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This is Thailand’s northernmost province, a region of rugged mountains and fertile valleys. Chiang Rai was founded in the year 1262 by King Mengrai. Chiang Rai was the first capital city of the northern Thai kingdom, Lana Thai.

Chiang Rai is situated on the Kok River basin 416 meters above sea level. It is about 785 kilometres from Bangkok. Mostly of the landscape is mountainous.
Northeast of Chiang Rai is Chiang Saen, on the banks of the Mekong River. The site of an ancient and once powerful settlement, it is full of historical interest as well as being the nearest town to the famous ‘Golden Triangle’, where the confluence of the Mekhong and Ruak Rivers form the border between Thailand, Myanmar and Lao P.D.R., a famous and spellbinding spot.

Chiang Rai province covers some 11,678 square kilometers with a population of 1.23 million. The average elevation is 580 meters above sea level, Myanmar borders on the north, and Laos on the north and northeast. The provincial capital is 829 kilometers north of Bangkok.

Today, Chiang Rai is a travelers 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. For those interested in the natural side of Chiang Rai, jungle trekking is recommended along various trails. Chiang Rai is also a tourism gateway into Myanmar and Laos.

Chiang Rai which tends to be a little more ’laid back’ now competes with Chiang Mai as a tourist attraction and is fast becoming a popular escape for tourists wanting to get away from the troubles they left behind.