Chiang Rai Travel Guide
by: Asian Trails Ltd, • 24
Chiang Rai Province is the northernmost province of Thailand. As the province is at the very top of Thailand, it borders Myanmar and Laos. The close proximity to these countries has allowed the cultures to influence the province of Chiang Rai.
The province is average sized and is home to approximately 1,130,000 citizens. There are an abundance of different people from the different cultures from the surrounding countries, and the rest of Thailand obviously. The provincial capital, also named Chiang Rai is a honey pot of mixed races and mixed language citizens. Arriving by plane really is a joy when flying into the nearest airport to Chiang Rai. ‘Mae Fah Luang-Chiang International Airport’ is only 8km from the city centre, so really isn’t far. Flights are available from all parts of Thailand.
The Mekong river, although not the biggest river, runs through the centre of the provincial capital, and is home to many hill-tribes along its banks. The Mekong links to other rivers such as the Mae Rim Valley River and acts as a carrier river. It has an amazing and fascinating mix of colours that varies between locations. Chiang Rai city lies 565 metres (1885 feet) above sea level in a large fertile valley. Along the valley there’s an abundance of wildlife and vegetation of all different kinds. The river banks are lined with trees. The cool refreshing climate is a favourite of local Thai people and of world travellers alike.
There is a very famous and popular night market with a more subdued atmosphere than that of the bustling city centre of the provincial capital and the other cities and towns in Chiang Rai Province. Surprisingly, the pollution levels around the night time market are very low, some of the lowest levels in the whole of Thailand in fact. Local sellers are given special precedence in the market to sell their wares to the weary travellers. The market is not for from the city centre of Chiang Rai, and if you don’t want to walk you can always take a ride on a local form of transport, such as the Tuk-Tuk.
Hill tribe fabrics, beads, needlework, and silver dominates the city and whole province of Chiang Rai. There are many food courts in Chiang Rai city, selling a number of northern Thai dishes, and Asian dishes. Day time and night time snacks are available. Or, you can go into one of many pubs and just relax, enjoy the city, and people watch.
Local Thai people and expats really are friendly and welcoming in Chiang Rai. The Thai people will show you their legendary charm and will always be there for you, just to have a chat with, or to help you if you are in need of it.
There are many adventure and health resorts in the province of Chiang Rai. You can take a relaxing break to forget the world and your problems at home, or you can take an adventure break, taking elephant treks along the rivers and in the forests.
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