Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Wellcome to Chiangrai

Mueang Chiang Rai (Thai: เชียงราย; locally (Kham Muang) Ciang Hai; (Lao) also Xieng Hai) is a city in Amphoe Mueang, Chiang Rai Province in northern Thailand.

Geographical location 19°56′N, 99°51′E. Muang Chiang Rai is 200 km northeast of Muang Chiang Mai, Chiang Mai Province; 62 km south of Mae Sai and the Myanmar border; 60 km southwest of Chiang Saen on the Mae Khong across from the People's Democratic Republic of Laos; and 90 km north of Nakhon Phayao, Phayao Province.
The Mae Kok River runs along its north side, flowing from west to east and eventually merging with the Mekong River.

Population 62,000.
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, Akha, Lisu, Meo and Muser. Many Chinese, particularly from Yunnan 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.[citation needed]

Chiang Rai is the capital of Chiang Rai Province.
The Salaklang Changwat 19°54.805′N, 99°49.615′E holds the Provincial Offices.
The Municipal Offices are in the Thesaban 19°54′34″, N°99′49″39.


Sadu Meuang, Omphalos of the City
The city was founded by King Mengrai in 1262 and became the first capital of the Lannathai kingdom. However, it lost this status soon after to a new city built by Mengrai at Chiang Mai. Subsequently, Chiang Rai was conquered by Burma and remained under Burmese rule for several hundred years. It was not until 1786 that Chiang Rai became Thai territory. It was proclaimed a province during the reign of King Rama VI in 1910.
In 1432 the Phra Kaeo, or Emerald Buddha, Thailand's most revered Buddha figure, was discovered in Chiang Rai when an earthquake split the Chedi at Wat Phra Kaeo. The beautiful jade figure was then seen concealed within.
In 1992 (B.E. 2535) the City Pillar was moved from Wat Klang Wiang to Doi Chom Thong, where it is known as Sadu Meuang (TH: สะดือเมือง), the Navel or Omphalos of the City.

Buddhist temples

Wat Rong Khun
Wat Phra That Doi Chom Thong, 19°54.970′N, 99°49.365′E
Wat Phra Kaew, Chiang Rai, 19°54.704′N, 99°49.647′E
Wat Phra Sing, Chiang Rai, 19°54.653′N, 99°49.882′E
Wat Doi Khao Khwai, 19°52.892′N, 99°48.582′E
Wat Rong Khun, 19°49.480′N, 99°45.800′E, a modern temple built since 1998 by Thai artist Chalermchai Kositpipat

Tourist attractions
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 Kuo Min Tang and their plight after exiled from China by Mao Zedong, 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, 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
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.

Panoramic view of Phucheefah point


Colleges and universities
Mae Fah Luang University
Chiang Rai Rajabhat University
Rajamangala University of Technology Lanna, Chiang Rai Campus

High Schools
Samakkhi Wittayakom School 19°54.314′N, 99°49.598′E

Primary Schools
Bansonkong School 19°54.045′N, 99°49.671′E
Piti Suksa Montessori School 19°55.400′N, 99°49.950′E
[ http://www.amecschool.net ]

Overbrook Hospital (Semi-Private) Easy access from city center, modern facility founded 1903 by Dr. Joseph Kampol, a missionary hospital, current president Dr. Ploum.
Sriburin Hospital (Private, and comparatively better quality)[citation needed]
Chiang Rai Prachanukhro Hospital (Public)

Route 1 runs from Bangkok through Chiang Rai to Mae Sai on the Myanmar 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 takes approximately an hour and 30 minutes, however the 175 km trip most often takes at least two and a half hours.
Several flights are available to and from Bangkok daily. Chiang Rai International Airport flight time is about 1 hour and 30 minutes.
There is scheduled boat service between Chiang Rai and Thaton in Chiang Mai province daily.
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 to Chiang Rai in the near future,[citation needed] but this is unlikely to happen as the city's population is well below 1 million and there isn't as many international tourists visiting Chiang Rai as Chiang Mai

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