Northern - Chiang Rai
North of Thailand – Chiang Rai:
Chiang Rai, “A scenic home of hilltribes”, the second famous town, located at the northern tip of Thailand, bordering Myanmar (Burma) on the north and Laos in the east. Of its area of 11,678 square kilometres, more than three quarters are mountains. Chaing Rai, founded in 1263 by King Mengrai, is among the oldest towns of Thailand. Most interestion attraction it, of course visiting hilltribes villages and Golden Triangle – world-famous place where the borders of Thailand, Burma and Laos meet. You can stand at the very point where the Ruak River from Burma flows into Mekong, to take a fine view of the rice fields and the distant mountains. To experience the North more fully excursions are recommended to Mae Hong Son. Both are destinations in their own right, and it is best to allow a couple of days for each. Mae Hong Son can be reached from Chiang Mai by air or by road, the latter journey takes a full day in each direction.
The provincial capital nestles in a valley sheltered by jungled mountains you can find here very beautiful noteworthy temples. The most prominent, the hilltop Wat Phra That Doi Kong Mu, dominates the capital. The temple offers an exhilarating view of the provincial capital, its verdant valley and mountain surrounds, and was constructed by the first Mae Hong Son ruler during the mid-1800s. One of the most exotic sights in Mae Hong Son is that of the Pa Dong Karens, a hilltribe community farming rice, tea and tobacco. Certain Pa Dong females ‘elongate’ their necks from an early age with brass which is coiled around their necks to give a brass ring effect. The greater number of coils is believed to enhance physical beauty and increase aesthetic appeal. Older women wear as many as 20, or more, brass coils around their necks.