October 2012
M T W T F S S
« Sep   Nov »
1234567
891011121314
15161718192021
22232425262728
293031  

Chiang Rai is the capital of Chiang Rai Province, Northern Thailand – Part 1




Chiang Rai is the capital of Chiang Rai Province, Northern Thailand.

Overview of Chiang Rai

• The town is the main commercial center serving the Golden Triangle border region of Thailand, Myanmar and Laos.
• It is an excellent base for exploring the region.
• Chiang Rai is essentially a service city for the surrounding province.
• The character is distinctly Northern and is distinct to Chiang Mai to the south.

Places to See in Chiang Rai

1. Bandaam Museum
• Bandaam Museum is located about 10 km north of the city.
• After driving 1.9 km past the Chaing Rai University on Hwy 1, turn left into Soi 13, go 470 meters & turn left into a small soi.
• Timings: 9:00 – 5:00.
• Closed from: 12:00 – 1:00
• Entry : Free

2. Duchanee
• Duchanee, the grounds include nearly 40 small black houses made of wood, glass, concrete, bricks, or terracotta in various unique styles and design scattered around the temple’s area.
• The cluster of houses accommodates:
– Thawan’s collections of paintings
– Sculptures
– Animal bones
– Skins, horns
– Silver and gold items
• Several of the houses exhibit Balinese and Burmese architecture and art.
• They date back to the Ayutthaya period.
• The artist uses bones as a source of inspiration to paint.
• It is definitely not a place for animal lovers.
• There are also various kinds of baskets and drums from many regions and countries on display at Baandam.
• Not all exhibits are open to public.
• Open to everyone except tour groups, and admission is free.

3. Taoist and Mahayana Buddhist Temple
• Munniti Chiang Rai Across from Sammakkhi Wittayakhom School on Banpaprakan is this Taoist and Mahayana Buddhist temple.
• This is a rare sight in Theraveda Buddhist Thailand.
• On the road to Pattaya Noi, is a temple dedicated to the Chinese Goddess of Mercy featuring a large statue.
• In the Ban Kheck area, is another Goddess of Mercy temple.
• Chiang Rai First Church, its largest, was built in 1914 at PratuSiri corner. It’s Presbyterian.

4. Guardian statue, Wat Klong Wiang
• Wat Phra Kaeo is a beautiful Buddhist temple on Trairat Road.
• It is famous for having housed the Emerald Buddha, in the 14th century.
• This is one of the most famous Buddha images in Thailand.
• According to legend, the statue was (re)discovered when a bolt of lightning hit a chedi (stupa) on the grounds.
• This cracked it open and revealing the Buddha inside.
• The temple grounds are lush with greenery.
• It has a house that is compact but an excellent two-story air-conditioned museum, with a near-exact replica of the Emerald Buddha which is 1mm shorter than the original.
• The original is now housed in Bangkok in the temple of the same name, on the grounds of the Royal Palace.

5. Wat Phra Sing
• Wat Phra Sing is located near the townhall.
• This town hall was used to house a major Buddha statue, the Phra Buddha Sihing.
• This statue is now enshrined in Chiang Mai.
• Like Wat Phra Kaeo, the temple now houses a replica instead.
• A special feature is the Lanna-style Ubosot and the wooden door panels that were carved by Chiang Rai contemporary craftsmen.

6. Wat Klong Wiang
• Wat Klong Wiang dates back to 1432 and is an excellent but little-visited temple.
• It showcases exuberant Lanna style at its best.
• Noteworthy are the colourful guardian statues and the elephants in the back.
• There is “No Killing Area” admonition at the entrance.

7. Wat Ming Meuang
• It is located at the intersection of Th Banphaprakan and Th Trairat.
• This is a small temple housing the spirit of the city (ming meuang) in an exquisitely carved and decorated Lanna-style, almost Laotian wiharn.

8. Wat Phra That Doi Chom Thong
• This is located on Doi Chom Thong on the banks of the Kok River within town area.
• It contains what is believed to be the oldest Holy Relic even before King Mengrai built Chiang Rai.
• The Chedi containing the Holy Relic was probably renovated at the same time the town was built.
• A major religious site in Chiang Rai was from here that King Mengrai spotted the strategic location on which to establish the town.

9. White Temple (Wat Rong Khun)
• This is located at Ban Rong Khun, Tambon Pa O Don Chai, along Phahonyothin roadside at Km. 816.
• This is approximately 13 km from the city.
• This unique modern temple was designed and built by artist Chaloemchai Khositphiphat starting in 1998.
• A beautiful white ordination hall called Phra Ubosot is decorated with silver glittering pieces of mirrors.
• There are large mural paintings of the Lord Buddha in different gestures.
• A gable is decorated with a gable apex which is a leaf-shaped gable-edging which are in the shapes of Phya Naga, dragon and mythical creatures, which are entirely made of white stucco.
• There are viharn, small hall for recitation surrounding the ordination hall, museum and reception pavilion.
• The gallery exhibits paintings of Chaloemchai Khositphiphat.

Essential Information

• It opens daily at 08:00 – 18:00
• Tel: 0 5367 3579
• Fax: 0 5367 3539

How to get to White Temple?
• There is a public bus from the Chiang Rai bus station.
• To get back, flag down a public bus from the police station on the left side of the road leading back to the main highway.

Best time to visit / climate

• Thailand is largely tropical.
• It’s hot and humid all year around with temperatures in the 28-35°C range (82-95°F).
• From November to the end of February, it doesn’t rain much and temperatures are at their lowest.
• From March to June, Thailand swelters in temperatures as high as 40°C (104°F).
• From July to October, although it only really gets underway in September, tropical monsoons hit most of the country.

Location on Google Maps


View Larger Map

Or click and paste the URL below on your browser:
http://maps.google.co.in/maps?q=chiang+rai&hl=en&hnear=Chiang+Rai,+Thailand&t=m&z=8

How to get there?

1. By plane
• Mae Fah Luang-Chiang Rai International Airport is located on Phaholyotin Road 8 kilometres from the centre of Chiang Rai.
• The airport is served by AirAsia , Orient Thai and Thai Airways to Bangkok.
• There are now daily flights to/from Macau operated by Orient Thai Airlines.

2. By Bus
• There are two bus stations in Chiang Rai.
• The old bus station and new bus station.
• There is a songthaew’ (officially a “minibus”) connecting the two bus terminals.
• It costs 10 baht per person and takes 15 minutes.
• Some drivers ask you to pay more if there are fewer than 10 passengers, despite what the official price list posted inside the songthaew says.
• You can just wait for the next one and pay 10 baht.
• Old Bus Station (Bus Terminal 1) is located in the center of town.
• Buses coming from Chiang Rai province stop here.
• From here, you take the bus south to Phayao, and north to Mae Sai.

3. Chiang Khong, on the Laos border
• Buses leave every hour or so and have the destination clearly marked.
• The journey takes two and a half hours and costs 70 THB on local bus.
• New Bus Station (Bus Terminal 2), (7km south of the city, just off the super highway).
• Buses from elsewhere in Thailand stop here.

4. By Train
• The nearest train station is at Chiang Mai.

5. By Car
• Chiang Rai is about 820 km north of Bangkok and is easily accessible from Bangkok via highways # 1 / # 32 and from Chiang Mai on highway # 118.
• For car, driver and guide hire, try Thailand Hilltribe Holidays, who offer private itineraries that cover the main sights and off-the-beaten-path areas in Chiang Rai

Some Travel Books about Thailand

Lonely Planet Discover Thailand Thailand PhotoMazing Thailand

Places to stay (hotels / restaurants along with website / contact numbers)

Hotels at wikitravel.org
Hotels at tripadvisor.in
Hotels at asiarooms.com

Blogs / Sites about Thailand – Chiang Rai

Blogs at wikipedia.org
Blogs at travelblog.org
Blogs at travbuddy.com
Blogs and reviews at lonelyplanet.com

Images and photos of Thailand – Chiang Rai

Images at google.com
Images at tripadvisor.in
Images at asian-images.photoshelter.com
Images at trekearth.com

Videos of Thailand – Chiang Rai






Leave a Reply

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>