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Interesting Facts about Chiang Rai

In 1955 it supposedly snowed in Chiang Rai. It was most likely hail but there are old photos floating around of the town covered in white.

Things to See in Chiang Rai

  1. Downtown

Chiang Rai History

Chiang Rai is a land of legends. A place where lightening supposedly struck the stupa of a temple (Wat Pa Yia), splitting it open to reveal a beautiful Emerald Buddha (actually made of jade). The region is home to the former capital of Lanna, Chiang Saen - the birthplace of a king (Mengrai), which fell from grace to become a ghost town for over a century. Traces of the old city walls remain in the now small district town, along with ancient temples and antiquities that provide a window into a past civilization. Boating, swimming, fishing or merely relaxing at nearby Chiang Saen Lake, many would be unaware of its fabled past. In legend, the lake was once a village beside a swamp until a spirit flooded the area to punish the villages for eating a giant white eel that was devouring the local wildfowl. Local folklore also has it that an ancient king (King Phrom Kuman) dreamed an angel told him that if he could catch three white elephants, he could rule all of Lanna and the Black Khmer Empire. At the mountain between Chiang Khong and Doi Tung, the king mistook three swimming white elephants for snakes and named it Doi Chang Ngo (elephant-headed snake). But if history really isn't your bag, don't despair there are plenty of things to do in Chiang Rai.

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