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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 or Wat Rong Khun Chiang Rai

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

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 Suea Ten - Blue Temple Chiang Rai

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 (Baan Dam) Chiang Rai

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.
Wat Huay Pla Kung (Big Buddha) Chiang Rai

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

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....
Sunday Walking Street Chiang Rai

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.
Saturday Walking Street Chiang Rai

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
Elephant Valley Thailand Chiang Rai
My opinion :
This elephant sanctuary opened in 2016. It offers a truly respectful and responsible meeting with the elephants experience. You will not ride them, you will not wash them, you will not watch them do tricks to entertain you, you will just observe them live their elephant life at a reasonable distance. The goal of this park is to let elephants be elephants and that's why I recommend it.
Night Bazaar Chiang Rai

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 Pothiyan Chiang Rai

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 but from who I only have tested one or two of their offers (I then indicate (ad) below the photo). Feel free to give me feedback on these services to ensure that they are good quality otherwise I may remove it from the list.

See Sunset at White Temple with Heartmade Meal in a Farm Chiang Rai
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See Sunset at White Temple with Heartmade Meal in a Farm


Chiang Mai to Chiang Rai, we'll visit the fanciful Blue Temple, have organic lunch and Blue Latte at the farm restaurant Sawan Bon Din (Heaven on Earth), Black house, Singha Park and see the vanilla sunset (weather pemitting) at the White temple.

Doi Tung Royal Villa & White Temple with Signature Northern Meal Chiang Rai
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Doi Tung Royal Villa & White Temple with Signature Northern Meal


We'll start at White Temple, then let's have Northern Thai-style lunch at a local's favorite restaurant. After that, we'll go to Doi Tung Development Project, an area aimed to preserve nature and better the lives of local hill tribes. From flower garden to Tree Top Walk and visiting Akha people, Doi Tung Development Project is a great place to enjoy nature and learn about a local way of life.

Blue Temple, White Temple, Black House, Lotus Temple & Best Khao Soi  Chiang Rai
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Blue Temple, White Temple, Black House, Lotus Temple & Best Khao Soi


Visit some of most beautiful temples in the world, 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.

Discover White Temple & Choui Fong Tea Plantation in Chiang Rai Chiang Rai
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Discover White Temple & Choui Fong Tea Plantation in Chiang Rai


White Temple one of the most famous temple in Thailand, Blue Temple, Singha Park and visit the buildings that are attractive especially for architects at Choui Fong Tea Plantation. You can see panoramic view of mountains and tea plantation.

Places to see elsewhere in Thailand

Phang Nga Bay

Phang Nga Bay

one of the most beautiful natural scenery in Thailand with its limestone cliffs and mountains in a turquoise sea. The main attractions in the bay are the famous James Bond Island and Koh Panyee...


View details about Phang Nga Bay

Sunday Walking Street

Sunday Walking Street

This big night market takes place every Sunday night in the center of Chiang Mai including food stands in two temples. A popular ambience. We really suggest you to go even if you will not be alone !


View details about Sunday Walking Street

Wat Chalerm Phrakiat

Wat Chalerm Phrakiat

This temple perched on a mountain is not to be missed ! This will certainly be your most memorable visit you will do in Lampang Province. It is 1 hour drive (by car) from the city and not easy to...


View details about Wat Chalerm Phrakiat

Wat Pho

Wat Pho

Very pleasant in the late afternoon, just opposite to the Wat Phra Kaew, it is famous for its huge reclining Buddha.


View details about Wat Pho

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