Chiang Rai, the northernmost province of Thailand is about 785
kilometers north of Bangkok. Situated on the Kok River basin, Chiang Rai
covers an area of approximately 11,678 square meters with an average
elevation of 580 meters above sea level. The province, which is located
within the renowned Golden Triangle area where Myanmar, Laos and
Thailand converge, is also known as the gateway to Myanmar, Laos and
Chiang Rai, which was founded in 1262 by King Meng Rai,
was the first capital of the Lanna Thai Kingdom (Kingdom of a million
rice fields), which was later conquered by Burma. It was not until 1786
that Chiang Rai became a Thai territory and was proclaimed a province
during the reign of King Rama VI in 1910.
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 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.
Bangkok - Chiang Rai
Thai Airways has daily flights connecting Bangkok with Chiang Rai.
For more information, contact their Bangkok office at tel. 0 2280 0060,
0 2628 2000, the Chiang Rai Office tel. 0 5371 1179, 0 5371 5207, or
view their website at www.thaiairways.com
One-Two-Go offers daily flights from Bangkok to Chiang Rai. Call 1126 or
book online at http://www.fly12go.com
SGA offers flights to Chiang Rai. Call 0 2664 6099 or visit:
The coach ride from Bangkok to Chiang Rai is probably best made
overnight since passengers can avail themselves of sleep prior to an
early morning arrival. There are both air-conditioned and non-air-conditioned
bus services from Bangkok's Northern Bus Terminal (Mochit 2 Bus Terminal)
on Kamphaengphet 2 Road. The journey may take approximately 9-11 hours.
Take Highway No. 1 (Phahonyothin Road), turn to route No. 32 passing
Ayutthaya, Angthong and Singburi Provinces and change to route No. 11
passing Phitsanulok, Uttaradit and Phrae Provinces then turn left to
Highway No. 103, drive through to Ngao District and turn right onto
Highway No. 1 which takes you to Phayao and Chiang Rai Provinces. The
total distance is 785 km.
There is no direct train to Chiang Rai. You have to take a train to
(9 hrs. from Bangkok) or Chiang Mai (11 hrs.) and then take a bus to
Chiang Rai. (2 hrs. from Lampang and 1.30 hrs. from Chiang Mai) For more
details, call the State Railway of Thailand, 1690 (hotline), or 0 2223
7010 or 0 2223 7020.
The capital may also be reached from Tha Thon in Chiang Mai province
by a scenic 4-6 hour (depending on climatic conditions, such as rain,
and other factors such as high waters and fast currents) long-tail boat
ride along the Mae Kok River.
Chiang Mai - Chiang Rai
Chiang Rai is 182 kilometers north of Chiang Mai. Air conditioned buses
leave 12 times daily from Chiang Mai Arcade Bus Terminal to Chiang Rai.
Some buses continue to Mae Sai and Chiang Saen.
Airlines have numerous daily flights servicing the Bangkok-Chiang Mai
route and the Chiang Mai-Chiang Rai route.