is a beautiful city located in the mountainous area of Chiang Rai, within the Mueang Chiang Rai District in the province of Chiang Rai. Chiang Rai is situated to the northernmost part of Thailand
, within the Golden Triangle that forms the Chiang Rai, Laos, and the Myanmar borders.
The city was established in 1262 by King Mangrai as the capital of the Mangrai Dynasty. After Burma conquered it, Chiang Rai remained under the rule of the Burmese for numerous years until it became a Chiang Mai vessel in 1786.
Chiang Rai is located within the Kok River's alluvial plains, surrounded by the scenic Phi Pan Nam Ranges to the southern side and the famous Daen Lao Ranges to the north side. The Kok River provides for most of the water activities, as does its tributary- the Lao River and the Mekong River found to the northeastern part of Chiang Rai.
Chiang Rai is crowned with many Buddhist temples, some of which remain the top attraction spots. The Wat Phra Kaew features the former home of Emerald Buddha while the Wat Rong Khun, which is also called the White Temple, features a modern Buddhist shrine complete with attractive sculptures and murals.
Other attraction spots include the mountain-side Royal Villa that has today been converted into a museum to display beautiful exhibitions featuring both the ancient and modern works. The magnificent Wat Phra Kaew and Wat Phra Singh are also among the top-visited spots in Chiang Rai.
Chiang Rai experiences a tropical wet and dry climate, which is classified as Aw under the Köppen climatic classification. The general weather entails warm and pleasant winters that are moderately dry, scorching and humid summers and a monsoon season that lasts between mid-April
Winter runs from mid-November
. The temperature averages highs of 20°C (68°F) and lows of 15.5°C (59.9°F). Most days experience up to eight and a half hours of sunshine alongside the warm temperature, making it an excellent time to be outdoors in Chiang Rai.
Summer falls between May
and has Chiang Rai recording extremely high temperature ranges between 31.6°C (88.9°F) and 35.3°C (95.5°F) during the day and between 17.6°C (63.7°F) and 22.3°C (72.1°F) at night. This season receives the highest rainfall in the year with as high as 358.4mm (14.1") of rain and as many as twenty-four days of rain in the wettest month- August
. The high rainfall can cause flooding and other hazards, being Chiang Rai's monsoon season.
The peak of the travel period to Chiang Rai is between November and February
. The period features excellent weather for outdoor fun and activities like trekking, biking, and picnicking, among others. This is when Chiang Rai is moderately dry and devoid of any weather-related hazards. The period between Mar and May has extremely high-temperature ranges, and between June
and November is the peak of the monsoon season.
Some of the popular events in Chiang Rai include the Songkran or Thai New Year, which happens every April on varying dates. Chiang Rai holds feasts, boat races on the Kok River, performances, parades, and fireworks to usher in the New Year. Another event is the Chiang Rai Flower Festival, which is held in December
amid colorful decorations and festivities.