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Travel Guide of Chiang Rai in Thailand by Influencers and Travelers

Chiang Rai is one of Thailand's seventy-six provinces, which lies in upper northern Thailand and is Thailand's northernmost province.

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13 pictures of Chiang Rai from Stefan Kunze, Priyanuch Konkaew, note thanun and other travelers

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How to visit Chiang Rai ?

Why Traveling There?

Chiang Rai is a city in Northern Thailand that's bursting with rich culture, stunning temples, and natural beauty. It's the ideal destination for those who appreciate architecture, history, and want a break from the bustling city life. It's less touristy than other Thai cities, offering travelers a more authentic experience.

How to Get There?

The easiest way to reach Chiang Rai is by flight. The city has an international airport (Chiang Rai International Airport) which is well-connected to Bangkok and other major cities. From the airport, you can take a taxi or a bus to the city center. Alternatively, you can take a bus or a train from Bangkok or Chiang Mai.

What to Book in Advance?

It's recommended to book your accommodation in advance, especially during peak tourist season (November to February). You should also book any long-distance transportation (like flights or buses) in advance to ensure you get the best prices. If you plan on visiting some of the popular tourist sites like the White Temple or the Blue Temple, consider booking a guided tour.

What are the Costs?

Chiang Rai is a budget-friendly destination. Accommodation can range from $10 per night for budget hostels to $100 for luxury hotels. Meals at local restaurants can be as cheap as $1-2. Entrance fees for attractions like the White Temple are around $1-3. Transportation within the city is also cheap, with tuk-tuk rides costing around $1-2.

What are the Best Things to Do?

No visit to Chiang Rai is complete without visiting the White Temple (Wat Rong Khun) and Blue Temple (Wat Rong Suea Ten). Both offer stunning architecture and intricate details. Also, make sure to visit the Golden Triangle, where the borders of Thailand, Laos, and Myanmar meet. For nature lovers, a trip to the Doi Luang National Park is a must.

Where to Eat?

For an authentic Thai experience, head to Barrab, known for its traditional Northern Thai cuisine. For vegetarian options, visit Chivit Thamma Da Coffee House, which also offers a serene atmosphere by the river. Another popular spot is Lab Sanam Keela, known for its delicious street food.

Where to Stay?

For a luxurious experience, check into The Riverie by Katathani, offering stunning views of the Kok River. If you're on a budget, Happynest Hostel is a great option with its clean and comfortable rooms. For a unique stay, consider Baan Mai Kradan 'Lifestyle' Hostel with its creative decor.

Off the Beaten Path

For a unique experience, visit the Akha tribe in the hill tribe villages. The Akha people maintain their traditional lifestyle and visitors can learn about their customs, food, and traditional handicrafts. It's a great opportunity to immerse yourself in a completely different culture and escape the tourist crowds.

The Best Things to Do and Visit around Chiang Rai

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1 - Mueang Chiang Rai

Mueang Chiang Rai is the capital district of Chiang Rai Province, northern Thailand.

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Mueang Chiang Rai things to do in Chiang Rai

2 - Wat Rong Seur Ten

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Wat Rong Seur Ten things to do in Chiang Rai Wat Rong Seur Ten things to do in Chiang Rai

3 - Tours & Sightseeing | Wat Rong Khun - White Temple

   12 km away

Once you've explored the ancient, crumbling temples of Chiang Mai, head to her sister city Chiang Rai and check out the nearby hot spring and temples on a full-day tour with roundtrip transport from Chiang Mai.

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Tours & Sightseeing | Wat Rong Khun - White Temple things to do in Chiang Rai

4 - The White Temple

   12 km away
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The White Temple things to do in Chiang Rai The White Temple things to do in Chiang Rai

5 - Huay Keaw Waterfall

   17 km away
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Huay Keaw Waterfall things to do in Chiang Rai

6 - Trekking | Chiang Rai (Province)

   12 km away

Chiang Rai 1 Day Trekking (walk only)

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Trekking | Chiang Rai (Province) things to do in Chiang Rai

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Learn More about Chiang Rai

Chiang Rai is a city in northern Thailand located on the Kok River. Chiang Rai has some of the most beautiful temples in the country. The surrounding mountains are full of beautiful places, there are the largest tea and coffee plantations in Thailand. It is impossible to visit Chiang Rai without discovering the most famous tourist site of the city: the White Temple. Its construction started in 1997, and is not even finished yet. Its particularity is to be built with a mixture of lime and mirror chips, which make it sparkle in the sun. Everywhere you will find statues and beautiful details carved and covered with mirrors. The Blue Temple was completed only recently too. Its particularity is to be entirely blue, even inside. It houses a large white Buddha sitting, but which is tinged with blue reflections depending on the light. Outside, you will also find many blue statues with impressive details, like dragons or huge guardians at the entrance. But if you want to discover a traditional religious temple, come and see Wat Phra Kaew Temple, which is the most venerated by the locals. The Night Bazaar is the ideal place to do your shopping and buy local products to discover typical Thai food, there is also a stage where traditional dance performances take place. Among the most famous places of interest in Chiang Rai, you will find the Baan Dam Museum. The place gathers about forty small black houses decorated in a very special way with crocodile skins, furs and bones for example. The area also offers many hikes to discover the landscape and the many waterfalls and bamboo forests. You can also make 2 or 3 days tours to do some trekking and meet the ethnic mountain people of the surroundings. Visiting Chiand Rai is an immersion in Thai culture among its night markets and Buddha statues, visiting its folk temples and more religious for some.

Frequently Asked Questions by Travelers planning a trip to Chiang Rai

How many days are needed to visit Chiang Rai?

To fully immerse yourself in the local culture and to take the time to visit its many temples and other places, we recommend that you spend at least 3 days there.

There is no public transportation in Chiang Rai. It is advisable to rent a car, or take traditional local transportation such as tuk-tuk and samlors. Otherwise, walking or cycling is also possible.

It takes about 3 hours by car to get to Chiang Mai. There is no train, but a bus passes by both cities.

   Where to Stay near Chiang Rai

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  🏰 Place of worship spots     Hot air ballooning spots     🗼 Landmark spots     🛣️ Road trip spots     🏞️‍ Waterfall spots     🌲 Nature reserve spots     🏘️ Town spots     🏰 Hindu temple spots  

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