Thailand Travel Guide -> Northern Thailand -> Chiang Rai Travel Guide

Chiang Rai is the most northern province of Thailand. The mighty Mekong river creates a border in the north to both Laos and Myanmar (Burma). The place where all these countries touch is the famous-infamous Golden Triangle. The terrain of Chiang Rai province is mountainous and covered in large parts with tropical rain forests. The scenery is among the most  beautiful of Thailand and one of the best things about Chiang Rai province is its rich cultural diversity - lots of different ethnic communities - various hill tribes, Thais, ancient aboriginal people like the Lawa or Khamu, Shans, Lao, Chinese, and Mon, they all live peacefully and friction free together. In addition, the province offers opportunities for boat tours (on the river Kok and on the Mekong), elephant rides, hill trekking, and sightseeing. Combine all these and you'll know why it is a very worthwhile destination for travelers.

The river Kok near Chiang Rai
The river Kok near Chiang Rai

Most visitors start at the province capital which is also named Chiang Rai. It is a small, peaceful town, with a few interesting temples, markets, and museums. Accommodation ranges from inexpensive guest houses to 4 start hotels (the Dusit Island Resort, for instance). It is a very pleasant town, people are friendly and the pace of life is still very tranquil. 

The attractions of the town Chiang Rai include two temples and some interesting museums. Other things to do in the province are for instance boat rides on the Mekong or raft tours on the Kok river. In the evenings  a night market that offers a large variety of handicraft opens daily after sundown. It can be found between the bus station and Pahonyothin Road. To see more of Chiang Rai province you will have to leave the town and go on one of the tours suggested in the following pages.

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Last Updated 10.02.2007