Whether you are already in Chiang Mai or are planning a trip to Chiang Mai, how about including Chiang Rai in your trip. It takes only two and a half hours drive away from Chiang Mai along a highway which runs through scenic mountainous area. It is quite a pleasant drive. There are also four daily direct flights from and to Bangkok. Or you may choose to take a boat trip along the River Kok from Tha Torn direct to the city of Chiang Rai.
Chiang Rai is the northernmost province of Thailand with the border to Myanmar at Mae Sai district where people often talk about visiting the Mae Sae Thai -Burmese Market to shop for products from China and Russia while in fact Chiang Rai has a lot more (and a lot better) to offer.
The city of Chiang Rai was founded in 1262 AD by King Meng Rai and was the first capital of Lanna Thai (Kingdom of a Million Rice Fields). It contains manifold historic relations with other cities like Chiang Saen which was once the centre of power of the long-gone Lanna Kingdom. In this modern day, Chiang Saen is a part of Chiang Rai Province and preserved as historical site. The distance is about 45 kilometers away from the city of Chiang Rai.
Chiang Rai Province nowadays is agricultural oriented and is renowned for its remarkable blend of scenic mountain and rivers; also, Doi Tung housing the Royal Villa, a royal residence built for the late Princess Mother, Doi Tung Botanical Garden, Doi Mae Salong and its tea plantations, the River Kok and its boat trip as well as elephant trekking, the Golden Triangle where the Mekong River separates Myanmar, Laos and Thailand.
Apart from its preserved natural surroundings and charming rivers, Chiang Rai has got several man-made places worth a visit - -The Hall of Opium in Chiang Saen district, for instance. This is a museum under the direction and supervision of the Late Princess Mother's Foundation (Mae Fah Luang Foundation). Here, one learns the history of opium and how it crept into human's life. The Hall of Opium serves well as a preventive awareness to narcotic problems in contemporary society. Rai Mae Fah Luang, the Art and Cultural Park in Muang District, is another place one should not miss once in Chiang Rai. It is open from 10-18 P.M. daily except on Mondays. The pavilions and galleries on the premises encapsulate the finest of Lanna art and architecture. The Haw Kham building was constructed in the traditional Lanna style and houses the country's finest collection of northern Thai religious and secular art and artifacts from all over Lanna Kingdom, including some from the Shan States (Myanmar), Sipsongpanna (southern China) and Lan Xang (Lao PDR). The Haw Kaew Gallery features a collection of teak wood carvings, illustrating the close relationship of Thai people to teak.
Chiang Rai retains its quaint charm and yet offers touches of modernity. There are two excellent golf courses in the valley, Santiburi and Waterford. The night market is clean and organized with a range of authentic food delicacies, artifacts, jewelry, accessories and clothing. The Mae Fah Luang University which is more than a center of learning is not far from the city of Chiang Rai. Self drive visitors should love its winding roads on campus that offer impressive mountainous view. Sirindhorn Chinese Language and Cultural Center of genuine Chinese architecture is quite an attraction in itself.
Where to Stay
Tired of big city life, you might be looking for a place with peaceful relaxing atmosphere and yet with all the comforts and conveniences. May we recommend The River House Resort & Spa, Chiang Rai, a 5 star stylish boutique hotel with only 30 deluxe rooms and 6 junior suites, all rooms with river view.
At The River House, you can exclusively enjoy luxurious amenities in the midst of Chiang Rai's serene nature and beauty. Rooms are spacious with furnishing and decor of elegant Thai design with extensive use of traditional materials including woodwork and wooden floor. In-room facilities include bathroom with a bath tub and separate shower, complimentary tea and coffee making facilities, day bed, mini bar and refrigerator, not to mention about 25" flat screen TV with cable network stereo sets for cassettes, CD and VCD, safe deposit box, hair dryer, slippers, umbrella, bath robes, etc.
In the grand lobby as well as in 3 small conference rooms, sculptures and artworks by both Thai and foreign artists from the owner's private collection are displayed. In addition to these, there are a snooker room, a library of old books, a river front fitness room and an open aired spa villa.
Outdoor, the 15 x 25 feet swimming pool with its four elephant fountains is tempting. A bamboo path bridge connects the garden to the tiny islet in the River Kok. Walking over the bridge, one will be fascinated by a spectacular panoramic view, especially at dawn and dusk. Even a simple walk along the jogging track in the garden could leave you with joy and unforgettable memories of fragrances and flowers.
Convenient location of The River House is only 3 kilometers from Night Bazaar, 7 kilometers from Chiang Rai International Airport, about 60 kilometers to any place of interest, be it Doi Tung Doi Mae Salong, Mae Sai District, and Golden Triangle.
"A delightful retreat where every detail has been thought of. Staff are as friendly and attentive as one could wish".
"Both of us found our stay at The River House very relaxing indeed. We were both refreshed after staying in such beautifully peaceful, tranquil surroundings. Only happy, pleasant memories remain…"
Come to Chiang Rai, stay by the Romantic River Kok at The River House Resort & Spa. Experience the finest boutique resort in Chiang Rai.
Please contact Tel : 053 - 750829 to 34, or Fax : 053 - 750822 or
mobile 086 - 522-9179 http://www.riverhouse-chiangrai.com
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