Chiang Rai in Thailand
|• Governor||Prajon Prachsakul (since June 2018)|
|• Total||11,503 km2 (4,441 sq mi)|
|Area rank||Ranked 12th|
|• Rank||Ranked 15th|
|• Density||113/km2 (290/sq mi)|
|• Density rank||Ranked 45th|
|Human Achievement Index|
|• HAI (2017)||0.6174 "somewhat high"|
|Time zone||UTC+7 (ICT)|
|Calling code||052 & 053|
|ISO 3166 code||TH-57|
|Accession into Kingdom of Siam||1910|
|Accession into Kingdom of Thailand||1932|
Chiang Rai (Thai: เชียงราย, pronounced [t͡ɕʰīa̯ŋ.rāːj]; Northern Thai: , pronounced [tɕiaŋ.haːj]) is one of Thailand's seventy-six provinces, which lies in upper northern Thailand and is Thailand's northernmost province. It is bordered by the Shan State of Myanmar to the north, Bokeo Province of Laos to the east, Phayao to the south, Lampang to the southwest, and Chiang Mai to the west. The provinces is linked to Houayxay Laos by the Fourth Thai–Lao Friendship Bridge that spans the Mekong.
The average elevation of the province is 580 metres (1,903 ft). The north of the province is part of the so-called Golden Triangle, where the borders of Thailand, Laos and Burma converge, an area which prior to the rise of agricultural production of coffee, pineapple, coconuts, and banana plantations, was unsafe because of drug smuggling across the borders. The Mekong River forms the boundary with Laos, the Mae Sai and Ruak River with Burma. Through the town of Chiang Rai itself, flows the "Mae Kok" Kok River and south of it the Lao River, a tributary of the Kok.
While the eastern part of the province is characterized by relatively flat river plains, the northern and western part consist of the hilly terrain of the Thai highlands with the Khun Tan Range and the Phi Pan Nam Range in the west and the Daen Lao Range in the north. While not the highest elevation of the province, the 1,389-metre (4,557 ft) high Doi Tung (Flag Hill) is the most important terrain feature. Wat Phra That Doi Chom Thong wat on top of the hill, according to the chronicles, dates back to the year 911. Nearby is Doi Tung Royal Villa, former residence of the late princess mother (mother of the present king) Somdej Phra Srinagarindra. Thanks to her activities the hills were reforested, and the hill tribes diverted from growing opium poppies to other crops including coffee, bananas, coconuts, and pineapples. The total forest area is 4,585 km2 (1,770 sq mi) or 39.9 percent of provincial area.
Populations have dwelled in Chiang Rai since the 7th century and it became the center of the Lanna Kingdom during the 13th century. The region, rich in natural resources, was occupied by the Burmese until 1786.
Chiang Rai Province's golden triangle bordering Laos and Burma was once the hub of opium production.
Chiang Rai became a province in 1910, after being part of the Lanna Kingdom for centuries. After Lanna was incorporated into Thailand, it remained an autonomous region and thus the Chiang Rai area was administered from Chiang Mai.
The majority of the population are ethnic Thai who speak Kham Muang among themselves, but 12.5% are of hill tribes origin, a sizeable minority in the north provinces. A smaller number are of Chinese descent, mainly descendants of the Kuomintang soldiers who settled in the region, notably in Santikhiri.
Khon Muang are the city folk who originally came from Chiang Mai, Lamphun, Lampang, and Phrae. Culturally, they design their houses having only one floor with wooden gable decorations called "ka-lae". They are known for their craftsmanship in wood carving, weaving, lacquer ware, and musical instruments.
Tai Yai (ไทใหญ่) (Shan) are a Tai ethnic group who primarily live in what is now Shan State in Burma, and also in Mae Hong Son Province in Thailand. They grow rice, farm, raise cattle, and trade. Their craftsmanship lies in weaving, pottery, wood carving, and bronze ware.
Akha have the largest population of any hill tribe in the region. Originating from Tibet and southern China, they dwell on high ground around 1,200 meters above sea level. Within their villages they build spirit gateways to protect them from evil spirits.
Hmong from southern China, inhabit high ground. They raise livestock and grow rice, corn, tobacco, and cabbage. They are also known for their embroidery and silver.
Lisu from southern China and Tibet are renowned for their colorful dress and also build their dwellings on high stilts. They harvest rice and corn and their men are skilled in hunting.
Yao (Mien) reside along mountain sides and grow corn and other crops. They are skilled blacksmiths, silversmiths, and embroiders.
The former provincial slogan was "เหนือสุดในสยาม อร่ามดอยตุง ผดุงวัฒนธรรม รสล้ำข้าวสาร หอมหวานลิ้นจี่ สตรีโสภา ชาเลิศรส สัปปะรดนางแล", 'Northernmost of Siam, beautiful Doi Tung, repository of culture, most delicious rice, sweet and fragrant lychee, beautiful women, the finest flavoured tea, pineapple from Nang Lae, source of the giant catfish".
The current slogan is "เหนือสุดในสยาม ชายแดนสามแผ่นดิน ถิ่นวัฒนธรรมล้านนา ล้ำค่าพระธาตุดอยตุง", 'Northernmost of Siam, frontier of three lands, the home of Lan Na culture and Doi Tung Temple'.
- Kasemrad Sriburin General Hospital, Private hospital.
- Chiangrai Prachanukroh Hospital, Public hospital.
Chiang Rai International Airport has domestic flights to both Bangkok airports, which connect to regional and international flights.
There is daily boat service between Chiang Rai and Tha Ton.
There is no railway system in Chiang Rai. The nearest station is Chiang Mai Railway Station.
Chiang Rai Province is intersected by Asian Highway 2, which runs for over 13,000 kilometres (8,100 mi) from Denpasar in Indonesia to Kosravi in Iran, and by Asian Highway 3, which runs for over 7,000 km (4,300 mi) from Kentung in Myanmar to Ulan-Ude in Russia.
Decent bus services are available in the province. In more remote areas, songthaews are the norm.
As of 26 November 2019 there are: one Chiang Rai Provincial Administration Organisation (ongkan borihan suan changwat) and 73 municipal (thesaban) areas in the province. Chiang Rai has city (thesaban nakhon) status. Further 72 subdistrict municipalities (thesaban tambon). The non-municipal areas are administered by 70 Subdistrict Administrative Organisations - SAO (ongkan borihan suan tambon).
Human achievement index 2017
|Province Chiang Rai, with an HAI 2017 value of 0.6174 is "somewhat high", occupies place 20 in the ranking.|
Since 2003, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Thailand has tracked progress on human development at sub-national level using the Human achievement index (HAI), a composite index covering all the eight key areas of human development. National Economic and Social Development Board (NESDB) has taken over this task since 2017.
|1 - 15||"high"|
|16 - 30||"somewhat high"|
|31 - 45||"average"|
|45 - 60||"somewhat low"|
|61 - 77||"low"|
|Map with provinces and HAI 2017 rankings|
- "ตารางที่ 2 พี้นที่ป่าไม้ แยกรายจังหวัด ���.ศ.2562" [Table 2 Forest area Separate province year 2019]. Royal Forest Department (in Thai). 2019. Retrieved 6 April 2021, information, Forest statistics Year 2019, Thailand boundary from Department of Provincial Administration in 2013CS1 maint: postscript (link)
- รายงานสถิติจำนวนประชากรและบ้านประจำปี พ.ส.2562 [Statistics, population and house statistics for the year 2019]. Registration Office Department of the Interior, Ministry of the Interior. stat.bora.dopa.go.th (in Thai). 31 December 2019. Retrieved 26 February 2020.
- Human achievement index 2017 by National Economic and Social Development Board (NESDB), pages 1-40, maps 1-9, retrieved 14 September 2019, ISBN 978-974-9769-33-1
- "Thailand - Mountains beginning with Doi Tung - Doi Tung to Doi Wiang Pha". www.indexmundi.com.
- "Putrajaya's migrant deluge woes", The Star, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 13 May 2015, http://www.thestar.com.my/News/Nation/2015/05/13/Putrajayas-migrant-deluge-woes-Emergency-meetings-held-to-find-solutions/
- "Number of local government organizations by province". dla.go.th. Department of Local Administration (DLA). 26 November 2019. Retrieved 10 December 2019.
12 Chiang Rai: 1 PAO, 1 City mun., 72 Subdistrict mun., 70 SAO.
- Chiang Rai travel guide from Wikivoyage
- Provincial Website(Thai)
- Chiang Rai page from the Tourist Authority of Thailand
- English News Chiang Rai Province