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Chiang Rai Province

เชียงราย

Chiang Rai (Thai: เชียงราย) is the northernmost province (changwat) of Thailand. Neighbouring provinces are (from east clockwise) Phayao, Lampang and Chiang Mai. In the north it borders Shan State of Myanmar and Bokeo of Laos.

The average elevation of the province is 580 m. The north of the province belongs to the so-called Golden Triangle, at which the borders of Thailand, Laos and Myanmar converge - an area which was very unsafe because of the drug smuggling across the borders. The Mekong river forms the boundary with Laos, the Mae Sai and Ruak River to Myanmar. Through the town of Chiang Rai itself flows the Kok River.

While the eastern part of the province is relatively flat river plains, the western part consists of the mountainous terrain of the Hills of Northern Thailand.

While not the highest elevation of the province, the 1389 m high[1] Doi Tung (Flag hill) is the most important hill. The Wat Phra That Doi Tung temple on top of the hill according to the chronicles dates back to the year 911. Nearby is the Doi Tung royal villa, former residence of the Late Princess mother (mother of the present king) Somdej Phra Srinagarindra. Thanks to her activities the hills were reforested, and the hill tribes changed from growing poppy to other crops.


Administrative divisions

The province is subdivided in 18 districts (amphoe). These are further subdivided into 124 subdistricts (tambon) and 1510 villages (muban).

1 Mueang Chiang Rai
2 Wiang Chai
3 Chiang Khong
4 Thoeng
5 Phan
6 Pa Daet
7 Mae Chan
8 Chiang Saen
9 Mae Sai
10 Mae Suai
11 Wiang Pa Pao
12 Phaya Mengrai
13 Wiang Kaen
14 Khun Tan
15 Mae Fa Luang
16 Mae Lao
17 Wiang Chiang Rung
18 Doi Luang


Attractions

Mae Fah Luang Art and Cultural Park (Rai Mae Fah Luang) is located at Pa Ngiw Village, about 5 kilometers from the city center. It was founded by the late Princess Mother, who bought a 140 rai plot to set up a center for developing the youths from rural areas under the supervision of the Mae Fah Luang Foundation. The garden is a park cum museum preserving Lanna cultural objects.พระธาตุดอยตุง

Doi Tung (ดอยตุง) is a revered mountain which includes the Doi Tung Palace and the Mae Fa Luang Flower Garden. The Wat Phra That Doi Tung Holy Relic, an old religious site on top of the mountain, is about 2,000 metres above sea level.

Wat Rong Khun (วัดร่องขุ่น): This temple was designed and built by artist Chaloemchai Khositphiphat. A white ordination hall – Phra Ubosot - is decorated with silver glittering pieces of mirrors. There are large mural paintings of the Lord Buddha in different gestures.

The Golden Triangle (สามเหลี่ยมทองคำ), locally called "Sop Ruak", is where the Mekhong meets the Ruak Riveวัดร่องขุ่นr and also where the borders of three countries, Laos, Burma and Thailand, meet together. There are remains of many ancient places and structures attesting to the area having been settled by people in the past.

Doi Mae Salong (ดอยแม่สลอง) is home to a community settled by remnants of the 93rd Division of the Republic of China Army, who moved out of Yunnan province, China, in to Burma and after to Thai territory at the end of the Chinese Civil War in 1949. Today the town is a tourist attraction renowned for its tea and its small-town ambience on high hills.

Wat Phra Kaeo (วัดพระแก้ว) once housed Thailand's most revered Buddha image, the Emerald Buddha. It was discovered in 1444. The statue had been moved by various state rulers to be placed in their respective capitals as a symbol of dominance, including Lampang, Chiang Rai and Vientiane before finally enshrined in Bangkok's Wat Phra Kaeo during the reign of King Rama I of the Rattanakosin period.

Kok River (แม่น้ำกก) flows through the town of Chiang Rai and is 130 kilometres long. Long-tailed boats and cruises can be made from town to travel. Hilltribe villages in the area are popular with travelers.

Amphoe Mae Sai: Mae Sai (แม่สาย), borders on Burma's Tachileik (ท่าขี้เหล็ก) marked by the Mae Sai River with a bridge spanning both sides. The area has a market selling lots of different goods.แม่สาย

Doi Nang Non (ดอยนางนอน), "sleeping woman mountain", is unusual land feature located in Mae Chan district on the western side of the highway between Chiang Rai and Mae Sai.[3] The silhouette of the mountain range takes the shape of a reclining woman when seen from certain angles. There is a viewpoint at Mae Chan, from where this land feature can be observed best.[4]

The Hall of Opium, Golden Triangle Park (หอฝิ่นอุทยานสามเหลี่ยมทองคำ) exhibits the history of opium in the Golden Triangle, its origin, opium war when people lived on opium planting and smoking, as well as the recovery of the people who lived here.

Chiang Saen (เชียงแสน): an ancient town which once served as the main town before ภูชี้ฟ้าKing Mengrai established Chiang Rai as the capital of the Lanna Kingdom in 1262. Traces of old double city walls and many other antiquities still remain in and outside the district town. The attractions include Chiang Saen National Museum (พิพิธภัณฑสถานแห่งชาติเชียงแสน), Wat Phra That Chedi Luang (วัดพระธาตุเจดีย์หลวง) and Wat Pa Sak (วัดป่าสัก).

 

Phu Chi Fa (ภูชี้ฟ้า): There is a trail which leads from a parking lot up to the viewing point on the top of this mountain, a distance of 1.8 kilometres. From the sheer cliff of Phu Chi Fa, views, especially the sea of clouds at sunrise, can be seen. The cool climate produces flowering shrubs of various species.





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