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This glorious destination of Thailand, Chiang Rai is located 785 kms north of Bangkok. Being the capital of the country’s northernmost province, the city is poised at an elevation of approx 600m above sea level. Approx 11,700 square kilometers, the city has an area which is mountainous in nature, with high rising peaks. The city is further adorned with rivers like Kok River that flows into the tall hill ranges.
Talking about its history, the region has a long record of kingdoms that dates back to pre-Thai period. This elegant city was founded in 1262 by King Mengrai. It served as the capital city of Mengrai Lanna Kingdom after which it superseded by Chiang Mai. Apart from the historical and geographical aspect, the city stands as a destination which is replete in natural and cultural attractions that Thailand proudly boasts about. The main attractions of this charming city are mentioned below:
King Mengrai Monument
As the name suggests, the monument commemorates the founder of Chiang Rai. It is the most fascinating monument of the city and is considered the most revered one too. It is believed that every visitor should pay a visit here before travelling further into the city.
Oub Kham Museum
It is a museum that proudly houses an extensive collection of valuable artefacts at which includes objects from the areas once belonging to or affiliated with the Lanna kingdoms encompassing northern Thailand and some parts of northeast Myanmar, southwest China and Vietnam. There are other alluring objects as well like the objects used in rituals, at the royal courts including lacquer ware, silver jewellery and clothing with most notable one being a golden bowl. It is open daily from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Wat Phra Kaew
It is the best known of the northern temples primarily because of its architecture and the fact that it once housed the Emerald Buddha – the most important Buddha statue of the country which was discovered in 1444. The temple now comprises a replica of the Emerald Buddha with a unique 700 year bronze statue of Phra Chao Lan Thong.
Wat Phra Sing
It is a temple alike Wat Phra Kaew as it also housed a major Buddha statue at some point of time. However, at present the main highlight of the place is the Lanna-style Ubosot. The timber door panels are also a fascination of the temple which was beautifully carved by contemporary craftsmen of the city.
Wat Rong Khun
The edifice is primarily known as the White Temple which does not carry any significant past as it is a fairly recent construction. It was a long-awaited dream of the renowned artist - Chalermchai Kositpipat which he brought into reality by designing and supervising the construction himself. This white temple has colorful statues and figure which denotes religious beliefs. In addition to this exotic temple, one can explore the artistic brilliance of the artist in the attached museum via his paintings.