Explore the culture of Chiang Rai and the Princess Mother’s efforts
The future of Chiang Rai province is an exploration of its past. The colorful development of this province has left it as one of the most intriguing provinces to explore among so many other provinces in Thailand. The solidary effort by the Princess Mother to eradicate the growing of opium as a cash crop in the province of Chiang Rai has gained the province a much better quality of life and better tourism efforts. Her Majesty spent much of her time and effort in this province to keep a check on things and to spur the success of the eradication efforts and as respect and acknowledgement of her efforts the Princess Mother Museum was established in the 90s in her memory. You can get a glimpse of the things she kept herself occupied with while in the province from old manuscripts and collections for which she had an interest in including weaving equipment, lacquer boxes, ceramics and pottery and some other more personal collections.
Another small attraction here is the Chiang Rai Province Cultural Hall Museum which is rather educational and a good place to initiate the visitor to the province of Chiang Rai. It is a sort of place where you can go to and find out what it is that makes this province “tick” so to speak! It’s not a very big museum but well documented with some old literature, videos, prehistoric tools, medieval defense cannons, antique pottery and the display of the “Tai” culture which was predominant in the province. The tour to the Princess Mother Museum and tour to the Chiang Rai Province Cultural Hall Museum is mostly included in a city tour of Chiang Rai city. You can always check to see if this tour is included in your tour package prior to booking. It makes for an interesting day out in the city to understand more of the culture and people of the province.
Another royal attraction is the Doi Tung Royal Villa which is a summer palace built by the late Princess Mother. It is now a museum and a high-class boutique hotel with ravishing gardens opened to the public. This is a very popular spot for tourism and is definitely on any tour itinerary to Chiang Rai city. Next to it is a small local produce and handicraft bazaar that is popular with the tourist and a good place to buy souvenirs and foodstuff if you had not had enough of the local Thai food here and can continue binging on the many delicacies on offer or stop by the restaurant and coffee house at the hotel for a sophisticated meal and high-end coffee prices!