garden, a stunningly beautiful botanical park that draws many thousands of tourists each year.

With countless landscapes of Buddhism, nature and Lanna culture, Chiang Rai will be a paradise for those who want to find a little tranquility and discover new things. Once coming to this land, you will be sure you will quickly love this rustic land that is equally interesting.