Bangkok is the capital of Thailand
Thai, English is widely spoken
Established by the expansionist Lanna ruler Mangrai, in 1262, Chiang Rai is Thailand’s most northernmost province, famous for its hill tribes and their surviving cultures - the Lisu, Lahu and Akha villagers still wear traditional costume and speak local dialects. The city is small enough to meander around on foot or bicycle – head to the nearby hills and forest parks or down to the river and Chiang Rai Beach.
The original home of Bangkok’s famed Emerald Buddha, the striking Wat Phra Kaew is Chiang Rai’s most sacred temple, made officially ‘royal’ by Thailand’s King in 1978. The iconic Wat Doi Tong once epitomised the centre of the universe for devout Buddhists, whilst Wat Phra Singh boasts flamboyant frescoes and intricate wooden carvings. Opened in 1998, the unique Wat Rong Khun - or ‘White Temple’ – is a swirly-topped, wedding cake extravaganza designed by renowned Thai artist, Chalermchai Kositpipat. This massive project is still underway and is quickly becoming one of Thailand’s most extraordinary landmarks; the end product will comprise a staggering nine buildings, including a hall of relics and a living quarters for the resident monks.
The stunning mountain scenery offers great hiking trails and access to the diverse hill-tribe villages. For those not keen on trekking, visit the Hill Tribe Museum and Education Centre where you can watch an informative slide show on the hill tribes and their culture and view exhibits such as typical clothing, anthropological implements, everyday examples of the use of bamboo displays and traditional crafts.
The Golden Triangle
Visit the Golden Triangle, an area of 367,000 square miles that overlaps the mountains of Thailand, Laos and Myanmar, and where the Rivers Ruak and Mekong converge. The border location is famous for being Asia’s (and indeed the world’s) most extensive opium-producing area from the 1950s until the 21st century when Afghanistan became the biggest producer.
The best time to visit
Chiang Rai is from November to February when temperatures average at about 20 degrees Celsius.
These figures show monthly average maximum temperatures and monthly average rainfall for Chiang Rai.
British Airways and Thai Airways from London Heathrow to Bangkok, Etihad Airways from London Heathrow and Manchester (via Abu Dhabi) to Bangkok. Emirates from London Heathrow, London Gatwick, Manchester, Birmingham, Newcastle and Glasgow (via Dubai) to Bangkok. Onward connections available.
From London Heathrow to Bangkok: 1 hour, 15 minutes.
Onward connecting flight from Bangkok to Chiang Rai: 1 hour, 20 minutes.
Travelling With Children or Without an Adult
Children travelling without both parents should be aware that some countries require documentary evidence of parental responsibility before allowing lone parents to enter the country or, in some cases, before permitting the children to leave the country. Please contact the relevant Embassy for the county you are travelling to for further information.
Visa and Advance Passenger Information
All passengers must ensure they have a valid, acceptable passport, any required visa and any other documentation for both the final destination and any stop-off points en route. Please make sure that Advance Passenger Information is submitted in advance to travel for all destinations. Failure to hold correct documentation or submitting incorrect details with Advance Passenger Information or Visa applications may result in refusal of carriage or entry into a country. Please check with the relevant Embassy regarding visa requirements well in advance of your travel date. Charges may apply for some visas.
Passengers not travelling on a British Passport are advised to contact their relevant Foreign & Commonwealth office for individual Visa requirements.
For up-to-date resort information, visit www.fco.gov.uk
Health facilities, hygiene and disease risks vary worldwide and you should take health advice about your specific needs from your general practitioner or a specialist clinic as early as possible before travel. Those planning to become pregnant should discuss their travel plans with their healthcare provider to assess their risk of infection with Zika. For information about Zika, other mosquito-borne diseases (such as Dengue fever and Chikungunya), Lyme Disease (caused by tick bites), and to receive advice on mosquito bite avoidance measures, please visit Insect and tick bite avoidance.
In addition, we highly recommend that you seek specialist advice from your doctor and, where recommended, obtain vaccinations or tablets for protection against, for example: Malaria, Hepatitis A, Polio and Typhoid. In some cases, treatments for Malaria should begin well in advance of travel. Travellers may also be required to show Yellow Fever Certificates on arrival in certain destinations ie, some African countries. Please note that you are strongly advised against scuba-diving for 24 hours before travelling by air. We would also like to draw your attention to the risk of DVT (Deep Vein Thrombosis) and recommend that you consult with your doctor before travelling.
Visit the FCDO website and select your destination country for the very latest travel advice: Foreign Travel Advice. Additional sources of information include: Public Health England, The National Travel Health And Network Centre, Foreign And Commonwealth Office and your General Practitioner or a specialised clinic.