Chiang Rai City is the northernmost largest city in Thailand and it remains a quaint little town till date with a pleasant atmosphere. The grounded and relaxed vibe of the town is complemented with the many historical and cultural places to visit in Chiang Rai.
Best Time to Visit
The best time to visit Chiang Rai is in the winter months of November to February because the climate becomes rainless and appropriate to go sightseeing.
Top Places to Visit in Chiang Rai
- Phu Chi Fah
This is an absolutely breath-taking cliff in Chiang Rai, which provides a scintillating view of the island, its beaches and mountains. The path that leads into this cliff is filled with dense mangroves and greenery that keep you spell bound all through the journey. The peaks in this area vary in between1200 and 1628m above sea level. The sight of colourful flowers and sprawling meadows will make you go weak in your knees, especially when you come here during the season between November & January. Open from 8AM to 5PM.
2. Golden Triangle
It is one of the most famous Chiang Rai points of interest and you cannot finish your trip without visiting this place. This location is famous because it shares a border with three countries: Thailand, Laos, and Myanmar, and the three of which meet on the Mekong River. This location is also popular since it was earlier the center of poppy cultivation in Thailand. Visit the Sop Ruak, the area where the Mekong and Ruak rivers meet and look at the remains of many ancient structures that remain and show the glorious history of those who had inhabited this place in the past.
3. Doi Din Dang Pottery
This is one of the lesser travelled destinations in Chiang Rai and therefore, its beauty is yet to be explored. Located at a good 993m above sea level, this point is perfect for people who love camping and having a solitary time with nature. Though it is quite scenic and provides an excellent view of the island and its surroundings, the road that leads to this point is quite risky. Roads can get slippery due to water canals passing through and guests are recommended not to travel through these roads unless they are highly skilled drivers.
4. Wat Phra That Doi Chom Thong
Built during as early as 10th century, this temple is located at the tallest point in Chiang Rai and hence provides a scintillating view of the entire island. The temple was constructed even before the island was made the Lanna capital. As the temple contains sacred relics and images of Lord Buddha, this is an important place of worship for the locals of the island and for people all over Thailand. The chedi or stupa which is in the shape of a hexagon is made of pure gold and attracts viewers to a great extent.
5. Doi Bo View Point
Located at a good 993m above sea level, this point is perfect for people who love camping and having a solitary time with nature. Though it is quite scenic and provides an excellent view of the island and its surroundings, the road that leads to this point is quite risky. Roads can get slippery due to water canals passing through and guests are recommended not to travel through these roads unless they are highly skilled drivers.
6. Long Neck Hill Tribe Villages
Learn more about the diversity of north Thai culture by visiting one of the hill tribe villages near Chiang Rai. As you’ll need transportation and a translator to get the most out of the experience, hill tribe
villages are most commonly visited as part of a cultural research. The most visited tribal villages are Karen Village Akha Village and Hmong Village due to its heritage and ancient tradition. Observe elephants moving timber at elephant camps visit the villages and meet the members of the long-necked hill tribe, visit an orchid farm and the Queen Sirikit Botanic Gardens.
7. Boon Rawd’s Singha Park
Thailand is one of the reputed tea producers in the world. If you want to visit the exquisite tea plantations in this island nation, you have to come to Boon Rawd’s Singha Park. Perched on top of scenic mountains, the drive to the park itself is absolutely remarkable. The plantations are set up on a farm sprawling area of close to 237 acres, with a majestic golden lion at the entrance. These tea estates are definitely worth a visit, when you come to Chiang Rai. The labourers working on these tea farms are mostly from tribal communities; hence don’t miss their lifestyle and culture. The restaurant here serves excellent Western and Thai dishes.
8. Khun Korn Waterfall
The northern part of Thailand is blessed by brilliant natural elements, which includes a large number of waterfalls. Chiang Rai is no exception to this rule. As you drive past the town, you can spot waterfalls at every 50th kilometre or so. Khun Korn Waterfalls, located in the Khun Korn Forest, is the highest, most powerful and most famous waterfalls in Chiang Rai, falling from a height of 70m. This waterfall creates a loud noise and the force of water is very high here, so you should expect to get completely soaked as you hike through the forest to get to these falls.
9. Wat Rong Khun
Also known as the White Temple, Wat Rong Khun is one of the most famous tourist attractions in Thailand and undoubtedly a landmark destination in Chiang Rai. The temple has undergone major renovation work as of today, thanks to eminent visual artist, Chalermchai Kositpipat and construction work is still on going here. The temple is an important centre of education of Buddhist values and the teachings of Lord Buddha. Pieces of glass used in the plaster of the temple, glisten beautifully when sunlight falls on it.
10. Mae Kok River
One of the most beautiful attractions in Chiang Rai, the The Kok River runs from Thathon in northern Chiang Mai to Chiang Rai City and is miles long. One can take a Long-tailed boat and cruise around the town while enjoying lovely sceneries on the side.