Are you traveling to Chiang Rai? Here’s a list of our favorite attractions and the top 10 things to do in Chiang Rai as a tourist!
Chiang Rai is one of the lesser-known destinations and is located in the northern part of the country. The atmosphere is more relaxed and genuine here compared to the southern tourist destinations, and it should definitely be included in your Thailand itinerary.
Chiang Rai’s night market is one of the city’s most visited attractions and is a must to visit during your stay. The night bazaar brings together both locals and tourists during the evenings for food, entertainment, and shopping. Here you can shop beautiful fabrics, souvenirs, handicrafts from the indigenous communities, and of course buy a whole bunch of different traditional dishes.
If you love to shop, then this is one of the top things to do in Chiang Rai for you!
For a couple of decades ago, it was here at the Golden Triangle that a large part of the world drug trade started, especially when it came to the cultivation and sale of opium and heroin. Nowadays, it’s prohibited to sell these drugs in Thailand, and strict actions have been done to put a stop to the drug trading.
In addition to the Golden Triangle, this place is also known for being the place where the three countries meet; Myanmar, Thailand, and Laos. From here, you can see all three countries at the same time!
Hill Tribe Villages
In the mountain areas around northern and western Thailand lives different tribes in a traditional way. They still wear their traditional costumes, speak their own language, and live by their own cultural rules.
In Thailand, one can visit five different tribes – Lahu, Long Neck, Akha, Hmong and Mien (Tao).
Doi Tung – Mae Fa Luang
Stunning natural areas surround Chiang Rai with different hiking trails and beautiful scenery. Doi Tung is also a home to several hill tribes living in the mountainous area. Here also lies the Doi Tung Royal Villa, the former residence of Thailand’s king’s mother (the current king’s mother). At the Doi Tung Royal Villa, one can enjoy lush gardens and a beautiful environment.
Mae Sai is a border town in northern Thailand that links Thailand together with Burma (Myanmar). Here there’s an ongoing daily trade between Burma and Thailand, but also between the locals and tourists who come here to shop.
In Mae Sai, there are great shopping with good chances to buy great finds if you’re good at bargaining. The range consists mostly of souvenirs, handicrafts, clothing and technical gadgets.
Choui Foung Tea Plantage
In Northern Thailand, there are also a variety of tea plantations to explore. Choui Foung is the most picturesque Tea Plantage and offers fantastic views. Doi Mae Salong is a nearby tea plantation, which is quite common to visit during guided tours. But if it’s possible, try to replace Doi Mae Salong to Choi Foung when you book your tour!
Right in the center of Chiang Rai lies a clock tower covered in gold. A beautiful work of art that comes to life every evening at seven-, eight- and nine o’clock. When the clock strikes at any of these times, the clock tower invites you to a fantastic show with both light and music.
Definitely one of the best things to do in Chiang Rai!
In Chiang Rai, there are many temples, and many of them are located within the city – which makes it perfect to go temple hopping! Some of Chiang Rai’s most impressive temples include the Wat Phra Kaeo, Wat Phra Singh, Wat Jetyog, Wat Klang Wiang, Wat Phra That Doi Chom Thong and Wat Ming Muang.
Spa & Massage
Northern Thailand offers some of the world’s most affordable spa and massage treatments. So make sure to get a foot massage or a body massage for as little as $ 5 for an hour. The spa treatments keep a high standard to a low price (NOTE: that some treatments are to bleach the skin and make it whiter because it’s considered beautiful to be as pale as possible in Thailand).
The White Temple (Wat Rong Khun)
A relatively new temple compared to many other famous temples around Thailand. Although, the architecture is amazing, and if you’re in the Northern parts of Thailand, visiting this place is a must since it’s one of the best things to do in Chiang Rai.