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 the province.
- Quick Information on Thailand
- Where is Chiang Rai in Thailand?
- Things To Do in Chiang Rai Thailand
- Explore Chiang Rai City
- Visit Wat Rong Khung
- Go Hiking
- See The Golden Triangle
- Visit Mae Sai
- Shop At The Night Market
- Explore The Area On Moped
- How To Get To Chiang Rai Thailand
- Best Travel Time To Chiang Rai Thailand
- Where To Stay in Chiang Rai Thailand
- Wrapping Up
Chiang Rai is the northern most province of Thailand, characterised by its diverse and varied landscape.
It is the starting point for hiking through the forest and naturally landscape.
Quick Information on Thailand
- Currency: Thai Baht
- Language: Thai
- Population: Over 68 million
- Capital City: Bangkok
- Best time to visit Thailand: Visit Northern Thailand is between November to February with temperature rises up to 33 degrees. And southern Thailand is between November and March.
- How to get there: You can enter by land or Sea through Cambodia, Laos and Malaysia. Or fly into Thailand as there are flights to most major cities in Thailand.
Where is Chiang Rai in Thailand?
Chiang Rai is the northern most province of Thailand. It shares a border with the Shan State of Myanmar to the north, Bokeo Province of Laos to the east.
Phayao to the south, Lampang to the southwest and Chiang Mai to the west.
Things To Do in Chiang Rai Thailand
Chiang Rai is grown into a popular place to visit in Thailand. Here are some things to do in Chiang Rai Thailand.
Explore Chiang Rai City
The capital of Chiang Rai is Chiang Rai city. It 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 a look.
There is the daily night market where local tribes sell jewelry and handicrafts and you can enjoy excellent food for a small price.
The 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 km south of Chiang Rai and its white colour 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.
This is a cause the surrounding area is full of grassland, forests and rivers, with many ethnic tribes live in the hills around the capital.
It is possible to take a look with an organized tour. Often a multi-day trek is combined with an overnight stay in a village.
Guesthouses and tour offices in can help you arrange a trekking and cultural trip in the area.
See 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.
Visit Mae Sai
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 colourful 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.
Shop At The Night Market
Although the night market in Chiang Rai is much smaller than that of Chiang Mai, this market is just as much fun.
The Thai market traders sell tailor made products, especially for tourists. So you can take home some nice souvenirs!
Explore The Area On Moped
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 To Chiang Rai Thailand
The airport is 8 km outside the city centre and with 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. The city itself is flat and a fun way to get to know the city is by bike.
Best Travel Time To Chiang Rai Thailand
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. 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. 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 in Chiang Rai Thailand
Chiang Rai has a decent range of guest houses, hostels and hotels. Here are a few places to check out and give you an idea of what is available if you are planning to visit Chiang Rai Thailand.
Remember to check the reviews and book a place that suits you interests while traveling.
Bann Tawan Hostel & Spa
Rating 9.4, Prices start from $21 for Double room
Bann Tawan Hostel & Spa offers free bikes, as well as free WiFi. The rooms in the hostel are equipped with a flat-screen TV. Every room comes with a kettle.
Homey Dormy Chiangrai
Rating 9.2, Prices start from $31 for Double room
Homey Dormy Chiangrai offers each room with cable TV, air conditioning and a refrigerator. Also a shower, the private bathroom comes with a hairdryer and free toiletries. Free WiFi access is available.
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.
Finally, Chiang Rai is a beautiful and interesting Thai town we recommend that you take the time to see. Whether you are interested in visiting the Wat Rong Khung or go hiking.
Just choose what you want to do and start enjoying what Chiang Rai has to offer.
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 there is more to add.