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Doi Tung

Written by admin on January 7th, 2014. Posted in Chiang Rai

Doi Tung is the site of a major environmental and socio-economic development project initiated by Her Royal Highness Srinakarindra the Princess Mother, mother of His Majesty the King of Thailand.
The 24 kilometers asphalt road from Ban San Kong to Doi Tung is a convenient route to the breathtaking scenery.  

Doi Tung Royal Villa

Doi Tung Royal Villa The late Princess Mother chose to build her another home in the north where she could stay for a long rest or to work on her reforestation project on Doi Tung. The building began in 1987, with the erection of the foundation pole on December 23.

The architectural style of this two-storeyed house is the combination of Lanna style, Swiss chalet and log cabin building techniques. The uniqueness of this palace lies in its astral ceiling which is made of wood carved to resemble the celestial sphere with the constellation of the Princess Mother’s birthday. The panel by the staircase has the Thai alphabet inscribed with illustrations.
 

Mae Fa Luang Park

Mae Fa Luang Park

Built in 1992, the park is located by the front entrance to the palace on a 9 acres piece of land, It has been carefully and beautifully designed. The center- piece, created by the renowned artist Misiam Yipinsoi, is the superb sculpture of children standing on top of each other, symbolizing continuation and thus its name. It is an echo of the Princess Mother’s aspiration that, To accomplish anything, we have to work at it in continuation .

Surrounding the sculpture are thousands of colorful flowering plants and bushes. There are several kinds of gardens on display here, such as a rock garden, an aqua garden, a palm garden, a plant garden, and a temperate garden.

The park is open daily from 7 am – 6 pm. Admission is 70 baht to the Royal Villa, and 50 baht to the park. A package ticket is 100 baht. Guided tours are scheduled for every half hour.
 

Mae Fa Luang Arboretum

Mae Fa Luang Arboretum Situated on about 100 acres of land atop Doi Chang Mup (the highest mount of the Nang Non Range). the garden was initially organized in response to the Princess Mother’s wish to improve and to replenish Doi Chang MUP.

Here you can find a rich collection of uncountable kinds of plants, both local varieties and some rarities from other areas. A long footpath winding among trees and shrubbery along the mountain side shoulders leads to its high summits.

The highest plateau is shaded by big trees removed from the Mae Sai-Mae Chan highway. From the observation balcony, visitors can enjoy the magnificent vista as far as the Laotian and the Myanmar borders.

An admission ticket to the garden is 50 baht.
 

Doi Tung Wildlife Reservation Station

Doi Tung Wildlife Reservation StationThis reservation station covers the area of about 80 acres, It aims to preserve Doi Tung area wild animals as wet as some endangered species. including deer, hog deer, chamois, bucks, hornbills, etc. Admission is free. 

 

 

 

 

Ban Pa Kluai Hilltribe Market

This is an ideal place to look for souvenirs made by the Akha (l-Ko) and Musor, such as silverware, silver ornaments, woven bags, tribal dresses and other mementos. 

Handicraft Center

The workshop is part of Doi Tung Development project. The assortment of handicrafts made by hilltribe housewives available here is diverse in style and ranges from hand woven cloth and rugs, sa paper products, to Arabica coffee beans. 

Phra That Doi Tung (Doi Tung Shrine)

Phra That Doi Tung (Doi Tung Shrine) This shrine is the first shrine in Lanna built by King Uchuttarat of Yonok-Nakkhaphan in 911 in order to contain Buddha’s left-shoulder bone relies. In the reign of King Mang Rai, 50 more fragments were donated. Mang Rai, therefore, had another chedi built alongside the old one to house them.

Doi Tung Shrine is a popular place of worship for both the Thai and Tai Yai from neighboring Myanmar and Laos from Luang Prabang and Vientiane. During the Doi Tung devotional festival, the whole area is crowded with visitors and worshippers. Driving up to the shrine will then become inconvenient and rather dangerous. Walking is recommended as the most practical way.
 

 

Hilltribe Villages

Hilltribe VillagesTwenty-six villages of ethnic minorities lie within the Doi Tung Development Project area. Twenty-four are of hilltribe communifies: predominantly Akha and Lahu, with Lue, Lisu and others living in their midst. Another is a Shan (Thai Yai) community, and one a Chinese Haw village. All villages in Doi Tung can now be reached by road, and all receive electricity, water supply, and other physical and social infrastructure. Dramatic changes, through the training and work opportunities under the project, have led to dramatic increases in income and improvement in the quality of their lives. Yet despite the major changes that occurred in recent years, the ethnic minorities of Doi Jung maintain their unique cultures and traditions, and continue to celebrate their special festivals and rituals. 

River Rafting and Trekking in Chiang Rai

Written by admin on January 7th, 2014. Posted in Chiang Rai

Running through the heart of Chiang Rai, the Kok river is a major transportation artery to neighboring province, Chiang Mai. From the boarding pier at Mae Fa Luang in Chiang Rai’s city, the raft ride downstream to Ban Tha Ton in Chiang Mai takes about 4 hours. Tourists wishing to come to Chiang Rai by the Kok River can also board the raft at Ban Tha Ton in Chiang Mai and take the ride up to Chiang Rai. 

The river also pass several hilltribe villages, such as Ban Mai of the Tai Yai, Ban Muang Ngam of the Karen, Ban Cha-Khue of the Musor, Ban Pha Mup Mai of the Lahu (Musor), etc. An elephant-ride station at Ban Karen Ruammit can take you on an exquisite expedition of the forest and its yields. 

 

 

 

Trekking

Popular trekking areas include hilltribe villages, elephant camps, majestic mountain terrain, pristine jungle and rivers, photogenic waterfalls and unusual caves. A trip to such places can be made by foot , on elephant back, longtail boats, motorcycles and jeeps.

Hilltribe villages along the trekking route

Chiang Rai City

Written by admin on January 7th, 2014. Posted in Chiang Rai

Several hundred years ago, King Meng Rai chose this fertile land at the foot of Doi Chom Thong by the Kok River to be the site of his new empire. Numerous historic remains in the areas are witness to Chiang Rai’s past glories, reflecting its high standard of social and cultural development. 

King Meng Rai The Great Monument

This is located on the city outskirts, beside the northern road to Mae Chan, and honours the monarch, Phraya Meng Rai, who founded Chiang Rai in 1262. It is quite appropriate to pay homage to its founder before venturing to other sites in his historic empire of Chiang Rai. 

Wat Klang Wiang

Formerly called Wat Chantalok after the huge red chan tree once grown here, this is where the founding city pillar is located. However, during the modern day mapping process, it was revealed that this temple is situated at the exact center-point of the city. The city pillar was thus erected, and the temple was renamed Wat Chan Lok Klang Wang. In 1903, a big gale destroyed the “chan” tree, ubosot, main prayer hall, and wihan, an assembly hall. The name of the temple was thus reduced to Wat Klang Wiang.
In 1992, a new city pole was erected to replace the old one which had long collapsed. A mondop topped with a spire was built to protect the pillar from eroding elements, with a statue of the mythical Guardian Angle (called Thao Chatu Lokaban) to protect the city’s birthplace according to Lanna beliefs. A chedi was built where the chan tree once stood. The statuettes of fully attired elephants stand around the base of the chedi. The main prayer hall was also rebuilt in neo-Lanna architectural style.
 

Wat Phra Sing

Wat Phra Sing Located on Singhakhlai Road, the temple was built around 1385. The Phra Buddha Sihing image now housed in Chiang Mai’s Wat Phra Sing was formerly enshrined here.

The temple is also well-known for its artifacts. The main prayer hall reflects a traditional architectural style, with wooden portals beautifully carved into a delicate pattern showing the interplay of earth, water, wind and fire, by the hand of local Chiang Rai craftsmen. The pattern was designed by one of Thailand’s renowned artists, Thawan Datchani. The temple itself houses a 5 by 24 replica of Buddha’s footprint believed to be carved in the reign of Phraya Meng Rai, with an inscription in the ancient Khmer alphabet which reads “Kusala Thamma (Dhamma), Akusala Thamma (Dhamma),” to remind people of the Dhamma which instigates good deeds and refrains from undesirable deeds.

Wat Phra Kaeo

Wat Phra Kaeo Located behind Wat Phra Singh, this temple is said to have been the original place where the Emerald Buddha, now enshrined in Bangkok’s Wat Phra Kaeo was enshrined.

On 21 October 1990. Buddhist clerics and laity agreed to build the Jade Buddha (commonly called Phra Yok Chiang Rai) to celebrate the 90th anniversary of the Princess Mother’s birthday. The Buddha image was officially name Phra Phuttha Rattanakonnawuttiwatsanuson Mongkhon. which means the Buddha who is the source of gems.

In the main prayer hall tands a huge bronze Buddha image in the posture of sub-duing mara, or demon. This is commonly known as Phra-Chao Lan Thong in Chiang Rai. It was transferred from Wet Phra Chao Lan Thong to this temple in 1961. The main hall itself was built in 1960 in the neo-Lanna style with double-tiered roofs decorated with colored glass along the eaves and the beams. The front portal posts and gable are decorated with intricate golden patterns. The doors are showpieces of northern woodcarving techniques.
 

Ku Phraya Meng Rai & Wat Dai Ngam Muang

Ku Phraya Meng RaiKu Phraya Meng Rai was initially built to contain Meng Rai’s bone relics after his cremation. The temple was built later where the Ku was found and was renovated once again in 1952 and Phraya Meng Rai’s statue was erected next to his remains then. 

 

 

Wat Phra That Doi Thong

Wat Phra That Doi ThongBefore the founding of Chiang Rai, King Meng Rai had a high citadel built around Doi Chom Thong, the city center. Then he had Phra That Doi Thong renovated. Phra That Doi Thong, originally built by Phraya Ruen Kaeo in 900, contains a portion of Buddha’s relics. One portion is kept at Wat Phra That Doi Tung and the other at Wat Phra That Chom Kitti.

Opposite Wat Phra That Doi Thong are located 108 city pillars of Chiang Rai, which the citizen unanimously agreed to build in 1988 as an expression of gratitude to King Meng Rai, as well as to celebrate King Bhumibol’s 60th birthday.

Wat Phra That Doi Thong

The pillars were built according to lanna traditional beliefs reflecting a combination of Buddhist and Hindu ideology. The pillars themselves are 5 feet thick and are of the king’s height. They are arranged in several tiers of circles, symbolizing the universe with Sumeru Mountain in the center. The Surrounding five water troughs represent the five oceans (the traditional Pancha Mahanathi). with Nirvana at its highest reach.
 

Hilltribe Museum

The Population and Community Development (PDA), a non profit making organization, founded this museum and study center with the objective to preserve and display the ways of life of the six tribes Akha (l-ko), Lahu (Musor), Mien (Yao), Karen, Lisu (Lisor) and Hmong (Maeo). A slide presentation of their settlement history in Thailand is available in 5 languages: Thai, English, Japanese, German and French. It also serves as a visitor center where tourists can obtain information about other tourist attractions in Chiang Rai.

Downstairs to the museum is located “C&C Restaurant” (Cabbages and Condoms) where contraceptive condoms are distributed free of charge as part of the program to help promote birth control and HIV prevention. The menu includes European, American and local Thai dishes at reasonable prices. Profits from the restaurant go to support the association.

The museum is open daily from 8.30 am to 8.00 pm. Admission 20 baht. The restaurant opens 10.00 am – 01.00 pm. 
 

Up-Kham Museum

Up-Kham MuseumThis private museum belongs to Mr. Chunlasak Suriyachai, an avid art collector whose outstanding archeological collections are unique. Some curios on display here include numerous ornaments, lacquerware, ancient fabrics, traditional costumes from some Lanna courts, as well as other hard-to-find items such as the throne of Chao Fa Muang Tai, and golden silk costumes of Tai Yai princes.

The museum is open daily from 10.00 am to 06.00 pm. Admission 100 baht.
 

 

 

 

 

Khun Kon Waterfall Forest Park

Khun Kon Waterfall Forest ParkCommonly called Tat Mok Waterfall, this fall is 70 meters high, and is considered the highest and the most beautiful in Chiang Rai. 

Phone Numbers

Written by admin on January 7th, 2014. Posted in Chiang Rai

The international code for Thailand is 66. The long distance code for Chiang Rai is 053 for domestic calls, and 53 for international calls.

Public Relations 711870
Police, Chiang Rai Provincial Station  711444
 Police,Mae Fah Luang District station  607004
 Tourist Police, Chiang Rai 717779
 Chiang Rai International Airport  793048
Thai International Airways 

711179,
713663

Chiang Rai Bus Station  711224
Chiang Rai Prachanukroh Hospital  711300
Over Brook Hospital  711366
Mae Chan Hospital  771056
Mae Sai Hospital  731300
Chiang Rai Tourism Association  711062

Getting Around Chiang Rai

Written by admin on January 7th, 2014. Posted in Chiang Rai

Chiang Rai’ city is quite a small town, it is possible to walk to destinations around the city. Anyway, several forms of transportations are available. 

Songtaew    

SongtaewSongtaew is a pickup that has been converted into mini-bus with two long seats on each side. Generally songtaews ply the city’s main routes and look for passengers along the way. They can also be privately hired to take you wherever you want to go Prices are around 700 – 1,000 baht for eight or nine hours. Bargaining is required. 
 

Samlor

SamlorSamlor or pedal trishaw is one of the favourite local forms of transport in Chiang Rai. Although a much slower than other types of transportations, samlor is great for short distances and a relaxing way to see the sites. Fares start at 10 baht and increase according to distance. 
 

Tuk Tuk    

Tuk TukThere is a set price from one point to another within the city and should not more than a few Baht. Outside the city, the price is negotiable but generally more expensive than Songthaews. 
 

 

 

Vehicles for rent  

Vehicles for rentThose who wish to be independent, and explore Chiang Rai at leisure, can rent motorcycles or cars. Rental shops can be easily found within the city. 90cc Honda Dream or Suzuki Crystal bike costs around 150 Baht/day while 250cc trail bike costs 450 Baht/day. Visitors are advised to shop around, and consult local tourism publications, for different companies offer different prices and conditions. An international driver license is required. 
 

 

Bicycle    

Renting a bicycle is a simply way to getting around the town. Beyond Chiang Rai City, Chiang Khong, Chiang Saen and Mae Sai are also great for cycling. 
 

Boat 

Mae Kok River

One of the more popular ways to travel to or from Chiang Mai is by boat along the Mae Kok River. Public boats make the 3-4 hour journey every day between Chiang Rai and Ban Tha Ton in Chiang Mai. Boats leave Chiang Rai at 10.30 am, the return trip leaves Tha Ton about 12.30 pm. Prices are 200 baht per person.

Long-tail boats can also be hired privately to some nearby destinations such as the Buddha Cave, Ban Ruam Mit elephant camp and the nearby hotsprings.

Mekong River

Mekong RiverBoats can be hired from Chiang Saen to travel upstream to the Golden Triangle, and downstream to Chiang Khong. The trip to the Golden Triangle takes some 30 minutes, the trip to Chiang Khong about 1 hour and 30 minutes depending on river currents and water levels. Prices are depend on group size.

A longer distance cruise to Luang Prabang in Laos, Sip Song Pan Na or Khunming in the south China is also possible at Chiang Saen and Chiang Khong. 

Getting There Chiang Rai

Written by admin on January 7th, 2014. Posted in Chiang Rai

By Car   

1. Travel from Bangkok by Highway 1 (Phaholyothin Road), which passes through Ayutthaya, Nakhon Sawan, Kampangpetch, Tajc, Lampang, Phayao, before reaching Chiang Rai city.Total distance is 830 kilometers.

2. Another route passes through Chiang Mai. In Lampang province, take the highway to Lampang and Chiang Mai. From Chiang Mai city, go to Doi Saket, Mae Kajarn, Wieng Papao and Mae Saruay, then on to Chiang Rai city.Total distance from Bangkok is 900 kms.

3. A third route splits off from Highway 1 at Nakhon Sawan, going to Pichit province via Pc Talay and Po Pratap Chang districts. From Pichit, travel on Highway 1084 to Phitsanulok and Uttaradit. Turn right on Highway 1105 to Denchai district, Phrae province. Turn right again onto Highway 101-46 kms. from Rong Kwang in Phrae. Turn left onto Highway 103, and travel 70 kms. until the intersection with Highway 1 at Ngao district. Turn right to travel to Phayao and Chiang Rai. Total distance from Bangkok is 780 kms.
 
 

By Bus  

 Air-conditioned and non-airconditioned under the Transport Co.,Ltd. (Bor.Kor.Sor.) and other private companies depart regularly from the Northern Bus Terminal on Kampangpetch 2 Road in Bangkok The ttip takes about 10 hours. Reservations are recommended for air-conditioned busses. For more information, call the Northern Bus Terminal at 537-8055-6.

Bangkok – Chiang Rai Bus Schedules 
 
 

By Rail    

There are no direct rail links to Chiang Rai. Passengers must go either to Chiang Mai or Lampang. From there, travel either by bus or car to Chiang Rai. For more information about train service to Chiang Mai and Lampang, call the Passenger Service Division at the Bangkok Railway Station at 223-7010 or 223-7020 
 

By Air  

Thai International flies directly 3 times each day (4 on Sunday) from Bangkok to Chiang Rai and twice daily from Chiang Mai to Chiang Rai. For more information call 1566. For reservation phone 280-0060 or 628-2000 in Bangkok, or (053) 210043-5, 211044-7 in Chiang Mai, or (053) 715734-5 in Chiang Rai.  

Chiang Rai Local Flavor

Written by admin on January 7th, 2014. Posted in Chiang Rai

The ethnic combination results in a wide variety of Chiang Rai’s local flavor. Here you can find northern Thai dishes, Yunnan Chinese dishes and tasty fish from the Mekong River.

Local dishes which also commonly found in other northern provinces are fermented-pork (Naem), pork crachlings (Khaep Mu), northern-styled sausages Sai Oua and chilli pastes-either nam-prig num or nam-prig ong, served with warm fragrant sticky rice and several kinds of fresh local vegetables.
 

Hung-Iae Curry

Sweetened curry made with hung-lae curry-paste, coconut milk and thick pork. However the original recipe of Chiang Saen hard-to-find hung-lae is unique. It calls for additional ingredients include pickled bamboo shoots, string beans, green eggplants, fried sesame seeds and tamarind. 

Pork Leg with Hot Chinese Buns

This is Doi Mae Salong’s special dish. Tender pork leg is simmered with Chinese herbs which add a sweet aroma to the pork’s tender flavor. It’s served with steamed Chinese buns called man-tho. 

Nam-Ngiao/Khao-Soi

A specialty of Mae Chan, nam- ngiao is a Tai Yai dish, consisting of a curry made with pork ribs on noodles topped with fresh vegetables.
Khao-soi, on the other hand, is yellow curry of chicken or beef spread on boiled yellow noodles served with pickled and sliced challot.
 

Fresh Chinese Mushrooms in Clear Soy Sauce

This is another specialty of Doi Mae Salong. Only proper-sized fresh chinese mushrooms are picked for the dish. They are de-stemmed and marinated in clear soy sauce and other herbs. Then they are baked and fried until golden and crispy brown. 

Stewed Black Chicken in Chinese Herbs

Black chicken is the breed originally imported from China. This recipe boasts to offer a very delicious soup with medicinal values, believed to enhance stamina and sexual prowess. 

Fish Dishes

Along the river basins, fish-lovers will find a wide variety of fishy dish in Chiang Khong made from the Mekong fish. Chiang Saen also offers numerous restaurants by the riverbanks where you can experience sumptuous dishes while enjoying the sights and local flavor. 

Planning for Chiang Rai

Written by admin on January 7th, 2014. Posted in Chiang Rai

The following are some sample itineraries which might be used as guideline. 

One-Day Trip

Boat trip, Elephant riding, Hilltribe Villages, City Tour

Boat trip to the elephant camp ( Karen Village ) Elephant riding around the village or the hilltirbe villages nearby

After lunch, Boat trip back to Chiang Rai City tour, visit King Meng Rai’s Monument, Wat Phra Kaew and Wat Phra Singha, Wat Phra That Doi Thong.Overnight at Chiang Rai City
 

Two-Day Trip

Doi Tung, Shopping at Mae Sai, Golden Triangle, Chiang Saen

First Day – To Doi Tung. Visit Doi Tung Royal Villa and Mae Fa Luang Garden. Shopping at hilltribes market at Ban Pa Kluai. Visit Phra That Doi Tung.

After lunch, depart for Mae Sai. Shopping at the border market. Overnight at Mae Sai.

Second Day – To the Golden Triangle. A cruise to the Three-Corner Point. Visit Ban Fin Museum and Phra That Doi Phu Khao.

After Lunch, depart for Chiang Saen. Visit Chiang Saen National Museum, Wat Pa Sak,Wet Phra-Chao Lan Thong and Chiang Saen Lake. Back to Chiang Rai City.
 

Three-Day Trip

Chiang Khong, Hilltribe Villages, Chiang Saen, Golden Triangle, Doi Mae Salong, City tour

First Day – Depart for Chiang Khong. Visit Yao and Mong Villages and the scenic Mekong River

After lunch, depart for Chiang Saen. Visit some magnificent ruins and ancient temples (Museum, Wat Chedi Luang, Wat Pasak, Wat Phra That Chom kiti). Then visit the Golden Triangle Viewpoint of the Golden Triangle Overnight at Golden Triangle

Second Day – Depart for Doi Mae Salong. Visit Phra That Chedi Si Nakharin

After lunch, visit General Tuan Memorial and Chinese Village, Tea-Tasting and Chinese gourmetdisnes. Overnight at Mae Chan.

Third Day – Back to Chiang Rai to visit King Meng Rai’s Monument. Visit Phra That Doi Thong. To Up Kham Museum and some ancient temples in the area. Shopping at the city markets. 

Chiang Rai History

Written by admin on January 7th, 2014. Posted in Chiang Rai

In order to avoid Mongol’s attack, King Meng Rai decided to move the capital of his kingdom to a new site. The city was then built in 1262 and called Chiang Rai meaning the city of Meng Rai. Chiang Rai remained the capital of the Lanna kingdom for over three decades before Meng Rai moved his capital to Chiang Mai in 1296. Chiang Rai had since become a tributary state of Chiang Mai. Nevertheless, the king always preferred his original capital and never actually lived in Chiang Mai himself.
In 1558, Lanna with its capital of Chiang Mai was repeatedly attacked by both Lao and Burma and was to eventually submit to Burmese rule and occupation for more than 200 years.

In 1804, Prince Gawila of Chiang Mai led a successful uprising against Burma. After that he came to seek protection from the Thai King in Bangkok. Chiang Mai, therefore, became a tributary state of Bangkok before it was finally proclaimed an official Thai province by the king Rama IV in 1910.

Chiang Rai Festivals

Written by admin on January 7th, 2014. Posted in Chiang Rai

Lychee Fair   

May 22-24 , Provincial Stadium, Chiang Rai

Chiang Rai is known for its high quality of lychees that grow in this northernmost province of Thailand. Each year, to celebrate the harvest of the fruit, a fair is held featuring sales and exhibitions of lychees, other agricultural products and local handicrafts, as well as a Miss Lychee beauty competition and cultural performances. 

Blooming Bua Tong Festival

November , Doi Hua Mae Kham, Chiang Rai

Blooming Bua Tong Festival November is the time of tiny yellow wild sun flowers locally called “Bua Tong”. They cover vast areas on Doi Hua Mae Kham along the Thai-Myanmar borders in Mae Fa Luang district. The tiny blooms turn the entire mountain range into a golden heaven amidst loitering white fog, making it an unforgettable vista. 

 

 

 

Tea-Tasting and Cherry Blossoms   

January , Doi Mae Salong, Chiang Rai

Tea-Tasting and Cherry Blossoms Tourists flock to Doi Mae Salong in Mae Fa Luang to admire the cherry trees which have burst into full bloom, covering the whole mountains with their pink floral blankets from early or the end of January, depending on the cold weather. This coincides with the tea-tasting festival. During the festival, there are tea-making demonstrations, a display of the tea growing process, a tea-queen beauty pageant, as well as performances by Doi Mae Salong’s hilltribes.