King Meng Rai, a friend of King
Ramkhamhaeng (1279-1299) of the Sukhothai Kingdom of
Thailand, established Chiang Rai in 1262 A.D. near the
Kok River. Thirty-four years later, he founded Chiang
Mai as a capital city and centre of the Lanna Thai Kingdom
(circa 1262-1558 A.D). Thus the two towns have had brotherly
relations for a long time. The Lanna Thai Kingdom covered
the area of Chiang Mai, Chaing Rai, Phayao,Nan and other
provinces in the North of Thailand at present. The kingdom
became a Burmese colony from 1558 to 1774 A.D.
But finally, King Taksin (1767-1782 A.D.), the king
of Siam of the Thonburi period, won it back from the
Burmese, and the Lanna Thai Kingdom became a dependency
of Siam (former name of Thailand). And Chiang Rai was
ruled as a frontier town until 1933 when it became a
province of Siam.