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Chiang Rai Holidays Overview
The town of Chiang Rai is the capital of Thailandís northern most province which also goes by the same name. The city is the main commercial center of Thailandís Golden Triangle or the area which is located along the Mekong River where the borders of Thailand, Myanmar and Laos converge. The mighty Mekong River also joins the Ruak River at the Golden Triangle. The Golden Triangle was once renowned for its opium production and trade but today it is famous for its breathtaking scenery and its many ancient temples. Most tourists to Thailand make it a point to include a visit to the Golden Triangle in their itineraries.
The province of Chiang Rai consists of mountainous terrain which is also home to several hill tribes and indigenous Thai people like the aboriginal Lawa, the Shans, the Lao, the Chinese and the Mon who all coexist peacefully in this region which is known for its great scenic beauty. Chiang Rai also offers a wide range of recreation facilities like boating on the Kok and Mekong Rivers, elephant rides and trekking in the hills as a result of which the town and its surrounding areas are a favorite with adventure tourists who much prefer physical activities to lounging on a beach.
Historical records indicate that Chiang Rai was founded in the 13th Century by King Mangrai who also founded the city of Chiang Mai. King Mangrai made Chiang Rai the capital of his Kingdom and he fortified it in order to keep the Mongolas at bay but Chiang Rai was soon captured by the Burmese who ruled it for several hundred years. Thailand then annexed Chiang Mai in 1899 and it subsequently made Chiang Rai, a Thai province in 1933. Today Chiang Rai along with Chiang Mai is an important destination on the Thai tourist map.
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holidays - Top Events
King Meng Rai Festival
This festival celebrates the founder of Chiang Rai and is celebrated for a week every January- February( 26th January to 4th of February). The celebrations feature parades and several vendors who sell traditional eats and native products.
The Thai New Year(April) is celebrated with great pomp and ceremony in Chiang Rai. The town celebrates the New Year with parades, beauty contests and boat races on the Mekong that feature teams from Thailand, Laos, China and Myanmar.
Chiang Rai is an important production area for this delicious succulent fruit and this festival which celebrates natureís bounty is held annually in the month of May. Chiang Rai celebrates this delicious fruit with colorful parades and contests.
Loi Krathong Festival
Chiang Rai celebrates this famous Thai festival every November by making offerings to the Goddess of Water. These offerings typically consist of boats fashioned out of banana leaves which carry joss sticks and candles that are floated on the water. Food stalls, local handicrafts, beauty contests and folk entertainment all feature in the festivities.
holidays - How to Get There
Airlines like Thai Airways, Philippine Airlines, Singapore Airlines , Malaysian Airlines and Emirates offer air links to Chiang Rai usually via Bangkok from Australian cities like Sydney and Melbourne. The flight time of these journeys depends on the route that you choose to take and the stops that you are compelled to make and generally extend over 20 hours.
Australia doesnít have a diplomatic mission in Chiang Rai but the country has its embassy in the Thai capital of Bangkok.