Chiang Rai is the capital of Thailand’s northern-most province.It was founded in 1262 by King Mengrai and was the first capital of the Lanna Kingdom. It is a laid-back and somewhat sleepy town on the banks of the River Kok. It is located 785 km from Bangkok and borders Myanmar in the north and Laos in the east. The town, surrounded by stunning mountain ranges and thick rainforest, is the starting point for treks and excursions into the mountains. Located a few kilometers from Lao and Myanmar borders, Chiang Rai is a gateway to these countries. Trekking, rafting, taking care of elephants, cycling, discovery of the hill tribes and manyother activities are on offer.
For centuries, due to its natural mountainous boundaries, Chiang Rai was isolated from the rest of Thailand and only became a province in 1910. Thisprovince is a traveler’s paradise, rich in abundant natural and historical attractions. The places of interest range from ruins of ancient settlements and Buddhist shrines to picturesque mountain scenery and hill tribe villages. The best time to visit Chiang Raiprovince for outdoor activities is from October to February. This period belongs to the cool season in Thailand. This season provides blue clear skies with cool and refreshing weather.
Chiang Rainight bazaar is a vibrant market that brings the townto life at dusk. The night bazaar is held nightly between 18:00 to 23:00 and sells a huge range of hand crafted items, clothing as well as authentic inexpensive Thai food.
one of the oldest temples in Chiang Rai, dating back to the 14thcentury.It once housedtheEmerald Buddha, Thailand’s most important Buddha statue, which is now enshrined in Bangkok’s WatPhraKaew Temple.
a white ornate Buddhist temple that is quite different from other Thai Buddhist temples. The temple is almost all white. WatRongKhun is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Chiang Rai. It was designed and built by a well known Thai artistChalermchaiKositpipat. He started the whole project as an offering to the Lord Buddha.
the Royal Villa was builtin 1988 for the late HRH Princess Srinakarindra. It was located on a hilltop, giving a terrific view of the surrounding landscape. It features a combination of Lanna architecture and the Swiss-style chalet. It is decorated with delicate woodcarvings. The villa’s highlight is the ceiling of the main hall, which portrays tiny lights representing the position of the constellations on the day the Princess Mother was born. The villa is surrounded by a beautiful flower garden.
set amidst picturesque and serene hills, Doi Mae Salong was once the community of Santi Khiri, the Chinese soldiers who escaped from the political tension in Burma in 1961. Today, Doi Mae Salong has become one of the main tourist attractions in Chiang Rai, offering the original Chinese cuisine, lovely houses and many plantations from fruits to coffee.
the site of the 2018 successful rescue of 12 young football players and their coach. The story of their 17-day ordeal captivated the whole Thailand and the world media. The enormous rescue effort involved more than 10,000 people, including over 100 divers, many rescue workers, 900 police officers and 2,000 soldiers.The site of the cave rescue is now a booming tourist attraction.
the spot where the Mekong and Sop Ruak rivers join to create a point where the borders of Thailand, Myanmar and Laos meet. This region of Thailand was once known for its infamous opium trade.Throughout the 1950s to early 1980s, the Golden Triangle supplied most of the world's heroin. It is highly recommended to visit the Hall of Opium where exhibitions portray the history of the Golden Triangle, the origin of opium, the opium wars, opium warlords, drug smugglers, opium effects, the battle against opium and poppy growing.
the northern-most town in Thailand, located on the border with Myanmar. This is the place from where you can enter Myanmar and visit the border town of Tachileik. Visitors also like to stroll around its unique market, shopping all sorts of rather cheap merchandise.
Start the day with a visit to the Akha& Yao ethnic minorityvillages. The Akha originated from Tibet. They wear heavily ornamented headdresses. Yao originated from China, and keeping true to their roots, still use Chinese characteristics in their communication. Continue to a historical town of Chiang Sean. There are many interesting pieces of architecture spread across the town. Proceed to the Golden Triangle and stop over at a 1000-year-old temple -Wat Ku Tao. It offers magnificent views of the Maekong River. We finally reach Mae Sai, the northern most point of Thailand, and the gateway to Burma. Lunch will be provided at a local restaurant. You will be able to wander to through flea market and snatch some bargains of Burmese arts &crafts. On the way to Chiang Raistop at a handicraft center, famous for its celadon pottery and cotton fashions.
The journey begins with an exciting boat ride along Maekok River, stopping at a Karenvillage. The Karen have been elephant keepers for centuries. Along the way, you will also catch glimpses of river live and scenic sites. We end the tour with a boat ride back to Chiang Rai. Continue to the Akha& Yao villages. The Akha originated from Tibet. They wear heavily ornamented headdresses. Yao originated from China. We continue to Chiang Sean, an ancient town. There are many interesting pieces of architecture spread across the town. Proceed to the Golden Triangle and stop over at a 1000-year-old temple -Wat Ku Tao. It offers magnificent views of the Maekong River. We finally reach Mae Sai, the northern most point of Thailand, and the gateway to Burma. Lunch will be provided at a local restaurant. You will be able to wander to through flea market and snatch some bargains of Burmese arts &crafts. On the way to Chiang Raistop at a handicraft center, famous for its celadon pottery and cotton fashions.
The journey begins with an exciting boat ride along Maekok River, stopping at a Karenvillage. The Karen have been elephant keepers for centuries. You will have a chance to ride an elephant through a Karen village and shop for tribal souvenirs from the various tribes that gather to trade their wares. On the way back you will also catch glimpses of river live and scenic sites. Lunch at local restaurant.
Drive to Mae Sai – the northernmost town in Thailand. Cross the border into Myanmar and see local life in a nearby village. Rickshaws await here to take the visitors to explore a Shan style temple, home to young novice monks. See thegiant golden Shwedagong Pagoda which is a replica of the Yangoonfamous pagoda. Ride around side streets of Tachilektown. Proceed to the Golden Triangle –an area where borders of Thailand, Myanmar and Laos meet. Visit a small opium museum. Enjoy panoramic views of three countries and the splendor of the mighty Mekhongriver.
Visit a Karen village to see “long neck women” who wear heavy brass necklaces around their necks. The brass necklaces signify great beauty of the women. Karen are believed to have migrated from northern Burma, or possibly from Tibet. They are famous for their weaving skills and colorful garments. Visit aLisuhill-tribe village. The Lisu wear very elaborate headdresses. Lunch inThaton town. Continue to Phatai village– a home to Lahu minority. Start ariver cruise along the picturesque scenery of the Maekokriver. The boat trip ends at Pong Nam hot spring. Transfer back to the hotel.
A trip to the highest peak near the Burmar border. This trip providesa perfect opportunity to visit both the Lahu and Akhahill-tribe villages. Enroute, enjoy spectacular scenery of farming terraces and admire the villa of the late Princess Mother. Visit a beautiful botanical garden nearby. Continue to Mae Sai border town, the northernmost point of Thailand. Free time to shop at a local flea market.
Set high amidst magnificent mountain sceneriesMae Salongvillage was founded by the Koumintang soldiers who fled China after Mao Tse Tung's victory in 1949. There are many fruit wines and liquors on sale at the local market. Continue to Mae Sai border town, the northernmost point of Thailand. Free time to shop at a local flea market.
We travel on the Maekokriverbya long-tail boat forapproximately 1.5hours. Visit a Karen hilltribe village called Baan RuamMitr. Experience one hour elephant riding. Return by boat to Chiang Raifor a lunch at a local restaurant.The tour continues by car toChiang Sean, a 700-year-oldtown. We then visit thespotwhere Thailand, Laos and Myanmar bordersmeet, knownworldwideasThe GoldenTriangle. The last stop is at Mae Sai, a trading townon the Thai-Myanmar border.
Depart from Chiang Rai to Mae Kham &Tham Pa Asha Thong temples located in a very remote area on a hill near Mae Chan. The abbot, who used to be a cavalier in the army, asked monks and novices to use ponies as their means of transportation while going to alocal village collecting alms. Continue to Doi Mae Salongor the Santi Khiri village - a community settled by the former Chinese soldiers who moved from Myanmar to reside on Thai territory in 1961. The village became well known for its enchanting scenery and tranquil atmosphere. Today it is a major tourist attraction with its small-town ambience, delicious native Chinese dishes, small hotels and guesthouses catering to visitors and tea, coffee and fruit tree plantations. The scenery is especially picturesque in December and January when sakuras are in full bloom.
Depart from Chiang Rai to Mae Kham &Tham Pa Asha Thong temples located in a very remote area on a hill near Mae Chan. The abbot, who used to be a cavalier in the army, asked monks and novices to use ponies as their means of transportation while going to alocal village collecting alms. The distance is about 5 kilometers down and uphill from the temple. Continue to Boon Rawd Farm, which is one of the largest tea producers in Thailand, with 237 acres of tea plantation and over 400 tons of high quality tea produced annually. The farm workers are local Thais and people from various hill tribes, whose unique traditions, ways of life and cultures have long been appealing to outsiders.
A trilling boat ride along the Mae Kokriver ends with a visit to a Karen hill-tribe village. They originated from Burma and form the largest hill-tribe population in Thailand. Here visitors enjoy elephant ride (30 min) through the countryside. Continue the trip to a hot spring, where you can enjoy bathing. Visita Lahuhill-tribe village. The Lahu originated from Tibet; they set up their villages in remote areas. Return to Chiang Raiby boat.