The capital of the Lanna Kingdom before King Mengrai moved his seat of power to Chiang Rai in 1262 A.D., Chiang Saen today is a sleepy river town, but the remains of a much larger and politically important city protrude through the hills and jungles in the area.
Chiang Saen is the southernmost point of the Golden Triangle region. Travelers on luxury tours of Thailand often use this quiet riverside town as a base for further excursions into the surrounding hills and mountains of Northern Thailand. Running alongside the Mekong River, Chiang Saen is a great location to start a northward-bound river tour towards the exact geographic coordinates of the Golden Triangle.
Founded in 1262 as part of the Lanna Kingdom, the remains of the ancient capital that held sway over this region of Thailand can still be seen in various states of disrepair. Travelers on tours in Thailand have the chance to visit several architecturally distinct temples like Wat Chedi Luang and Wat Pha Khao Pan that feature the Lanna-style, and the exhibits inside the Chiang Saen National Museum help put the history and culture of the area into perspective.
The best time to visit is during the temperate season running November through January. The rains that fall June through October revive the countryside to a gorgeous green after the high temperatures that start in February and run into May.
Chiang Saen rests alongside the Mekong River in Thailand's northernmost province of Chiang Rai. The town is best reached by private car from Chiang Rai City some 50 miles to the south.
With distinctly ancient flavor, this quiet little town on the banks of the Mekong is the perfect starting point for an excursion in the majestic Northern Thai mountains for travelers on Thailand tours as they explore the deeper mysteries of the Golden Triangle.
Appropriate Attire :
Western clothing is fine for the city, and swimwear is advised if you're embarking on a river tour up the Mekong. If you plan to visit any of the temples in the area it's best to dress conservatively by covering your shoulders, arms, and knees in keeping with Buddhist religious modesty.