Chiang Rai is famous for its Wat Rong Khun among others in which it has nine buildings that are beautifully designed by the artist Chalermchai Kositpapat. Chiang Rai is the northernmost city in Thailand, located just five hours away from Chiang Mai. Founded by King Mangrai in 1262, it was a capital of Mangrai Dynasty before it got conquered by Burma and later usurped under Chiang Mai and proclaimed as a province of Thailand. Due to its proximity to the Golden Triangle borders of Thailand, Myanmar and Laos, its commercial centre has been serving the region for years. The city is undoubtedly an interesting starting point for those who want to explore the northern areas of Thailand and is undeniably interesting enough to warrant exploring the city on its own.
Mae Fah Luang - Chiang Rai International Airport or formerly known as the Chiang Rai International Airport, it is the primary airport of Chiang Rai which is operated by the Airports of Thailand PCL. Located in 404 Mu 10 Ban Du which is about 8 kilometres away of the city centre of Chiang Rai, the airport is renamed after Princess Srinagarindra that goes with the name Mae Fah Luang, being able to accommodate 2.9 million passengers over 20,072 aircraft movements as of 2018. At an elevation of 390 meters, Mae Fah Luang - Chiang Rai International Airport has a 3,000 meters runway that is made of asphalt concrete. It is the hub for Thai AirAsia and accommodates airlines to destinations such as Bangkok, Chongqing, Hong Kong, Kunming, Phuket, Shenzen and more. It would cost around 572 ringgit to 1,337 ringgit to travel from Kuala Lumpur to Chiang Rai with AirAsia and Bangkok Airways.
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The off-peak season is from March to August because of the much higher temperature and humidity that will make it less comfortable to travel. However, this could be an excellent opportunity to get reasonable offers and visit places with much lesser crowds too, since the prices will drop. Therefore, if you want to save money, you can look forward to go to Chiang Rai around this time. The peak season in Chiang Rai is during the late December to February which are the times when the temperature is much cooler, not too hot and the rain does not occur too often. The best time to visit Chiang Rai is in November and March, which is at the start and at the end of the peak season, in which the number of tourists is significantly lesser.
Chiang Rai has a tropical wet and dry climate according to the Köppen climate classification in which winters are dry and warm while temperatures typically rise until April, with the monsoon season running afterwards till October that is usually accompanied with heavy rain. The annual rainfall would be about 1,690.5 millimetres with the heaviest precipitation being from May to September. The temperature extremes are typically ranging from as low as 2 degree Celsius around December to as high as 40.5 degree Celsius in April.
Chiang Rai has a lot to offer to the visitors, especially when it comes to celebrations and festivities that are based on the local culture. As such, you can certainly look forward to join in these events as a visitor upon coming to Chiang Rai. There are the Mini Light and Sound Presentation from the Akha Hill Tribes that happens every Saturday, which is fun to check when you are in town. Then there is the Greater Mekong Subregion Culture Trade and Tourism in January, in which one can come over to watch cultural performances from the six countries of Thailand, Cambodia, China, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam. Other festivals include Chiang Rai Food Festival and Chiang Rai Flower Festival.
Wat Rong Khun - Also known as the White Temple among foreigners, the original Wat Rong Khun has been around for some time but in bad shape. Then came Chalermchai Kositpapat, a local artist that redesigned the whole temple and rebuilt them using his own money. His efforts do not go into waste as this magnificent temple is now among the most visited attraction in Chiang Rai.
Wat Rong Seur Ten - Also known as the Blue Temple, it is somewhat less popular than Wat Rong Khun or the White Temple, but that does not it mean it does not possess its charm. Upon coming over, visitors are guaranteed to be mesmerized with the variety of ornaments and buildings here which are painted in blue, with the design being done from the student of Chalermchai Kositpapat.
Baandam Museum - Also known as the Black House Museum in English, this museum is easily found from the city centre. The brainchild of yet another renowned artist, Thawan Duchanee, the museum features a handful of artworks being done by the artist himself.