If it is peace and quiet you are after, head to Chiang Rai. This small town is the ideal location from which to explore the local temples and rainforests, or further afield into Northern Thailand.
Chiang Rai, the capital city of the province of the same name, is a town surrounded by natural beauty, fascinating history and developing tourist culture. If you’re looking to escape the busy streets of Bangkok, need to rest your skin after sunbaking in Phuket or just want an authentic experience during your Thailand holidays, a stay in Chiang Rai is a necessity. Often overlooked for a holiday in Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai provides visitors with the diversity of attractions they seek as well as a comfortable base for exploring Thailand’s north. Founded by Phaya Mengrai in 1262 as part of the Lao-Thai Lanna kingdom, Chiang Rai became a Siamese territory in 1786 and a province of Thailand in 1933. In the early centuries, however, Chiang Rai was conquered by Burma (now Myanmar) and ruled by them for several hundred years until 1786. One of the most revered Buddha statues, the Emerald Buddha, dating back the late 14th or early 15th century, was discovered in 1432 during a lightning strike or earthquake in the region (accounts vary); it is now housed in Bangkok. Chiang Rai sits about an hour away the Golden Triangle, or the area where Thailand, Laos and Myanmar meet, so named for the opium production and trade that occurred here in past centuries. The history in this region is astounding and enough to keep any history buff intrigued during their Thailand holiday. For those who prefer to be out and about and not just visiting temples, there are plenty of options for jungle trekking, river boat rides, rock climbing, visits to hill tribes and much more! Plan a day to visit the nearby waterfalls of Kun Korn or Pong Prabat, then soak yourself at the hot springs at Pong Phra Bat, Pha Soet or Huai Hin Fon. Night markets provide ample opportunity to mingle with the locals, purchase souvenirs, devour traditional food and immerse yourself in the local culture. Other nearby activities and places to visit include the Hilltribe Museum Education Centre, Tham Tu Pu Buddha Cave, Lion Cave, Mae Fah Luang Art & Culture Park, Boomerang Adventure Park and the local golf courses! With so much serenity and beauty, it’s no wonder Chiang Rai is quickly becoming such a popular Thailand holiday destination. Ideal for couples, families or just a group of friends, speak to a My Thailand holiday expert today to book your unforgettable Thailand experience.