Official Population count: According to the Thailand National Statistical Office, as of September 2010, Chiang Rai municipal district has a population of 199,699. With the spread of the city extending into neighboring districts, the metropolitan area is considered somewhat larger by local residents.
12.5% of the population belong to the hill tribes, a collective term for the minority ethnic groups in the North of Thailand such as the Karen
The Karen or Kayin people , are a Sino-Tibetan language speaking ethnic group which resides primarily in southern and southeastern Burma . The Karen make up approximately 7 percent of the total Burmese population of approximately 50 million people...
, Akha, Lisu, Meo
Mayo or Meo or Mewati is a prominent Muslim Rajput tribe from North-Western India. A considerable number of Meos migrated to Pakistan after independence in 1947 and now they are estimated to be over 12 million. In Pakistan, Meos have lost their distinct group identity and cultural traditions and...
, and Muser. Many Chinese, particularly from Yunnan
Yunnan is a province of the People's Republic of China, located in the far southwest of the country spanning approximately and with a population of 45.7 million . The capital of the province is Kunming. The province borders Burma, Laos, and Vietnam.Yunnan is situated in a mountainous area, with...
Province, have migrated to the area and assimilated with the Thai population to such extent that well over half of the large businesses in northern Thailand are owned by people of Chinese heritage.
Chiang Rai City is the capital of Changwat Chiang Rai
Chiang Rai is the northernmost province of Thailand. Neighbouring provinces are Phayao, Lampang and Chiang Mai. In the north it borders Shan State of Myanmar and Bokeo of Laos.-Geography:...
The City Hall
In local government, a city hall, town hall or a municipal building or civic centre, is the chief administrative building of a city...
19°54.805′N 99°49.615′E holds the Provincial Offices.
The Thetsaban holds the Municipal Offices 19°54′34"N 99°49′39"E.
- Wat Phra That Doi Chom Thong
Wat Phra That Doi Chom Thong is located in Nakhon Chiang Rai, Amphoe Mueang, Chiang Rai Province, Thailand.-History:...
, 19°54.970′N 99°49.365′E
- Wat Phra Kaeo, Chiang Rai, 19°54.704′N 99°49.647′E
- Wat Phra Sing, Chiang Rai
Wat Pra Singh is a Buddhist temple located on Thanon Singkhlai in Tambon Wiang, Mueang district, Chiang Rai Province, northern Thailand.Wat Pra Singh was built by Pra Chao Maha Proma , circa 1385 Wat Pra Singh is a Buddhist temple located on Thanon Singkhlai in Tambon Wiang, Mueang district,...
, 19°54.653′N 99°49.882′E
- Wat Doi Khao Khwai, 19°52.892′N 99°48.582′E
- Wat Rong Khun
Wat Rong Khun is a contemporary unconventional Buddhist and Hindu temple in Chiang Rai, Thailand. It was designed by Chalermchai Kositpipat. Construction began in 1997,finished in 2008.-Style and construction:...
, 19°49.480′N 99°45.800′E, a modern temple built since 1998 by Thai artist Chalermchai Kositpipat
Chalermchai Kositpipat , is a Thai visual artist. Primarily a painter, Chalermchai's works have been exhibited worldwide, and he is known for his use of Buddhist imagery in his art.-Biography:...
- Chedi Doi Trimoorati
Chedi Doi Trimoorati is probably the newest Chedi in Chiang Rai, set in a beautiful countryside location surrounded by ricefields, woodland and mountain views.Designed and taken care of by Luang Phra Wichai Chotivaro and a small group of fellow monks....
Tourist attractions in or near Chiang Rai town
- Night Bazaar is a night market, located in the middle of downtown, Chiangrai. A place for souvenirs and local products, with free cultural performances. Also more than forty restaurants.
- Saturday Night Walking Street just north of downtown. Hundreds of local folks display their crafts and food. Includes local dance and showcase displays.
Tourist attractions further afield, within Chiang Rai province
- Princess Mother Hall and Doi Mae Salong Located about 70 km northwest of Chiang Rai accessed by a scenic, and sometimes quite steep, road from Mae Chan. In Mae Salong there is a museum of the Kuomintang
The Kuomintang of China , sometimes romanized as Guomindang via the Pinyin transcription system or GMD for short, and translated as the Chinese Nationalist Party is a founding and ruling political party of the Republic of China . Its guiding ideology is the Three Principles of the People, espoused...
and their plight after exiled from China by Mao Zedong
Mao Zedong, also transliterated as Mao Tse-tung , and commonly referred to as Chairman Mao , was a Chinese Communist revolutionary, guerrilla warfare strategist, Marxist political philosopher, and leader of the Chinese Revolution...
, and subsequently forced to leave Burma from where they entered Thailand, helping at times to fight the Communists.
- Doi Tung Royal Villa is the final residence of the mother of the King of Thailand
Srinagarindra was a member of the Thai Royal Family and was a member of House of Mahidol, which is descended from Chakri Dynasty, originated by Prince Mahidol Adulyadej, the Prince of Songkla, son of King Chulalongkorn...
, known as the Princess Mother. It is located at kilometre 12 on highway 1149, to the west of highway 1. This magnificent villa was built on the mountain overlooking the surrounding hills and valleys in a unique mix of Swiss and Lanna architectural styles. Adjacent to the villa is a large flower-filled garden, and a memorial hall commemorating the Princess Mother.
- Doi Tung Zoo and another zoo 25 km south of town, just off of the old road to Chiang Mai. Besides a decent collection of animals, it has an entire section dedicated to birds, most of which are colorful flightless types.
- Phu Chi Fa
- The Gate of Siam is a location on the border with Laos where one can stand high up on a mountain with Laos directly in front and the mighty Mekong River flowing beneath.
- Saun Mai Ngam Park Many beautiful trees and flowers. Some are more than 100 years old. This is a place where Chiang Rai Flower festival is held at the end of every year.
Colleges and universities
- Mae Fah Luang University
Mae Fah Luang University, situated in the province of Chiang Rai in northern Thailand, is named after Her Royal Highness the Princess Mother , the beloved mother of the current king of Thailand. Mae Fah Luang was the name given to her by the local people in Chiang Rai. It is an autonomous public...
- Chiang Rai Rajabhat University
- Rajamangala University of Technology Lanna, Chiang Rai Campus
- Samakkhi Witthayakhom School
Samakkhi Witthayakhom School , or, in brief, SWK , or formerly, Samakkhi Witthayakhom Chiang Rai Provincial School , is a public high school in Changwat Chiang Rai , the northernmost province of Thailand....
- Damrongratsongkroh School
- Chiang Rai International Christian School 19°57.022′N 99°49.893′E
- Chiang Rai International School
- Overbrook Hospital (Semi-Private) Easy access from city center, modern facility founded 1903 by Dr. Joseph Kampol, a missionary hospital, current president Dr. Ploum.
- Kasemrad Sriburin General Hospital
Kasemrad Sriburin General Hospital or Kasaemrad Hospital is a hospital in Chiang Rai in northeast Thailand. It is one of the most important hospitals in the province. It was established in 1993 by the Kasemrad Hospital group which is based in Bangkok....
(Private, and comparatively better quality)
- Chiang Rai Prachanukhro Hospital (Public)
Route 1 runs from Bangkok
Bangkok is the capital and largest urban area city in Thailand. It is known in Thai as Krung Thep Maha Nakhon or simply Krung Thep , meaning "city of angels." The full name of Bangkok is Krung Thep Mahanakhon Amon Rattanakosin Mahintharayutthaya Mahadilok Phop Noppharat Ratchathani Burirom...
through Chiang Rai to Mae Sai
Mae Sai is the northernmost district of Chiang Rai Province in northern Thailand. The town of Mae Sai is a major border crossing between Thailand and Burma...
on the Burma border. Chiang Rai is 839 kilometers from Bangkok, about 14 hours by car or by bus. According to official bus schedules, the bus ride to Chiang Rai from Chiang Mai
Chiang Mai sometimes written as "Chiengmai" or "Chiangmai", is the largest and most culturally significant city in northern Thailand. It is the capital of Chiang Mai Province , a former capital of the Kingdom of Lanna and was the tributary Kingdom of Chiang Mai from 1774 until 1939. It is...
takes approximately an hour and 30 minutes, however the 175 km trip most often takes at least two and a half hours. All of these times should take into account the rainy season which lasts from about June to late October, this can severely inhibit travel with road sections often completely flooded and even washed out.
Several flights are available to and from Bangkok daily. Chiang Rai International Airport
Mae Fah Luang-Chiang Rai International Airport is located in the city of Chiang Rai in northern Thailand.The airport is located about 10 km from the city centre...
flight time is about 1 hour and 30 minutes. There are several major operators including Thai airways, Air Asia, Nok air and One to go.
There is scheduled boat service between Chiang Rai and Thaton in Chiang Mai province daily this journey will last about 3–4 hours and is a pleasant alternative to the bus ride through the mountains.
There are currently no rail services to Chiang Rai as the railway line from Bangkok ends at Chiang Mai. There have been talks of extending the rail line from Den Chai to Chiang Rai in the near future, but this is unlikely to happen as the city's population is well below 1 million and there aren't as many international tourists visiting Chiang Rai as Chiang Mai. Also there are no major industrial complexes in the region as it is largely a rural economy.
- Chiangrai Times Provincial and local news for Chiang Rai (English language)