Chiang Rai province
|จังหวัดเชียงราย · ᨧᩢ᩠ᨦᩉ᩠ᩅᩢᨯᨩ᩠ᨿᨦᩁᩣ᩠ᨿ|
"เหนือสุดในสยาม ชายแดนสามแผ่นดิน ถิ่นวัฒนธรรมล้านนา ล้ำค่าพระธาตุดอยตุง" ("Northernmost of Siam, border of the three nations, home of Lan Na culture and the precious Wat Phra That Doi Tung")
Chiang Rai (Thai: เชียงราย, pronounced [t͡ɕʰīa̯ŋ.rāːj]; Northern Thai: ᨩ᩠ᨿᨦᩁᩣ᩠ᨿ, 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.
Mangrai established Chiang Rai in 1262 and reigned in Chiang Rai until 1296 he founded Chiang Mai and moved there. After Mangrai moved to Chiang Mai, Phaya Chaisongkhram son of Mangrai has ruled Chiang Rai and later Chiang Rai has depended on Chiang Mai.
Lanna fell into the rule of Burma in 1558, Burma has established aristocracy to rule the city of Chiang Rai. Lanna became an area of power struggle between Siam and Burma. Later, Chiang Rai became an abandoned city.
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.
Phu Chi Fa mountain range
Orange trumpet (left) and Tree Jasmine (right)
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'.
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.
Map of 18 districts
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
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.