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  4. Things To Do In Chiang Rai

Things to do in Chiang Rai

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Chiang Rai is a unique, creative city in northern Thailand with so many amazing things to see and do. It's a terrific base for visiting hill tribes and gorgeous mountain trekking, and it is one of the most adventurous things to do in Chiang Rai. The place is close to the borders of both Laos and Myanmar.

The city also has a stunning collection of temples, ranging from old jeweled monuments to odd contemporary artworks. Chiang Rai has a lot of interesting things to do. This is without a doubt one of the best spots to visit in Thailand.

Chiang Rai can be visited for a couple of hours as a day trip from Chiang Rai, the larger and more well-known city in northern Thailand. It's a three- to four-hour bus ride from Chiang Rai, along winding mountain roads. Here is a list of the top things to do in Chiang Rai. Use it when planning your Thailand vacation package.


Visit the Incredible White Temple

The legendary White Temple, also known as Wat Rong Khun, had to come first. It's undeniably one of the most famous things to do in Chiang Rai, and its legendary position is well-deserved. The White Temple is a gleaming white modern temple with a slew of odd, bizarre embellishments. It's a truly stunning sight, and you will surely be astonished.

  • Pay an entrance fee of 50 baht to visit the White Temple.
  • Location: 60 หมู่ที่ 1 Phahonyothin Rd.,, Mueang Chiang Rai District
  • Hours: 8 a.m.–5 p.m. Monday to Friday. Saturday and Sunday, 8 a.m.–5 p.m.

Explore The Baan Dam Museum

The Black House, also known as the Black Temple or Baan Dam Museum, is a group of painted wooden dwellings showcasing art by Thai modern artists, most notably its creator, Thawan Duchanee.

The Baan Dam Museum has a surreal modern ambiance akin to that of the White Temple. Several of the structures resemble black temples, but there are various other odd structures scattered about. Some resemble igloos, while one massive one resembles a beached submarine. Visiting the Black House is one of the best things to do in Chiang Rai.

  • Pay an entrance fee of 80 baht 
  • Address: 333 Nang Lae, Chiang Rai 57100, Thailand
  • Hours: Monday–SSunday 9 a.m.–5 p.m.

Visit Wat Rong Suea Ten to witness Shades of Blue

Wat Rong Suea Ten, also known as the Blue Temple, is one of Thailand's newest and less well-known temples among tourists. Its one-of-a-kind and contemporary layout, adorned with gold accents, is extremely magnificent, and will soon attract even more people. So, add the Blue Temple to your list of things to do in Chiang Rai as soon as possible! Unlike the White Temple, you are permitted to take photographs within the Blue Temple, but please be kind.

  • There is no entry fee!
  • Address: Mueang Chiang Rai District, Chiang Rai
  • Hours: Monday – Sunday: 7 a.m.–8 p.m.

Check out the Clock Tower Light Show

The beautiful clock tower in Chiang Rai was designed by the same designer who created the famed White Temple. An eye-catching golden edifice stands in the middle of a traffic crossroads in central Chiang Rai. Every night at 7 p.m., 8 p.m., and 9 p.m., the clock illuminates with a pre-programmed light show. There are numerous restaurants and cafés with views of the clock tower. Watching the light shows and munching on the local food is going to be one of the besthings to do on a Thailand vacation. Go to the crossroads of Thanon Jet Yot and Thanon Baanpa Pragarn to find it.

  • Address: Suk Sathit, Mueang Chiang Rai District
  • Hours: Daily at 7 p.m., 8 p.m., and 9 p.m.

Monkeying Around at Wat Tham Pla

The monkey temple, also known as the Fish Cave Temple or Wat Tham Pla, is guarded by a magnificent staircase with seven-headed Nagas (mythical serpents) and is completely overrun with monkeys. They're actually pretty naughty and have been known to jump on unwary tourists and steal their belongings, so go at your own risk!

The monkey cave is a short drive from Chiang Rai and requires the use of a car or scooter to access it. Wat Tham Pla will be the best tourist destination in Chiang Rai.

  • Address: Mae Sai District, Chiang Rai 57130, Thailand
  • Hours: 6 am to 6 pm

Enjoy Thai Cuisine at the Night Market

The Chiang Rai night market is home to a plethora of amazing food vendors serving up northern Thai classics such as Khao Soi, an exceptionally delicious curried noodle dish with a particular flavor that you won't find anywhere else. Eating at a Thai night market is one of the best things to do in Chiang Rai.

Chiang Rai's night market is quieter and more relaxed than any other Thai night market, making it ideal for stocking up on souvenirs. 

  • Address: Thanalai, Mueang Chiang Rai District, Chiang Rai
  •  Hours: Saturday from 4:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m.

Pay A Visit To Wat Phra Kaew

Wat Phra Kaew is undoubtedly Chiang Rai's most well-known historic temple. This lovely but small temple originally held the famed Emerald Buddha, which is currently kept at Bangkok's Grand Palace.

According to legend, the Emerald Buddha was hidden in a chedi (dome-shaped shrine) and discovered after being struck by lightning. Although the idol has been relocated to Bangkok, a duplicate may be found at Wat Phra Kaew in Chiang Rai. Even without the Emerald Buddha, Wat Phra Kaew is one of the best places to visit in Chiang Rai.

  • No Entry Fee
  • Address: 1 Trairat Rd., Wiang, Mueang Chiang Rai District,
  • Hours: 9 a.m.–5 p.m.

Take a trip to Tree Top Adventure Park

At Chiang Rai's Mae Fah Luang Garden, take a treetop canopy walk 30 meters above the ground. Rope bridges, swings, and massive zip lines can all be found in stunning natural settings. The garden is located in the northern section of the Chiang Rai region, close to the Myanmar border; thus, it's a terrific site to combine with the list of best things to do in Chiang Rai, Thailand.

  • Address: Huai Khrai, Mae Sai District, Chiang Rai 
  • Tickets cost 150 Thai baht

Visit the Hall of Opium Museum to Learn About Its History

The Hall of Opium, located near the Golden Triangle, is a modest museum containing an exhibition about the opium trade. The Golden Triangle region was historically known for poppy growing as well as opium commerce and smuggling, and the Hall of Opium traces this history as well as the trade's negative impacts on the region. Visiting this museum in Thailand will be one of the best things to do in Chiang Rai

  • Address: Wiang, Chiang Saen District, Chiang Rai
  • Hours: 8:30 a.m.–5 p.m., Monday – Saturday
  • Pay an entry fee of 200 baht

Enjoy a trip to a Hill Tribe Village

Hill tribal settlements dot the hills and mountains surrounding Chiang Rai. Historically, these groups arrived in Thailand from Myanmar, and the ladies may wear metal rings around their necks. The village trip will be one of the best things to do on your Thailand vacation because you can connect with the locals and learn more about their culture.


Visit a Choui Fong Tea Plantation to sample the local organic tea

Choui Fong Corporation is Chiang Rai's largest tea provider, and its two estates are the ideal place to kick back and relax while sipping a fresh cup of tea. The Mae Chan plantation is home to a modern restaurant, café, gift shop, and terrace with views of the 1 million square meters of tea fields.

It's without a doubt one of the top things to do in Chiang Rai!

  • Hours: 8:30 a.m.–5:30 p.m.
  • Entry: Free

Explore the Doi Tung Palace and Gardens

This is yet another excellent thing to do in Chiang Rai. Princess Srinagarindra, King Bhumibol's royal mother, had this Swiss Chalet-style palace constructed in 1987. It is open to the public, and tour guides are provided; however, photography is not permitted within.

The royal grounds include the Mae Fah Luang Garden, a stunning display of colorful flowers that stretched across 16,000 square meters.

  • Hours: 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
  • Pay an entry fee of 90 Baht.
  • Address: Mae Fa Luang District, Chiang Rai, 57240, Thailand

Take a Bath in a Warm Spring

The Chiang Rai region is home to a number of natural hot springs nestled in picturesque scenery. Huay Mak Lium Hot Spring, Pong Phra Bat Hot Spring, and Fang Hot Spring (albeit this one is about a 2-hour drive from Chiang Rai) are all worth a visit. One of the best things to do in Chiang Rai during the chilly winter months is to soak in a hot spring. 

  • Entry Fee: Depending on the season, admission ranges from 20 to 50 baht.

Sail the Mae Kok River

Thailand is famed for its longtail boats, so what better way to get from point A to point B? The 130-kilometer-long Mae Kok River flows from Chiang Mai to Chiang Rai and up to Tha Thorn in Northern Thailand. A long-tail boat may be rented at the Chiang Rai port. Prices vary depending on how far along the river you want to go and what you want to see. Sailing the long-tail boats is one of the best things to do in Thailand.


Don't Miss The Views From The Golden Triangle

The border between Thailand, Myanmar, and Laos is about an hour north of Chiang Rai.

 The Golden Triangle is unquestionably famous among travelers. However, if you have a local taxi driver, he may be able to take you up to a higher perspective with fewer people and better views.

Another must do things in Chiang Rai is to go on a tour that includes the White Temple and the Golden Triangle.


Travel to Laos on the Slow Boat

To enjoy the slow boat from Thailand to Luang Prabang, first, take a bus from Chiang Rai to the border, then board a boat that sails along the Mekong River to Luang Prabang. The trip takes two days, including a stopover at the halfway point. Taking a slow boat is one of the best things to do in Chiang Rai for a relaxed vacation.


Go Waterfall Chasing

Chiang Rai, surrounded by lakes and mountains, is an excellent location for waterfall chasing. Don't miss the Khun Korn Waterfall, the highest in the region at 70 meters and one of the top things to do in Chiang Rai.

It's about a 30-minute walk through the forest to the base of the waterfall, where you can swim. Bring comfortable walking shoes and swimming gear, as well as waterproof gear to protect your phone and camera from the spray.

  • Address: Highway 1208, Mueang Chiang Rai, Thailand

Visit Singha Park to Get Close to Nature

Singha Park is a lovely park in the Chiang Rai countryside, with a working farm in parts of it. The Singha Beer Company owns it, although the emphasis is on nature and sustainability rather than drinking. Walking and cycling paths, tea plantations, fruit orchards, zip lining, and an adventure rope course are all available.

  • Address: Mueang Chiang Rai District, Chiang Rai 57000, Thailand

Don’t Miss the Sunrise at Phu Chee Fah

It is definitely worth getting up at an unreasonable hour to see the sunrise and the clouds drift over the Laos border. The two-hour drive from Chiang Rai to the mountains is well worth it. and the hotel or hostel where you are staying may be able to help you arrange a trip to Phu Chee Fah. 

Although it is commonly overlooked by visitors to Northern Thailand, Chiang Rai is not to be missed on your Thailand itinerary. Some people visit Chiang Rai as a day trip from Chiang Mai, but we recommend staying for at least a few days to completely immerse yourself in the activities and natural beauty of this section of northern Thailand.

Explore temples, waterfalls, and native Thai cuisine in the Chiang Rai night bazaar. There are so many fantastic Chiang Rai attractions to keep you busy, so prepare for an incredible trip!

You can book your Thailand vacation package with PickYourTrail, as they let you customize all your Thailand tour itineraries based on your interests and preferences. Check out the Thailand packages and contact us anytime for an unforgettable, hassle-free trip.

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