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Chiang Rai

Chiang Rai is Thailand´s Northernmost province. It has a population of about 1 million. A third of the land is agriculturally used. The capital Chiang Rai was founded in 1262 by King Mengrai.
Chiang Rai is 34 years older than Chiang Mai, yet there are no ancient ruins and buildings left.  Chiang Rai is developing as the business center in the Far North. Shopping malls and western influences have hit the city at the Mae Kok River. However it still has the charm of a small town and tourists like to stay here to explore the North, Chiang Rai is not overly crowded by tourist and is still an authentic Thai town. The night market with its live music does also have a food plaza with all kinds of Thai food.

Night Bazaar - Attractions
Not Rated
Night Bazaar (ไนท์บาร์ซาร์) (ChiangRai)

Chiang Rai Night Bazaar opens daily from 17.00 onwards. Besides the traditional handicrafts of the hill tribes other souvenirs, clothes, shoes and jewellery are sold. Inside the market are two food courts, one with live music, the other one without. Enjoy authentic Thai food for reasonable prices.

Chiang Rai Clocktower - Attractions
Not Rated
Chiang Rai Clocktower (ChiangRai)

The new clock tower was build by Ajarn Chalermchai, the famous Thai artist who built the White Temple - Wat Rong Khun. Light shows take place between 19.00 and 21.00.

The two most important temples are Wat Phra Kaeo, where the famous Emerald Buddha statue was found in 1436 and Wat Klang Wiang and under its Chedi lies the first cornerstone of Chiang Rai. The most famous temple is located about 10 kms south of the city - Wat Rongkun with its unique architecture. The Hill tribe Museum gives a lot of information about the hill tribes and organizes treks, the profits of which go to directly to the hill tribe foundations.

Wat Klang Wiang - Attractions
Wat Klang Wiang (วัดกลางเวียง) (ChiangRai)

Wat Klang Wiang was completely renovated in 1992. In this temple under the Chedi lies the ancient corner stone of the city. Also the new ground stone is kept here.

Wat Phra Kaeo Chiang Rai (วัดพระแก้ว) (ChiangRai)

In 1434, the famous Emerald Buddha was discovered in the stupa of the temple. The legend goes that lightening damaged the Stupa and the statue was revealed.

Hilltribe Museum (พิพิธธภัณฑ์ชาวเขา) (ChiangRai)
Rates: 50 Baht

The Hill Tribe Museum has a nice exhibition about the hill tribes and their history. They also offer 1 or 2 day treks to the hill tribes. For further information contact the information counter.

Wat Rongkhun - White Temple (ChiangRai)

Wat Rong Khun is mostly known as the White Temple. The famous Thai artist, Ajarn Chakermchai Kosipipat has been working on this temple since 1996 and the project is supposed to go on for 90 years.
Unlike other Thai temples, it is influenced by contemporary art. The artist explains the white colour with purity and the use of the mirrors is a symbol of wisdom reflecting Lord Buddha´s enlightenment. The artist´s art gallery is also part of the temple compound. Admission is free.

Chiang Rai

Along the Maekok River you can find nice Thai Restaurants with Live Music. Eastward you see signs leading to  Hat Chiang Rai, which means Chiang Rai Beach where you can see the locals taking a dip in the river and try some authentic Thai food and snacks in one of the small restaurants along the shore.
Accommodation in Chiang Rai varies from simple guest houses up to 5 Star Resorts.

Hat Chiang Rai - Attractions
Not Rated
Hat Chiang Rai (ChiangRai)

Hat Chiang Rai translates to Chiang Rai Beach. Here you find various food stalls along the Mae Kok River and in the evenings children take a swim in the river. Crowded on weekends.

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