The Thai province Chiang Rai is a beautiful region full of nature beauty and its own special culture. Here you get to know the real, unspoiled Thailand and you can take some awesome hikes and road trips through Chiang Rai.
Chiang Rai is the northernmost province of Thailand, characterized by its diverse and varied landscape. It is the starting point for hiking through the forest and naturally landscape.
Chiang Rai is grown into a popular destination in Thailand. Here are some things to do in Chiang Rai.
Capital City is Chiang Rai
The capital of Chiang Rai is Chiang Rai city. Is a small and cozy town with a few interesting sights. It is often seen as a transit city and base for trips in the area but the town itself is certainly worth it.
There is the daily night market where local tribes sell jewelry and handicrafts and you can enjoy excellent food for a small price. Chiang Rai city has a number of temples. Of which the Wat Phra Kaew and Wat Phra Singh are the most interesting.
The Hill tribes and Education center is also an interesting place to learn more about the background of the various Thai tribes.
Visit Wat Rong Khung
The Wat Rong Khung is the most impressive building in Northern Thailand. This snow-white temple is located 13 kilometers south of Chiang Rai and its white color must reflect the purity of Buddha.
Unlike most other Thai temples, the construction of the pass was started in 1997 and it is expected that it will continue until 2070 before the complete complex is finished.
Unfortunately, during a recent earthquake, the building became so damaged that some halls can only be admired from the outside.
Go Trekking or Go Hiking
This is popular one of the more popular things to do in Chiang Rai. Cause Chiang Rai is one of the most diverse regions of Thailand in terms of inhabitants and many ethnic tribes live in the hills around the capital. Curious about the daily life in these villages?
It is possible to take a look via an organized tour. Often a multi-day trek through the environment is combined with an overnight stay in a village. Guesthouse and tour office in Chiang Rai help you arrange a trekking or cultural trip in the area.
Checkout The Golden Triangle
The Golden Triangle is the name of the area where the borders of Thailand, Laos, Myanmar come together. You can visit the three-country point or take a boat trip on the Mekong, the most interesting is actually a visit to the Hall of Opium.
The Golden Triangle was notorious for years because of its fields full of poppy flowers, opium production and drug smugglers and for a long time, the most heroin in the world was produced here.
The Hall of Opium is well-designed museum where you can learn everything about the history, trade and production of these drugs.
Mae Sai is the northern most town in Thailand. Located on the border with Myanmar and is a typical Thai Border town. It is teeming with people crossing the border and that provides a colorful mix of cultures.
If you intend to travel further, you can walk to Myanmar in Mae Sai, but it is also nice to stick here and take in everything. You can also visit the temple Wat Phra That Doi on a mountain, from where you have a great view of the area.
Night market of Chiang Rai
Although the night market in Chiang Rai is much smaller than that of Chiang Mai, this market is just as much as fun.
The Thai market traders sell tailor-made products, especially for tourists. So you can take home some unique souvenirs!
Explore the area with motor
The landscape of Chiang Rai has a varied character. In the east you will find many rivers and the land is almost flat, while the north and west are very mountainous. It is, therefore, a great area to discover by motorcycle.
There are several routes that lead you to the most beautiful places in the area in a few days. Along the way, you drive past bright green rice fields and farming villages, over mountain peaks, along waterfalls and dense forest and at night you stay in the most special places.
How to get there?
The international airport is 8 kilometers outside the center of Chiang Rai city and many airlines, fly back and forth between these cities.
Chiang Rai is also easily accessible from Chiang Mai because it is only 180 km north of Chiang Mai. This can be done by plane, bus (3 hours) or part by boat and part by bus. The last option is nicer but obviously takes more time.
Once in Chiang Rai you can explore the area by public transport or by motorbike. Chiang Rai city itself is flat, and a fun way to get to know the city is by bike.
Best travel time to Chiang Rai
Chiang Rai is 1280 feet above sea level and due to the presence of grassland and rivers, it is usually slightly cooler than the rest of Thailand. With an average temperature of 25 degrees Celsius it is still nice to stay, of course, but keep in mind that during the winter months November, December, and January can be fresh in the morning and at night.
This is the busiest period, so book your hotel or guesthouse on time.
During the hot season (from March to May) it can get very hot in and around Chiang Rai. Temperatures of 35 degrees celsius and higher are no exception. Especially in April.
The rainy season runs from May to October, with the most rain falling from middle of July to middle of August. Yet it seldom rains all day and it is often showers of up to 2 hours in the afternoon.
Where to Stay on Chiang Rai
Chiang Rai has a good variety of guest houses, hostels and hotels. Here are a few places to check out and give you an idea of what is available in Chiang Rai if you are planning to visit Chiang Rai.
Remember to check the reviews and book a place that suits you interests while traveling.
Rating 9.4, Prices start from $21 for Double room
Bann Tawan Hostel & Spa is a 1-minute walk from Chiang Rai Saturday Night Walking Street, Bann Tawan Hostel & Spa features free bikes, as well as free WiFi. The property is around a 4-minute walk from Clock Tower Chiang Rai and 400 m from Old Bus Station. The accommodation features a 24-hour front desk, a tour desk and luggage storage for guests.
The rooms in the hostel are equipped with a flat-screen TV. Every room comes with a kettle, while some have a terrace. The units feature a desk.
Rating 9.2, Prices start from $31 for Double room
Homey Dormy Chiangrai is located 700 m from Central Plaza Chiang Rai. Free WiFi access is available.
Each room here will provide you with cable TV and air conditioning. There is also an electric kettle and a refrigerator. Featuring a shower, the private bathroom comes with a hairdryer and free toiletries. Some room types have a balcony.
Rating 9.2, Prices start from $28 for Double room
Mercy Hostel offers Private and dormitory-style rooms are equipped with air conditioning. Shower facilities are available in shared or private bathrooms. Some room types include a TV and a mini-fridge.
The hostel features a 24-hour reception and a tour desk. You will find a projection screen with cable channels in a shared lounge. An on-site shared kitchen is equipped with kitchen ware. microwave, refrigerator. Complimentary coffee, tea and drinking water are provided. There are also sun loungers by a shallow plunge pool.
Mercy Hostel is 700 m from Chiang Rai Clock Tower and 800 m from the Old Bus Station. Fresh Market is located 700 m from Mercy Hostel. Mae Fah Luang, Chiang Rai International Airport is 10 km away.
Finally, Chiang Rai is a great place to visit and has a lot to offer for everyone. Like any trip, you’ll get the most out of it by learning all you can before you arrive.
And that’s it for now! I’d love if this post on things to do in Chiang Rai Thailand was helpful to you. Let me know if you have any questions and let me know if you go.