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Chiang Saen National Museum
Chyutopia [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Chiang Saen National Museum

The Chiang Saen National Museum is a must-visit in Chiang Rai for anyone who’s keen to learn about the archaeological wonders of the town of Chiang Saen.

It has been around since 1957 and today remains to be the most notable attraction filled with various artefacts and interesting displays.

Chiang Saen National Museum, Address, Hours & Prices, Chiang Rai

It was originally built with the intentions of safekeeping the numerous rare archaeological finds of the area, but in recent years, it has undergone expansion. Today, visitors come to the two-story building to check out the many exhibitions that tell the story of life in Chiang Saen as far back as 15,000 years ago. It also includes various interesting archaeological finds that have been discovered from four nearby ancient towns, some of which are older than the 14th-century city of Phaya Saen. These include 8th-century ruins of the Phu Kao, as well as the town that is believed to be lying beneath the Chiang Saen Lake.

History and archaeology enthusiasts will be amazed at the exhibits which cover the Neolithic, bronze, as well as the iron age. Artefacts have also been uncovered from the Mengrai dynasty up to present-day hill tribe culture. You’ll also find colourful items from other ethnic groups including the Shan, Tai Lue, and Tai Yuan.

Compared to other museums where visitors only tend to find a large collection of Buddhas, the Chiang Saen National Museum is different because the artefacts have been recovered from different ruins.

Cross the street and opposite the museum, you’ll find a small exhibition building that houses lots of photographs that depict the restoration of many temples found throughout the town. Both places have a good number of brochures and maps to help visitors learn more about their history.

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