The Clock Tower in Chiang Rai – gorgeous!
Chiang Rai is the northernmost province in Thailand. To the north of this province is Myanma, and to the east is Laos. The borders between these three countries are called The Golden Triangle. As you might know, it’s known as a big opium producing area. Chiang Rai is also known as a place where a variety of the mountain tribes live. Speaking of which, some Japanese person published photographs of the beautiful girls from those tribes about 30 years ago. Actually, they are really beautiful.
By the way, as for the history, this province is also important. In the mid 13th century, King Mangrai founded the capital city of Lanna Thai Kingdom at the present prefectural capital of Chiang Rai. This city was named Chiang Rai during that period. I guess Chiang Rai was named after King Mangrai. I think this because I know that “Chiang” means city, but I couldn’t find suitable city name for “Rai”. In this case, names often came from other proper nouns. If it is true, it means it because “The city of King Mangrai”. It’s kind of cool, isn’t it? But this is just my guess. I’m sorry. Well, Chiang Rai rose to be capital city, but that period was only about 40 years long. After King Mangrai changed the capital city to Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai became the city where the crown prince lived.
Those are just a few parts of my explanation of Chiang Rai, but I think its nature and historical background are very interesting. However, I also think that we can enjoy both of them in Chiang Mai for a short time. In order to go to natural sites in Chiang Rai, we might spend more time and money there than in Chiang Mai because those sites are far from the town. There are some historical temples in the town, but there are not so many and they are not large places either. Chiang Rai’s town is very small, so they don’t have so much entertainment for tourists. Therefore, if you want to enjoy Northern Thailand for a short time, you might want to go to Chiang Mai.
Still, I love this town very much. When I was in my twenties, I would often go there. So once I hear the name, “Chiang Rai”, I recall a lot of memories from my youth. Although, this clock tower is a new thing. I’m not sure when it was built because I didn’t go there for 15 years. So when I saw it, I was a bit surprised because it was too gorgeous. However, at night, this clock tower was lit up, and sometimes its color was changed. At the same time, the ornament int the middle changed to the lotus shape. It was really beautiful.