Chiang Sean

Chiang Saen is a northern district of Chiang Rai Province, northern Thailand. The district is right on the upper part of Mekong River, 9 kilometres from the Golden Triangle. Its location makes Chiang Saen an important entrepôt for Thailand's trade with other countries on the upper part of Mekong River. Besides, Chiang Saen is also considered the oldest city in Thailand.

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In the past, Chiang Saen was once one of the major cities of the Lanna kingdom and served as the capital before King Mengrai established Chiang Rai in 1262. After being invaded by the Burmese in 16th century, during the 19th century, the town was abandoned for about a hundred years before being repopulated in the 1900s. Nowadays, many ruins and relics of the old days are remained in Chiang Saen, including Wat Phra That Chedi Luang, Wat Phra Chao Lan Thong, Wat Pa Sak, Buddha images dating back to 11th century, the double city wall, or visit Chiang Saem National Museum to learn more about the city’s Lanna-style architecture and history…
Today, the old China - Siam trade route is reopened, with huge river barges from Yunnan Province in China mooring at Chiang Saen, carrying fruit, engine parts and other imports for sale. If you are looking for a “more comfortable” and safe spot compared to the Golden Triangle in the east, Chiang Saen is an ideal stopover.

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Evening street-side vendors offer tasty food and sitting on small stools around the plastic table while watching the life of residents is an exciting experience. There are also a few local restaurants north of the night market serving authentic Thai dishes.
To get to Chiang Saen, you can start from Chiang Rai, with a local bus connecting two cities. Or you can visit Chiang Saen by taking blue songthaews from Mae Sai via Golden Triangle.

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