Font Size



Menu Style


Introduction to Chiang Rai

Chiang Saen

The sleepy village of Chiang Saen on the banks of the Mekhong River at the southern point of the Golden Triangle is the remains of the ancient city of Chiang Saen. The village, has been a major trading crossroads since the seventh century. Today again river boats come from China with goods. It was probably part of the kingdom of Yonok, and birthplace of Mengrai, who founded the kingdom of Lanna.

Photo By Brian McMorrow

It was circa 1328 AD that the city you can see today was laid out when King Saen Phu, Mengrai's nephew, relocated the Lanna capital to Chiang Saen, which he named after himself.

During its long history of conflict between the Siamese and Burmese kingdoms, control of Chiang Saen feuded over. Finally, after driving the Burmese completely out of Siam, King Rama I had Chiang Saen leveled in 1804 to remove it as a temptation to the Burmese. It was later reoccupied by descendants of the original citizens in 1881 AD on the orders of Rama V. You still can easily make out the remains of most of the city's walls and moat, as well as several temples and city walls.
Chiang Saen today is an interesting and relaxing place to spend some time, but can be a rushed day trip from Chiang Rai or Chiang Mai.

Comments (0)

Cancel or


lamphun-wat phra that hariphunchai-01     
       ited in mid-town, Wat Phra That Hariphunchai was built during the reign of King Arthitayarat, a descendant of Queen Chamthewi some 800 years ago.A principal landmark is the 46-metre tall golden Chedi which contains a hair of the Lord Buddha, having nine-tiered umbrella, made of gold weighing approximately 6,498.75 grams...

Chiang Rai

      on the bank of the Kok River within town area, contains what is believed to be the oldest Holy Relic even before King Mengrai built Chiang Rai. Doi Chom Thong has been a sacred site for aextremely long time. The site was surely reverenced as the home of local spirits before Buddhism arrived in the area.

You are here: Home Attractions of Interest Chiang Saen