Jiang Hai or Chiang Rai is a northern province of Thailand. It is bordered by the Shan State of Myanmar to the north, Phayao to the south, Bokeo Province of Laos to the east, Chiang Mai to the west, and Lampang to the southwest.
About Chiang Rai
Chiang Rai is the capital of Chiang Rai province which is also one of the biggest cities in the north of Thailand. The metro area has a population of 200,000 people. Being in the Golden Triangle where it has the border with Myanmar and Laos, Chiang Rai is such a multi-cultural place to explore the hill tribe cultures, beautiful and sacred Lannathai temples as well as the romantic mountain and river landscapes, etc. Especially, tourists will have the chances to go trekking and ride on the back of the elephants in the misty green hills.
The north of the province is part of the famous Golden Triangle, where borders to Thailand, Laos, and Burma. Now the area is prior to the rise of agricultural production of pineapple, coffee, coconuts, and banana. The Mekong River forms the boundary with Laos, the Mae Sai and Ruak River with Burma. Chiang Rai is an artistic city offering surprising things to see and do.
What to do and see
The White Temple
The epic White Temple, also known as Wat Rong Khun, should be first on the bucket list. It’s definitely one of the "must" things to do in Chiang Rai. The White Temple is a sparkling-white temple with a huge number of surreal statues. It’s a breathtaking sight and in this case, its iconic status is deserved. The Temple was designed by a Thai artist named Chalermchai Kositpipat. In addition to the temple, there are other buildings and iconic statues, and a gallery displaying surreal paintings.
The Black House
The Black House is sometimes called the Black Temple, it's actually a collection of painted wooden houses by Thai artists, the most notable designer was Thawan Duchanee. Another name is Baan Dam, the Black House has a similar surreal modern pattern to the White Temple. Some buildings look like black temples, however, there are several other bizarre buildings scattered surround. There’s one giant construction looks like a beached submarine.
Discovering the Blue Temple
Before visiting Chiang Rai, you might hear plenty of rumors about the wonders of the White Temple and the Black House, but not the Blue Temple. That's a big mistake because this incredible temple would completely blow you away! It’s vibrantly colored, kitsch, and contemporary. The inside is totally painted in bright patterns and colors. The Blue Temple is only a few km urban Chiang Rai.
Noodle soup with Thai curry- Khanom Jeen Nam Ngiao
‘Khanom Jeen Nam Ngiao’ is a noodle soup with Thai curry. That is a must when you reach Chiang Rai. Khanom Jeen means fresh rice noodles and ‘Nam Ngiao’ means spicy tomato broth. The combination becomes a simple of Northern Thai soup. Beef or pork is the main ingredient, added with diced curdled chicken blood cube. Chopped tomatoes make the dish sour and crispy roasted with fried dry chilies and garlic are included for more spiciness. Traditional process requires minced pork and jellified pigs blood, mixed with rice noodles and served with tomato, spice-infused pork broth.
Northern Noodle Curry - Khao Soi
Khao Soi is a coconut based curry served with soft egg noodles and topped with crispy egg noodles. It's one of the most famous dishes in Northern Thailand and is easily found in street or restaurants throughout the Northern. It is kind of similar to Khanom Jeen Nam Ngiao including coconut milk and various in flavor. Perfected by optional additions of lime, onion, chili, and pickled cabbage.
Chilli Dips - Nam Prik Ong
In Northern Thailand, you’re especially invited to run across two of the most popular chili dips. The first is Nam Prik Num, a green, spicy paste that’s commonly paired with steamed or boiled vegetables. There’s also Nam Prik Ong, a dip dish made with pork and tomatoes that are frequently called “Thai Bolognese”; it’s usually paired with crunchy pork rinds.
Unripe Jackfruit Curry - Kaeng Khanun
The Kaeng Khanun is a hot and sour soup which is made with the added fruity flavoring of unripe jackfruit and the Northern Thai favorite of cherry tomatoes. It's often served with chunks of pork.