Chiang Rai History
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.