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Sunday, November 09, 2014

Chiang Rai - Places to Visit [Wat Doi Ngam Muang]

Thailand is a tropical country but it is rather hot. Cool air and chill atmosphere are what we need some time of the year. We know that when the rain stops, it is the time for the cool breezes to sweep in. 
Winter normally starts from mid of October to end of February. Chiang Rai is among the top places to be in during winter time but in November the weather is still hot but the breeze is cool.
Chiang Rai city is a relatively small town but is surprisingly popular with tourists, both Thai and westerners. While the center city itself is small, the the country areas of the province are huge. Most package tours normally include a few days in Chiang Rai, probably because it’s a very pretty town surrounded by countryside and mountains. Besides beautiful scenery, there are many fun and interesting things to do and see in the province. When to compare to Phuket, Pattaya and Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai is less well-known. Normally tourists would be thinking at first arrive it was so small that it would probably be boring and dull.
It’s certain that the level of excitement in Chiang Rai is less than those of top Thailand’s tourist destinations. However, the diversity of landscape, nature and culture make Chiang Rai more interesting. One or two days really wasn’t enough to do everything most tourists want to do, many tourist would think they have to take a return trip there later to explore more about Chiang Rai.
Chiang rai is the ideal place for winter for many reasons. Out of all the things to see and do in and around Chiang Rai though.
There are these places you really shouldn’t miss during your visit to Chiang Rai - Wat Doi Ngan Muang, Wat Phra Kaew, Wat Phra Singh, King Mengrai's Monument, Wat Rong Khun, Chiang Rai's Night Market, Golden Clock Tower and Wat Rong Khun [White Temple].
Wat Doi Ngam Muang, Chiang Rai
Location - between Arjamnuay and Ratdetdamrong, close to Wat Phra Kaew. To get there, take the road on the right of the temple [the one where the Chat Guesthousen is] and after 600 meters you will see the stairs of Doi Ngam Muang temple.
Admission is free.
The temple is located on the hill behind the Wat Phra Kaew on top of which stands the Phrathat Doi Jom Thong. It begins with a long staircase of 74 steps with naga handrails, a classic in the North of Thailand. Quite small, it consists of a main hall and a ruined chedi that is supposed to contain the ashes of King Mengrai, founder of Chiang Rai. In front of the chedi stands a statue of the king.
Wat Phra That Doi Ngam Muang is supposed to be the location of King Mengrai's ashes, said to be in the temple's chedi. There is no record of when or why the temple on the hill was built but it is assumed that it formerly was some kind of worshipping place. When King Mengrai passed away in Chiang Mai in 1317, his son, preferred to reside in Chiang Rai instead of Chiang Mai.  He brought the king's ashes to be buried on the hill. Several subsequent rulers of the northern kingdom renovated the temple, build the main hall and restored the monk's bedchambers.
Click here to see King Mengrai's Monument, Chiang Rai

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