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Places to visit in Chiang Rai

Home > Destinations in Thailand > To visit in Chiang Rai

What to see in Chiang Rai

The most famous temple in Chiang Rai is undoubtedly the White Temple or Wat Rong Khun. This is one of the most famous and probably the most surprising temple Thailand! It is located a few kilometers out of Chiang Rai. But in the city, there are also very beautiful temples. Wat Phra Kaew and its magnificent Buddha in front of the red and gold background of the main wihaan or Wat Ched Yod and its slimmer statue or Wat Phra Singh and its beautiful roofs, you will have the choice ! And out of the city, in the mountains, you have plenty of beautiful spots to discover like Doi Chang and its coffee plantations, Doi Tung with its floral park and the royal villa mix between a Swiss chalet and a Lanna house, large tea plantations, some amazing temples and the Golden Triangle. There is also a recent temple with a huge statue of Guan-Im often mistakenly called the Chiang Rai Big Buddha (while it is not a Buddha). There are plenty of places to visit in and around Chiang Rai.
I also listed at the end of the page some good tours, excursions and activities that you can do in Chiang Rai or from Chiang Rai. Click here to see them.

Must-visits in Chiang Rai

white-temple-chiang-rai.jpg

White Temple or Wat Rong Khun

วัดร่องขุ่น
My opinion :
This temple is different from those we are used to cross in Thailand with their gilding and strong colors. Wat Rong Khun is completely white. It is located 13 km in the South of Chiang Rai at the intersection of highway to Chiang Mai and highway to Phayao.
wat-phra-kaew-chiang-rai.jpg

Wat Phra Kaew

วัดพระแก้ว
My opinion :
In Lanna style, it housed the statue of Emerald that now is in Wat Phra Keo in Bangkok and has a copy of it.
wat-rong-seua-ten.jpg

Wat Rong Suea Ten - Blue Temple

วัดร่องเสือเต้น
My opinion :
Wat Rong Seua Ten is also known as the blue temple because it is its dominant color. A little outside Chiang Rai city, its interior with a magnificent white Buddha is just magnificent. Still little known by tourists because very recent, its popularity will certainly go growing very fast !
black-house-chiang-rai.jpg

Black House (Baan Dam)

บ้านดำ
My opinion :
As the name suggests it is a black house, actuallly several houses built by a Thai artist. It is probably the second best known place in Chiang Rai (it is a few kilometers outside the city) although its decoration consisting of skeletons and skulls of animals can disturb some visitors.
chiang-rai-wat-huai-pla-kung.jpg

Wat Huay Pla Kung (Big Buddha)

วัดห้วยปลากั้ง
My opinion :
The temple is often mistakenly called Chiang Rai's Big Buddha, but its impressive white statue does not represent Lord Buddha, but Guan Yin, the goddess of Mercy. TAnyway, this recent temple, partly still under construction, worths a visit ! Located a few kilometers from the city, it is really beautiful!
doi-chang-chiang-rai.jpg

Doi Chang

ดอยช้าง
My opinion :
This mountain offers beautiful sceneries and is known throughout Thailand for its coffee, the most famous and most delicious coffee in Thailand. Going up there, you can meet the hill tribes that grow the coffee plant and see the whole process of its transformation and of course enjoy great views, or maybe discover some surprises....
chiang-rai-sunday-walking-street.jpg

Sunday Walking Street

สันโค้งถนนคนม่วน
My opinion :
This big night market, set up in a street in the center of Chiang Rai becoming pedestrian for the occasion, is one of the things I love the most about Thailand. It is a funny and friendly place for shopping but also and above all to come for dinner and discover the Thai Street Food, one of the best and most tasteful in the world.
chiang-rai-saturday-walking-street.jpg

Saturday Walking Street

ถนนคนเดินเชียงราย
My opinion :
Another big night market that settles in a street in the center of Chiang Rai beoming pedestrian to accommodate for a few hours vendors of all kinds (clothes, souvenirs, vegetables, artcrafts) and of course many Street food stalls
chiang-rai-night-bazaar.jpg

Night Bazaar

ไนท์บาซาร์
My opinion :
This night market takes place every night in Chiang Rai city right next to the Bus Terminal Number 1. You can certainly do a little shopping there but it is especially to come have dinner for cheap in a simple and typical atmosphere that I recommend it.
wat-saeng-kaew-chiang-rai.jpg

Wat Saeng Kaew Pothiyan

วัดแสงแก้วโพธิญาณ
My opinion :
This recent temple, its construction started in 2006, is about 50 kilometers from Chiang Rai city. It clearly worths the detour as it is certainly one of the most beautiful and impressive temples in the province.
Find a room in Chiang Rai

Other visits suggestions in Chiang Rai

  • Oub Kham Museum
    2 km from downtown, this renowned museum of Chiang Rai has an impressive collection of artifacts of Lanna Kingdom.
  • Doi Mae Salong
    This other mountain in Chiang Rai province is first and foremost famous for its tea production and for the pagoda built as a tribute to the princess mother of King Rama 9. Visitors come for the freshness, the magnificent views and see the tea process (plantations, picking , roasting ...)
  • Doi Mae Salong
    This other mountain in Chiang Rai province is first and foremost famous for its tea production and for the pagoda built as a tribute to the princess mother of King Rama 9. Visitors come for the freshness, the magnificent views and see the tea process (plantations, picking , roasting ...)
  • Doi Mae Salong
    This other mountain in Chiang Rai province is first and foremost famous for its tea production and for the pagoda built as a tribute to the princess mother of King Rama 9. Visitors come for the freshness, the magnificent views and see the tea process (plantations, picking , roasting ...)

Tours in Chiang Rai and around

This selection includes tours, excursions and activities that I have personally tested or were tested by people I fully trust but also offers by recognized agencies or websites known for their seriousness and quality.

visit chiang rai with bee a licensed thai guide
Bee licensed guide

Visit Chiang Rai with Bee a licensed Thai guide

Offered in Englishenglish guide
Visit Chiang Rai with Bee, a Thai licensed guide guide who speaks good English. She will bring you to discover all the facets of Chiang Rai province. The detailed program of your visits will be established by discussing with her based on her suggestions, your tastes, and desires. Bee will also take care of booking a minivan with driver to offer you a complete service.

2-day 1-night trekking in chiang rai mountains
Lanna Cultural Tours

2-Day 1-Night Trekking in Chiang Rai mountains

Offered in Englishenglish guide
Go on a trek to discover the beautiful landscapes Chiang Rai mountains, meet the Karen, spend the evening and sleep in a Lahu village, swim in a waterfall... Enjoy Northern Thailand nature for 2 days and one night!

1-day trekking in chiang rai mountains
Lanna Cultural Tours

1-Day Trekking in Chiang Rai mountains

Offered in Englishenglish guide
Let's trek for 1 day in Chiang Rai mountains to 2 hill tribes villages and a waterfall with a local guide.

3-day 2-night trekking in chiang rai mountains
Lanna Cultural Tours

3-Day 2-Night Trekking in Chiang Rai mountains

Offered in Englishenglish guide
Go on a 3-day trek to discover Chiang Rai mountains and forests, sleep in a Lahu village, camp under the stars, swim in a waterfall and wake up in an incredible setting!

chiang rai famous temples from chiang mai
TakeMeTour

Chiang Rai famous temples from Chiang Mai

Offered in Englishenglish guide
Visit the most beautiful temples in Chiang Rai : one all white and one all blue! We'll also go to the unique Black House museum, also the lotus temple unseen in Thailand and have one of the best Khao Soi in Chiang Rai for lunch.

countryside cycling in chiang rai with northern- and northeastern-style lunch
TakeMeTour

Countryside Cycling in Chiang Rai with Northern- and Northeastern-Style Lunch

Offered in Englishenglish guide
Let's bike around my village and enjoy the countryside charms of Chiang Rai. You'll see local farms and temple, as well as mountain views. Then we'll have delicious Northern and Northeastern Thai lunch at a local favorites' restaurant. They serve one of the best Larb (Spicy Minced Pork Salad) in Chiang Rai.

Places to see elsewhere in Thailand

Damnoen Saduak Floating Market

damnoen saduak floating market

Probably the most famous and visited floating markets, it is still nice to see ,early in the morning especially


View details about Damnoen Saduak Floating Market

Sticky Waterfall (Bua Thong waterfall)

sticky waterfall  (bua thong waterfall)

The Bua Thong waterfall, a 1-hour drive from Chiang Mai city is nicknamed Sticky Waterfall because of its naturally gripping coating which allows you to climb it by its bed very easily. That's also...


View details about Sticky Waterfall (Bua Thong waterfall)

Wat Phumin

wat phumin

It is the most important temple in Nan? It houses murals among the most beautiful in Thailand and probably the most famous mural painting in the country that also became the emblem of Nan city. A...


View details about Wat Phumin

Sri Sungwan Waterfall

sri sungwan waterfall

This waterfall about twenty kilometers from Chiang Dao is not the most impressive in Thailand but is very pretty just like all its surroundings. You can swim there for a refreshing bath. On the...


View details about Sri Sungwan Waterfall

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