province is administratively divided into thirteen districts
and three sub-districts, as follows:
sub-districts of Mae Fa Luang
gross provincial product (GPP) for 1996 was 33,294 million
baht. In 1996 the province was ranked 26th in the country
in terms of GPP. The GPP per capita for 1996 was 30,049 baht.
The minimum wage effective from 1st January 1998 is 130 baht
per day. The province is designated by the Board of Investment
(BOI) as a Zone 3 Development District.
and industry, mainly in the form of handicrafts and of processing
agricultural products, are two of the major professions in
which Chiang Rai people are involved. Another is the growth
industry and vocation of tourism with the direct and indirect
jobs it creates.
the fertile plains to the east of the province have always
been ideal for general agriculture purposes - and agriculture
and agricultural related activities are still the main way
the majority of Chiang Rai people earn a living today.
One of the
few crops, however, that would thrive with ease on the steep
mountain slopes to the west was the opium poppy. In the past,
Chiang Rai province and the so-called Golden Triangle region
was notorious for its opium cultivation. In fact, Chiang Rai
was regarded as the Center for nearly all the poppies grown
in Thailand and the only viable source of income for many
hilltribes living there.
much of the remaining opium trade has been pushed over the
borders into Myanmar and Laos, due to a combination of stricter
law enforcement and successful crop substitution programs.
Such crop development programs have been possible mainly through
the efforts of His Majesty the King Rama IX and the late Princess
Mother (the kings mother) who have sponsored them. As a result,
Chiang Rai province is now capable of growing cold weather
fruits and vegetables due to the efforts of these two hard
working and highly respected members of the Royal Family.
are probably still small pockets of the opium trade, its effect
on the economy of Chiang Rai is considered inconsequential.
of the province is the White Elephant.
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