Chiang Rai, Thailand: Travel/Tourist Information Guide
Chiang Rai was the first capital city of the ancient Lanna Kingdom before the capital was relocated to Chiang Mai, its neighboring city. It is a serene and quiet place with plenty of natural resources. The Golden Triangle bordering Thailand, Laos, and Burma is situated here; the former center of the world's opium trade. The locals still observe a traditional, rural lifestyle. The city offers a blend of its cultural, historical, and natural attractions making it a place to escape the busy and noisy cities of the country. The Wat Rong Khun, also known as the White Temple, is a top attraction in Chiang Rai. It is also a sacred place of worship. With the natural attractions; the mountain scenery, the remote hill tribe villages, and the exotic wildlife, jungle trekking is a must-do in Chiang Rai. From the cultural attractions to the natural wonders of Chiang Rai, there are plenty of things to do in town. At night, the city is quite sleepy, calm, and quiet offering less bars and clubs. However, there are few places in town to enjoy a nightlife. In staying for a couple of days, the city offers accommodation from luxurious hotels to simple guesthouses for a budgeted stay. Some of theses hotels are either affiliated to a tour company or hosting its own tours and excursions to the places at the outskirts of the city of Chiang Rai. These hotels can provide assistance to the tourists for visiting the nearby places and tourist attractions.
If planning to arrive by plane, the Mae Fah Luang-Chiang Rai International Airport that is catering both domestic and international flights is the only airport in Chiang Rai. From the airport, there are car rentals available. There are also prepaid taxis which usually costs 200 baht for a ride to a hotel. Another way to get in Chiang Rai is through a bus. There are two bus stations; the Old Bus Station, for local buses, and the New Bus Station, for buses elsewhere in Thailand. Both bus stations has a lot of tuk-tuks, songthaews, and other modes of transport outside to get around the city. If travelling by train, the nearest train station is at Chiang Mai. From here, there are buses or taxis available to take tourists to Chiang Rai. There are tour and transportation companies that offer private van services with a driver from the major cities like Bangkok.