The northernmost province of Thailand, Chiang Rai is situated on the Kok River basin 416 metres above sea level. With an area of some 11,678 square kilometres, it is about 785 kilometres from Bangkok. Mostly mountainous, it reaches the Mae Khong River to the north and borders on both Myanmar and Laos.
The province is rich in tourism resources in terms of natural attractions and antiquities, evidence of its past civilisation. It is also home to several hilltribes who follow fascinating ways of life. Chiang Rai is also a tourism gateway into Myanmar and Laos.
Once the historical site of opium production, the late Royal Grandmother transformed Doi Tung into her summer residence and started rural development projects to discourage nearby hilltribe villages from producing opium. Nowadays, the scheme has been very successful and the villa flaunts a very attractive flower garden.
The northernmost region of Thailand is synonymous with the infamous Golden Triangle , the mystical meeting point of 3 national borders (Thailand, Laos and Myanmar) historically connected to the opium and heroin trade.
The historical towns of Chiang Saen and Chiang Khong dates back to the 1300's and are beautifully set on the banks of the Mekong River across from Laos. They both boast impressive ruin temples and teak trees. A large Thai Lue community, an ethnic minority from China, sells their distinctive, multi-colored textiles and souvenirs in both towns.
Wat Phra That Pha Ngao is a 10th century temple situated on the hilltop south of Chiang Saen, offering exhilarating views of the Mekong River, Laos and surrounding countryside. It is well known for its distinctive bas relief works and the shiny white marbled chedi.
The northernmost town of Mae Sai is separated from Myanmar by a bridge, offering a good view and a chance for a brief crossing into the neighboring country. The town is bustling with traders from both countries daily, though mostly selling Myanmar goods like gems and handicrafts.
Continue pass the Princess Mother's Royal Chalet and hilltribe villages and you'll find Wat Phra That Doi Tung at the summit. Situated on a vantage location on the edge of a large cliff, there's no other comparable site for the spectacular view. The temple's twin chedis are believed to have been built in 911 to house the collarbone of the Lord Buddha.
Doi Mae Salong (Santi Khiri) , is famous for having one of the most scenic panoramas, with rolling hills dotted with hilltribe villages, rightfully earning its nickname Little Switzerland. Established in 1962, it was a center for exiled Chinese soldiers and a base for incursions into China. The area around there was lawless and dangerous until the 1980s. With the military's presence, the town is relatively peaceful, with Akha and Mien villagers strolling the streets that has an overall impression of being more Chinese than Thai. Try the Yunnan-style food and Oolong tea while there.
The architecture of the Overbrook Hospital is typical of the colonial style created by Westerners in the 19th and 20th centuries, when the provincial city was a base for missionaries and traders. It is still in operation today.
According to legend, lightning struck and cracked the chedi of Wat Phra Kaew in 1436 revealing the plaster encasing the famous Emerald Buddha that is now housed in Bangkok. As the city's most revered temple, it features chapels with elaborate woodcarvings and one of the largest surviving bronze statues from the early Lanna period.
The Phu Ch i Fa (Mountain Pointing Towards the Sky) offers many scenic viewing points. The mountain peak is pointy and rises high into the sky. At the summit is a one square kilometer open field. The lengthy cliff wall extends towards the Laotian side and is a great place for viewing Chiang Dong Village.
The Kok River flows through the town of Chiang Rai and is 130 kilometres long. Long-tailed boats can be rented from town to travel along the river, on both sides of which are lovely sceneries. Stops can be made at the hilltribe villages of the Akha or Iko, Lisu, Karen, etc. Elephant rides are also available to see the surrounding area. Another river route starts from Tha Ton in Chiang Mai going northward to Chiang Rai town. The trip takes about four hours. Trips by bamboo raft takes 3 days and 2 nights.
The King Mengrai the Great Memorial, is located in the town at the intersection leading to Mae Chan. Originally, King Mengrai was the ruler of Nakhon Hiran Ngoen Yang (an ancient town on the bank of the Mae Khong around Chiang Saen), before Chiang Rai was established as the administrative centre in 1262. He consolidated his power by merging the different city-states in the North and founded the Lanna Thai Kingdom in 1296, with Chiang Mai as the capital.
The King Mengrai Stupa, in front of Wat Ngam Muang atop Doi Ngam Muang in Muang district, was built by King Chaisongkram to contain the remains of his father (King Mengrai).
The Wat Phra Sing , on Singhak h lai Road near the townhall used to house a major Buddha statue, the Phra Buddha Sihing, which is now enshrined in Chiang Mai. A special feature is the Lanna-style Ubosot and the wooden door panels carved by Chiang Rai contemporary craftsmen.
Situated on Trairat Road in town centre, Wat Phra Kaeo was where one of Thailand's most important Buddha statues was discovered in 1444. The statue had been moved by various state rulers to be placed in their respective capitals as a symbol of dominance, including Lampang, Chiang Rai and Vientiane, before finally begin enshrined in Bangkok's Wat Phra Kaeo during the reign of King Rama I in the Rattanakosin Period. The temple also houses a 700 years old bronze statue, Phra Chao Lan Thong, which is housed in the Chiang Saen-style Ubosot.
Oub Kham Museum is located near Den Ha market, 1 kilometre from the centre of town. The collection embraces objects from the areas once belonging to, or affiliated with, theLanna kingdoms, present north Thailand and some parts of northeast Myanmar, southwest China and Vietnam. Apart from ritual objects the collection mainly consists of objects used at the royal courts, originally starting with lacquerware, silver jewelry and clothing. A golden bowl used by royals, is a masterpiece. It is open daily from 9 am-6 pm. Admission fee is 100 baht per person. Call 0-5371-3349 for more information.
Wat Phra That Doi Chom Thong, located on Doi Chom Thong on the bank of the Kok River within the town area, it contains what is believed to be the oldest Holy Relic even before King Mengrai b uilt Chiang Rai. A major religious site in Chiang Rai, i t was from here that King Mengrai spotted the strategic location on which to establish the town. The Chedi containing the Holy Relic was probably renovated at the same time the town was being built.
Located at the former townhall, Ho Watthanatham Nithat is a museum exhibiting ancient art e facts and written records on history, literature and indigenous intelligence as well as exhibits on royal activities by the late Princess Mother at Doi Tung. It is open to the public Wednesday-Sunday from 8. 30 am. u ntil 3. 3 0 p.m.
The Nam Tok Khun Kon Forest Park can be reached by taking Highway No. 1211 from town. After 18 kilometres turn right and proceed on for another 12 kilometres. Or go along Highway No. 1 (Chiang Rai-Phayao) for about 15 kilometres where there is a right turn to proceed further for another 17 kilometres, then a 30-minute walk to the waterfall. The highest and most scenic waterfall in Chiang Rai, the Khun Kon is some 70 metes high. Along the route to the site are cool, shady natural surroundings eminently suitable for relaxation and nature walks.
Mae Fa Luang
Doi Mae Salong is the site of Santi Khiri village, a community settled by remnants of the former Chinese 93 rd Division who moved from Myanmar to Thai territory in 1961. Today it is a major tourist attraction with its small-town ambience on high hills, delicious native Chinese dishes and small hotels and guesthouses catering to visitors. During December-February, the hills are alive with pinkish Sakuras. To reach it, take the Chiang Rai-Mae Chan route for 29 kilometres, then turn left and proceed on for another 41 kilometres (passing a hot spring). The return trip can be undertaken on routes no. 1234 and no. 1130 which wind through Yao and Akha hilltribe villages. From Doi Mae Salong a road leads to Ban T h a Ton, the starting point for the Kok River cruise, a distance of 45 kilometres.
Doi Hua Mae Kham is the domicile of the hilltribes near the Thai-Burmese border, about three hours by road along the Mae Chan-Ban Th oet Thai-Ban Hua i In route, which winds along the steep mountain edge. The inhabitants are predominantly of the Lis u tribe, with a smattering of Akha, Hmong and Muser. Doi Hua Mae Kham is most scenic in November when the yellow Wild Sunflowers are in full bloom.
Doi Tung is located in Mae Fa Luang district, reached by taking Highway No. 110 for about 48 kilometres. Then turn left onto Highway No. 1149, an asphalt road leading to Doi Tung. The route winds through beautiful scenery with many interesting sites. These include the Doi Tung Palace and the Mae Fa Luang Garden, Akha and Muser tribal villages. There are also viewing points and the Phra That Doi Tung Holy Relic, an old religious site atop the mountain, about 2,000 met res above sea level.
About 62 kilomet re s from the provincial seat on Highway No. 110 is Thailand's northern-most district. Mae Sai borders on Myanmar's T h a Khi Lek district, marked by the Mae Sai River with a bridge spanning both sides. Foreign visitors are allowed to cross over to the T ha Khi Lek market by presenting their passports and paying a fee at the Mae Sai immigration checkpoint. In addition, there are tour services up to Chiang Tung in Myanmar, which is some 160 kilomet re s north by road.
The Golden Triangle is about 9 kilometres from the Chiang Saen old town to the north along the road parallel to the Mekong River. The area is locally referred to as "Sop Ruak " , where the Mae Khong meets the Ruak River. This is where the borders of three countries, Laos, Myanmar and Thailand, come together. There are remains of many ancient places and structures attesting to the area having been settled by people in the past. It is also where various legends on the Lanna ancestors originate.
Around So p Ruak are boat rental services for viewing the scenery around the Golden Triangle. In addition, boats can be hired to cruise from So p Ruak along the Mekong River to Chiang Saen and Chiang Khong which takes around 40 minutes and 1 hour respectively.
Hall of Opium Golden Triangle Park, the Tourism Authority of Thailand joined the Mae Fah Luang Foundation in preparing the Golden Triangle Park and Hall of Opium. Funding for initial construction has been provided through a loan from the Overseas Economic Cooperation Fund of the Japanese Government, to the Tourism Authority of Thailand. The Mae Fah Luang Foundation began research for the exhibition in 1994. An initial exhibition shoreline prepared by the research team and approved by the board of the Mae Fah Luang Foundation provided the basis for the architectural design of the exhibition space and building The Ministry of the People's Republic of China has provided technical assistance for the section on the Opium War.
Chiang Saen was an ancient town located on the bank of M ek ong River. The district can be reached by taking Highway No. 110 from Chiang Rai for some 30 kilomet re s. Then take a right turn into Highway No. 1016 and proceed on for another thirty k ilometres. Originally called Wiang Hiran N akhon Ng oe n Y ang, it served as the main town before King Mengrai established Chiang Rai as the capital in 1262. Traces of old double city walls and many other antiquities still remain, both within and outside the district town.
The Chiang Saen National Museum is where knowledge can be sought concerning archaeology, settlements and history of the town. There are replicas of the community and scores of ancient relics including Lanna - style sculptures, Buddha statues and inscription stones from Phayao and Chiang Saen itself. In addition, there are exhibitions of indigenous art objects of the Thai Ya , Thai Lu and other hilltribes. These items include musical instruments, ornaments, opium-smoking accessories, etc. Open Wednesday-Sunday from nine in the morning until four in the afternoon.
Wat Phra That Chedi Luang, is located in Chiang Saen old town and was built by King Saen Phu, the 3 rd ruler of the Lanna kingdom in the early 13 th Century. Ancient sites include the bell-shaped, Lanna-style principal C hedi which measures 88 metr e s high with a base 24 met re s wide, the largest such structure in Chiang Saen. There are also remains of ancient Vihan and Chedi.
Wat Phra Chao Lan T hong is located within the city wall, and was built by Prince Thong Ngua, a son of King Tilok k arat, the 12 th ruler of Lan n a, in 1489. A 1,200-kilogram Buddha statue was cast. Named the Phra Chao Lan T hong, it has a l a p width of 2 met re s and is over three met re s high. Another statue called Phra Chao Thong T hip was also cast in brass, and in favours the Sukhothai style.
Wat Pa Sak , is about one kilomet re t o the west of Chiang Saen in Tambon Wiang, and was built by King Saen Phu in 1295 when three hundred teak trees were also planted, hence the name Pa Sak (Teak Woods). It was then the residence of the patriarch. The temple's chedi is of the beautiful Chiang Saen architectural style and the exteriors are elaborately decorated with designs. The chedi itself measures 12.5 meters tall with a base of 8 meters wide.
There are also several ancient sites outside the city w all, including Wat Phra That Chom Kitti, about 1.7 k ilometres f rom town, and Wat Sangk h a Kaeo Don Han, where sketches on brick slabs tell stories about the various lives of the Lord Buddha.
The Chiang Saen Lake is a large natural reservoir with scenic surroundings. Large flocks of waterfowls immigrate to the site during winter. About five kilomet re s from the district town on the Chiang Saen-Mae Chan route is a left turn. Proceed on for another 2 k ilometres to reach the site. Phra That Doi Pu Khao is located on the hill just before the Golden Triangle, and is believed to have been built by a king of Wiang Hirannakhon Ng oen Y ang in the mid-8 th century. Remains of antiquities still visible today are only the V ihan and crumbled C hedis.
About 4 k ilometres from Chiang Saen on the road to Chiang Khong is Phra That Pha Ngao. There is a bell-shaped C hedi standing on large boulders. Nearby is a V ihan where several old Chiang Saen-style Buddha statues are enshrined. There is also a viewing point to enjoy scener y of the M ek ong and of Chiang Saen itself.
Chiang Khong is a small, peaceful district on the bank of the M ek ong opposite Hua ix ai of Laos. It is about 115 k ilometres from the provincial seat, or some 55 k ilometres from Chiang Saen on Highway No. 1129 to the east. Chiang Khong is noted as the place where Pla Buk, the giant catfish, are caught. The fishing season is from mid-January to May. The Chiang Khong Fishery Station is able to inseminate and breed this largest fresh-water fish in the world. Fingerlings bred here have been released in several rivers. Sight-seeing trips by boat are available to view the scenery and life along the M ek ong. A stop can be made at Ban Hat Bai, a Thai Lu community noted for making beautiful local material. To cross over to the Hua ixai town in Laos, contact the immigration office or tour agencies at Chiang Khong.
Doi Pha Tang, located in Wiang Kaen district some 160 k ilometres from the provincial town, is a viewing point on top of a high cliff overlooking the Thai-Laotian border, affording a delightful view of the river and the sea of mist throughout the year. During December-January, blooming Sakuras provides picturesque scenery. It is home to the Chinese Haw, the Hmong and Yao minorities. The Haws are the remnants of the 93 rd Chinese Division who moved in to settle on Doi Pha Tang.
Another viewing point is Phu Ch i Fa , which is some 25 k ilometres south of Doi Pha Tang in T hoe ng district. Visitors can overnight at Ban Rom Fa Thong and Ban Rom Fa Thai. From here a trail leads up to the viewing point on top of the hill, a distance of 1.8 k ilometres. From the sheer cliff of Phu Ch i Fa can be seen spectacular scenes, especially the sea of mist at sunrise. The cool climate produces colo u rful flowering shrubs of various species.
Pu Kaeng Waterfall is the site of Doi Luang National Park's headquarters located in Phan district. To reach it, take the Chiang Rai-Phayao route for 58 kilometres to arrive at Ban Pu Kaeng. At Km. 77, take a right turn and proceed on for another 9 kilometres. It is a large waterfall amid virgin jungle with water cascading down limestone brooks. There are camping areas and jungle trekking services.
Wiang Pa Pao
The Khun Chae National Park , at Tambon Mae Chedi Mai of Wiang Pa Pao district can be reached by taking the Chiang Mai - Chiang Rai route (Highway No. 118). The park headquarters is right next to the highway at Kms. 55-56. Visitors wishing to undertake a jungle trek and camp within the park, need to have the services of a guide and prepare their own camping equipment. The trek through the Khun Chae jungle is for adventure travel enthusiasts, as the route passes through steep terrain and several hilltops and cliffs over 1,400 met re s high. There are good viewing points and trekkers can enjoy waterfalls, flowing streams and virgin jungle areas lush with plantlife.
Wiang Ka Long is a community about 16 k ilometres from the district office of Wiang Pa Pao. Here have been found remains of ancient furnaces used to make terra cotta utensils. The furnaces are shaped like turtle shell of various sizes with a width of 2 to 5 meters.
Bo Nam Ron , or hot spring, located at Tambon Mae Chedi Mai on the Chiang Rai - Chiang Mai road at Kms. 64-64, is found next to a stream. Villagers sell eggs to tourists to boil in the hot springs.
Sample Tour & Trek Programmes
No 1 : Fullday Doi Tung or Doi Mae Salong/ Mae Sai/ Chiang SaenVisit Phra That Doi Tung, the twin pagodas where it is believed the collarbone of the Lord Buddha is contained, the Doi Tung Royal Villa, and the Mae Fah Luang Garden. Continue to Mae Sai, Thailand's northernmost point, and tour a bustling marketplace full of goods from Myanmar and China. Then tour the ancient city of Chiang Saen including ruins of numerous temples, stupas, and Buddha images. Lanna Thai artifacts are still to be seen. Archaeological finds are exhibited at the museum.
Alternative : - Visit Doi Mae Salong village of the Chinese refugees. "Santi Khiri" is home to descendants of Chinese Nationalist soldiers who fled to Thailand in 1940. Mountainside tea plantations and fruit orchards provide scenic variety. Along the way make a stop at the Akha - Yao villages and hilltribe centre.
No. 2 : Fullday Chiang Saen/ Boat Trip along Mekong River / Chiang KhongVisit Chiang Saen to see the ruins of this ancient city. Take a cruise by longtail boat and enjoy a scenic trip along the Mekong River with spectacular views of the Laotian countryside via Ban Hat Bai (Thai Lue weaving village). Visit the town of Chiang Khong where the largest fresh water "Pla Buk Catfish" are caught between April 18 and early June each year. Visit the Yao and Hmong hilltribe villages, and return to Chiang Rai.
No. 3 : Halfday City Tour/ Boat Trip along Mae Kok RiverEnjoy a pleasant ride by trishaw, the favorite mode of local transportation, and tour the city. Visit local the market area and major temples of Chiang Rai, i.e., Wat Phra Kaeo, which once housed the Emerald Buddha, and Wat Doi Khao Khwai or Wat Doi Thong, city view point. Continue with a short excursion along Mae Kok River by longtail boat.
No. 4: Fullday Elephant Safari1-hour excursion along Mae Kok River by longtail boat to Karen Village and begin a 2-hour elephant ride across hills, valleys and streams to hilltribes villages where lunch will be served. Continue with a 1-hour walk to visit the waterfall and return to Chiang Rai by van or local minibus.
No. 5 : Fullday Doi Mae Salong/ Pa Tai and Boat Trip along Mae Kok River or Watching the Six Nations Performance at Laan Tong Mekong Basin Cultural Park
Visit Doi Mae Salong village of the Chinese refugees. Along the way make a stop at the Hilltribe Development Centre, which aids and administers local hilltribe settlements, and hilltribe handicrafts including woven cloth. Continue to Pa Tai and begin a 2-hour excursion along the Mae Kok River by longtail boat to Chiang Rai via Akha villages, forest parks, hot spas and a Karen village. Alternative: - Visit Laan Tong Mekong Basin Cultural Park to see the beauty of nature surrounded by forest and plenty of beautiful flowers. Be amazed by the largest GONG in the world, and catch the six nations Mekong cultural shows daily at 11-12 am.
No. 6 : Fullday Laos Excursion via HuaixaiMake a boat crossing from Chiang Khong, Thailand, to Huaixai-Bokaew, Laos. After a tour and shopping, visit a Lantan hilltribe village and view home industries. Then see a primitive Blue Sapphire Stone mine. (A great number of tourists visit this place which is a permanent crossing point to Luang Prabang and Vientiane, Laos or continue to Jinghong in southern China).
Trek and Trekking Advice
The trekking area in Chiang Rai covers Amphoe Muang, Amphoe Mae Suai, and the banks along the Mae Kok River. Prices include guide, basic meals, transportation, accommodation, boat, and elephant. Different prices depend on the condition of accommodation, food, vehicle, insurance etc.
- Trekking alone or with unauthorised tour guide/ operators is not recommended.
- Trekkers are advised to contact an authorised tour operator who will provide a brochure with detailed information on trekking programmes, prices, accommodation, and transportation. Tour guides are trained and licensed by TAT and provide advice on how to get ready for trekking, including all the necessary trekking accessories required. Permission for each trek must be approved by Tourist Police license together with name list of trekkers.
- Some trekking guides may encourage customers to try a sample of opium, view a heroin caravan, or make a side trip into Myanmar. These sound very exciting but any of these can be very dangerous. Taking narcotics is illegal (the ramifications of which may lead to imprisonment) and smoking opium may lead to death. Tour operators, guides, as well as tourists, are all requested to cooperate in this regard and notify the Tourist Police of any such blameworthy behavior. Call 1155 or 0-5371-7779, 0-5371-7796 - Malaria exists only in hill and forest areas. During visits protect yourself with mosquito repellent, and sleep under mosquito net. Fever within 15 days following a visit warrants a blood check at the nearest hospital.
King Mengrai Festival, This festival is held from January 26 - February 1 every year. The festival features parades, cultural performances and competitions celebrating the founder of Chiang Rai and the Lanna Thai Kingkom.
Songkran Festival, Traditional Thai New year celebrations are best seen at Chiang Saen where 4 nations (Thailand, Laos, China and Myanmar) compete in boat races on the Mekong River. Beauty contests and cultural shows are added attractions. The festival is held annuallyfrom April 16-18.
Lychee Fair, This fair is held annually in May, celebrating the province's tastiest fruit. This fair features agricultural displays and exhibitions, local handicrafts, folk entertainment and beauty contests.
Hotels and accommodation
- Amorn Inn Resort : 113 Mu 26 San ambin Road Amphoe Muang [0 5375 6041-3] : 700 baht
- Art-Ann :: Amphoe Mueang [0 5371 5605] : 300-400 baht
- Baan Boran Resort : The Golden Triangle, Chiang Saen [(66 53) 784-084]
- Ban Khun Yom : 155 Thanalai Road Amphoe Muaeng [0 5371 6216] : 600 baht
- Ban Silp : 260/44 San khong Noi Road Amphoe Muaeng [0 5375 6335-7] : 300-350 baht
- Ban Suan Nanglae : 298 Mu 5 Phahonyothin Road. Amphoe Muaeng [0 5377 2490-1] : 400-8,000 baht
- Ban Tue Son : 181 Sip Paet Mithuna Road Amphoe Muaeng [0 5371 4798] : 400-600 baht
- Ban Warawadi : Amphoe Mueang [0 5375 7488-96] : 300-350 baht
- Chian House : 172 Moo 21 T.Robvieng A.Muang [(66)53 713-388]
- Chiangrai Country Hill Resort : 163 Moo 4 Maesuai - fang Rd, T. Maesuai A. Maesuai [(66 53) 786-080]
- Chiangsaen River Hill Hotel : 714 Moo 3 Sukhaphibaan line 2 Road, Tumbol Vieng,Amphur Chiangsaen [(66 53) 650-826-8]
- Dusit Island Resort : 1129 Kraisorasit Road, Vieng District, Muang [(66 53) 715-777]
- Imperial Golden Triangle Resort : 222 Golden Triangle, Chiang Saen [(66 2) 261-9000 # 41]
- Inn Come Hotel : 176/2 Rajbumrung Road, Muang District [(66 53) 717-850]
- Khum Chao Nang : 225 Moo 8, Ban Koo, Muang Chiang Rai [(66 53) 703-404]
- Rimkok Resort Hotel Chiangrai : 6 Mu 4 Chiang Rai-Tha Ton Rd. Muang [(66)53 716-445-60]
- Suanthip Vana Resort : 49 Chiang Mai-Chiang Rai Road, Tambon Takok, Amphur Mae Suay [(66 1) 224-6984-6]
- Thanapat Hotel : 473/10 Singhakai Rd, Muang [(66 53) 712-492]
- Wangcome Hotel : 869-90 Pemavipat Rd, [053 711811]
- Wiang Inn Hotel : 893 Pahholyothin Road, [(66 53) 711-533]
- Chiang Rai Island : Dusit Island Resort, Kaisornsit Rd., Tel: 0-5371-5345
- J. Charoen Chai : 1 Airport Rd., Tel: 0-5371-2731
- Kare Karon : Wat Ched Yod, Tel: 0-5371-4779
- Pimpa Grilled Chicken : 24 Moo 3 Phaholyotin Rd., Tel: 0-5371-2167
- Sakura : Mae Salong Resort, Tel: 0-5376-5014
- Samran Kitchen : 520 Moo16 Rachayota Rd., Tel: 0-5375-8159
- Sea and Sea : 620/25 Tanalai Rd., Tel: 0-5371-9167
- T Hut : 935 Phaholyotin Rd., Tel: 0-5371-2162
- Tok Tong : Phaholyotin Rd., Tel: 0-5375-6370
- Tong Ting : Airport Rd.
How to get there
* By bus
- Bangkok-Chiang RaiThe 9-hour journey from Bangkok can be made on airconditioned coaches originating from Mo Chit 2 Bus Terminal. Call 936 3659 (Bor Kho Sor's 24-seat VIP coach), 9362963 (Siam First Tour), 9362492 (Indra Tour), 936 2495 (Sombat Tour) or 936 3531 (Kharuhat Tour).
Chiang - Mai-Chiang Rai Chiang Rai is 182 kilometres north of Chiang Mai. Airconditioned buses leave 12 times daily from Chiang Mai Arcade Bus Terminal to Chiang Rai. Some buses continue to Mae Sai and Chiang Saen. Call Thai Phatthanakit Transport at tel: (053) 246503 (Chiang Mai) or (053) 711154 (Chiang Rai)
* By plane
Bangkok-Chiang RaiThai Airways operates 5 flights daily from Bangkok to Chiang Rai. The journey takes 1 hour and 20 minutes. Call 1566 or 66 2628 2000
Chiang Mai-Chiang Rai:From October 20,2003, Phuket Air offers 2 daily shuttle service flights from Chiang Mai to Chiang Rai with YS-11 aircraft. The journey takes only 40 minutes and the flights time are available at 07.30 and 18.00 hrs. For more information, call Bangkok Office 66 2679 8999 or Chiang Mai Office 66 5392 2118-9 or view at www.phuketairlines.com
Thai Airways has numerous daily flights servicing the Bangkok-Chiang Mai route and the Chiang Mai-Chiang Rai route. For more information, contact their Bangkok office at tel. 66 2628 2000, their Chiang Rai office at tel. 66 5371 1179 or view their website at www.thaiairways.com.