Chiang Rai

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Hilltribe Museum and Education Center, 620/1 Tanalai Rd, tel. 053-740-088,. Situated in the center of town is aimed at promoting a better understanding of hill tribes and their cultures etc. The dusty low-key displays include that of housing styles, tools, utensils and traditional hunting, fishing and agricultural equipment, but it's worth a visit for an unsanitized view of how the hill tribes are systematically exploited by Thais and the tourist industry. The Center also runs their own hilltribe tours, where the money actually goes to employ and help the tribesmen. Open 8:30 AM to 6 PM. There is a branch of Bangkok's Cabbages and Condoms restaurant downstairs, whose profits go to support family planning and sex education projects in Thailand. Website
Oub Kham Museum , 81/1 Na Khai Road, Tambon Rob Wiang near Den Ha market, one kilometre from the centre of town. The collection embraces objects used in the royal courts such as Lanna, Khum Chao Phare and Khum Chao Chiang Mai some parts are from northeast Myanmar, southwest China and Vietnam which are about 500-1,000 years old. Visitors can admire 120 year-old ancient fabrics, Sin Mai Kham-golden silk skirt-from the Mandalay, the golden throne, kingís golden costumes and silver ornaments. A golden bowl used by royals, is a masterpiece. All of those show the glory of the kingdom in the past. It opens daily from 09.00-17.00 hrs. Admission for adults is 200 Baht and for children 100 Baht. Tel: 0 5371 3349.
Cultural Hall Museum (left) near the TAT building on Singhaklai Road is a large white building that has a huge statue of King Mongkut at the main entrance. Visitors can find prehistoric tools, two medieval cannons, costume examples, ancient pottery and examples of ancient Lanna literature in the Dhamma script. There are also videos available, a model of the city and a display of five major areas of Tai culture. The fee for adults is only B10, for children B5.
Princess Mother '90 Museum is a sizable fascinating pavilion dedicated to the life of the beloved Princess Mother (mother of the present king, King Rama IX). On display are fine collections of lacquer boxes, wood pulleys, pottery, weaving equipment and some old handwritten folded texts with drawings. Admission is free.
Haw Shan Art Gallery - out NongBua Road, across from Family Bakery, in a large, dark-wood, Shan-style pavilion. It can be opened for special showings.
Lanna Museum, at Rong Rian Ban Sang Khong Yai, just southwest of Chiang Rai Hospital at an elementary school. It can only be opened by request.
The Chiang Rai Cultural Center is just north of the new airport, to the other side of the highway, next door to Rajapat Teacher's College.
Mae Fah Luang Art & Cultural Park, (Left) 5km west of town, has lovely two lakes, a barge and several large Shan-style small ponds. There is interesting Haw Kam Golden Temple with two Shan halls containing accouterments collected by Princess Maha Chakri and examples of Lanna craftsmanship: seven-armed candelabra, Buddha Images, wooden alters, embroided cloths for wrapping Buddhist scriptures, carved wood screens, swords and monkís fans.
The Sirindhorn Chinese Language and Culture Center in Mae Fah Luang University was established through the cooperation of Mae Fa Luang University and the Peopleís Republic of China. The center was built as a memorial to honor the Princess mother as a symbol of friendship between the two nations. The centerís design was drawn to adhere as depicted in China. The construction took 7 months to complete at a cost of approximately 60 million Baht. The architecture replicates the Suzhou Chinese structure, building decorations and the garden ornaments by complying with the design layouts and using authentic materials shipped from China. The roofing tiles, the doors and the marble tiles laid at the entrance are all examples of a few of the materials brought from China.

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