Chiang Rai, Thailand
Chiang Rai is the main commercial centre serving the Golden Triangle border region of Thailand, Myanmar and Laos. It is an excellent base for exploring the region. Chiang Rai is essentially a service city for the surrounding province. Despite its relatively small population, Chiang Rai has respected universities and other civic facilities.
The character is distinctly Northern and is distinct to Chiang Mai to the south in various ways. The food is definitely spicier and the ethnic composition includes a good percentage of hill tribes and Myanmar exiles such as various varieties of Karen tribespeople.