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For centuries, the Thai city of Chiang Rai was part of Birma (now: Myanmar), before the city and the province of the same name were annexed by Thailand in 1933. The city is an excellent base for trips through the impressive green and mountainous surroundings.
Officially about 65,000 inhabitants live in the city, but the urban area of Chiang Rai and surroundings is much larger and houses over 200,000 people. More than 10% of the inhabitants belong to the so-called hill tribes, a collective term for several ethnic groups in the north of Thailand.
Chiang Rai is located in the far north of Thailand, 200 kilometers northeast of the larger city of Chiang Mai and over 60 kilometers south of the border with Myanmar. The border with Laos isn't far either: about 60 kilometers northeast of Chiang Rai. North of the city center runs the Mae Kok River.
Tourism is one of the main sources of income of Chiang Rai. The city also develops itself more and more as the region's commercial center, stimulated by the so-called Economic Quadrangular Zone, consisting of China, Myanmar, Laos and Thailand. The province of Chiang Rai produces agricultural products like rice, corn, longan and litchi.
The city's airport is called Mae Fah Luang-Chiang Rai International Airport in full and is situated 10 kilometers north of the center. Although the name suggests otherwise (until now) there are only domestic flights to and from this airport. Chiang Rai Airport is easily reachable by rental car from the city center via the freeway, Phahonyothin Road. Alternatively you take the less busy Vhiangburapha Road.
As for transportation within the city, public transport in Chiang Rai consists mainly of so-called tuk-tuks (a motorbike with a type of coach attached to it), songthaews (a covered pick-up with on both sides a bench) and taxis. Buses run to other destinations within and outside the province.
Finding your way around Chiang Rai isn't difficult nor is finding a parking place most of the time. Don't be intimidated by the 'guards' wildly blowing their whistles: most of the time they want to guide you to a free place, although it seems they're forbidding you something. Obviously these guards expect a small compensation when you return to your rental car.
Chiang Rai has a large choice of accommodations ranging from basic guesthouses to luxurious hotels and everything in between. Because of its high altitude, the city draws Thai and foreign visitors all year round (in winter months it can even be cold at night). We therefore recommend booking your accommodation in advance.
For more information about Chiang Rai, we recommend Google and the following sources:
Which insurance should I choose, and what's the deal with the deposit? Read our articles with useful information and tips to ensure you choose the right rental car for you.
The following questions and answers are a selection of the most popular questions. If you do not find the answer to your question, have a look at the Frequently Asked Questions page or contact us.
Yes, we offer a guarantee of the lowest price - because we compare various retailers, we can always offer you the best price in town.
To pick up your car, you will need your voucher, passport, driver's license and a credit card. It is very important that your driver's license and credit card are in the same name as the main driver. Keep in mind that the local rental company will reserve a certain amount on your credit card as a deposit. This requires the PIN code for your credit card. If your driver's license is foreign (for example, in Chinese), you must bring a translation with you. Only your original passport and driver's license will be accepted - a copy is not sufficient.
Our rates are all-inclusive. Our reservation department will inform you in advance should additional costs apply. You can always cancel your booking free of charge if you do not agree (this must be done at least 48 hours prior to the start of the car hire period).
In general, Liability Insurance, Fire Insurance, All-Risks Insurance and Theft Insurance are included in the cost of your rental car.
Only rental companies with a high level of customer satisfaction are eligible to be included in our Worry-Free selection. This rate includes excess cover and unlimited kilometres. Your vehicle will be provided and must be returned with a full tank of fuel. With a vehicle from our Worry-Free selection, you can travel with peace of mind and no hidden costs.
You can cancel your reservation through "My Account". We recommend contacting us by phone if your changes to your booking or cancellation takes place at short notice (48 hours or less).
Most reservations will receive confirmation within minutes after payment takes place. We recommend contacting our Booking Department for last minute reservations (pick-up within 48 hours).