About Chiang Rai, Destinations Thailand: Complete Guide
In the Chiang Rai region you will find the places that most travelers see on the internet that say “hey! I want to go there ”as is the white temple and the blue temple. Therefore, here I am going to tell you about the best places to see in Chiang Rai.
Chiang Rai used to be the capital of the Lanna Kingdom until the 13th century. The kingdom of Lanna was a totally different kingdom from the kingdom that originated Thailand, the Kingdom of Siam. However, the position of Chiang Rai so beneficial for being near the Mekong River and the borders with other kingdoms, caused the Kingdom of Siam and the Kingdom of Burma to start wars to take over the region.
Finally, Chiang Rai ended up moving its capital to what we know today as Chiang Mai and by the 19th century it ended up falling under the control of the Kingdom of Siam. As history progressed, the Kingdom of Siam transformed into what is now Thailand.
This is precisely the reason why northern Thailand is so different. Basically because for much of human history, Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai, which were part of an independent kingdom, grew to their own culture, language, and customs unlike the kingdom of Siam that conquered them and other kingdoms that are today what we know as Laos and Myanmar (Burma).
How to get to Chiang Rai?
Getting to Chiang Rai is quite easy and here are the ways you can get there:
How to go to Chiang Rai by Bus
The easiest way to get to Chiang Rai by bus is traveling from Chiang Mai. The only place buses from Chiang Mai to Chiang Rai leave from is at the Arcade Bus Station. There are frequencies every hour until 5:30 p.m. and the trip takes 3 and a half hours.
The cost is € 10 and you can buy them directly on the 12go.Asia website. There are no buses from Chiang Mai Airport to Chiang Rai.
How to go to Chiang Rai by Plane
Chiang Rai Airport receives frequent arrivals from major cities in Thailand such as Phuket or Bangkok. The cities in Thailand from where there are direct flights to Chiang Rai are:
• Bangkok (From here it is cheaper to fly)
• Udo Thani
From Bangkok to Chiang Rai there are hardly as many flights as there are from Bangkok to Chiang Mai. For this reason, I highly recommend flying to Chiang Mai and starting to explore this area first. You can leave Chiang Rai towards the end to return to Bangkok or fly from Chiang Rai to any other country such as:
• Chengdu , China
• Shenzhen, China
• Siem Reap , Cambodia
Luang Prabang, Laos the above cities are the only ones that have direct flights to other countries from Chiang Rai.
Where to stay in Chiang Rai?
Some of the best places to stay in Chiang Rai are:
1. Chiang Rai Hotel
2. Le Patta Hotel
3. Baan Norn Plearn
Where to eat in Chiang Rai?
Thailand has a lot of delicious food to try and even more in Chiang Rai because the typical food of the north is really tasty. Some of the restaurants and places that I recommend you to see in Chiang Rai and where to eat are:
1. Baan chivit mai
2. Chiang Rai Nam Ngeow
3. Lee Ocha
4. Phu lae
5. Rod Yiem Beef Noodle Soup
6. Salung kham
7. Ran Lab Sanam Keela (Lanna Kingdom Food)
8. Moommai Restaurant
Other places of interest in Southeast Asia
If you are traveling through Southeast Asia, be sure to visit other incredible countries for international tours such as: