Places to Visit in Chiang Rai

When you travel to Chiang Rai, you will love to visit popular tourist spots and enjoy the local culture. Amongst other Things to do in Chiang Rai, you can surely explore some of the best things to do in Chiang Rai to make your trip a fulfilling one. On a trip to Chiang Rai things to do can include exploring Chiang Rai attractions and visiting the places of interest.

This small district, located 53 kms east of Chiang Saen, on the bank of the Mekong River, is at its most beautiful from December to February. From catching the elusive catfish in Ban Hat Khrai to visiting the indigenous Thai Lue community in Ban Hat Bai, this district is an absolute must-visit location for any traveller. 

If you’re looking for breathtaking scenery like mist-laden mountains, this is the place you want to visit. It is home to the beautiful Mt. Phu Chi Fa with its charming flowers in full bloom and the Doi Pha Tang which offers you the best view of Thai and Lao rural areas. Wiangkaen is a gold-mine when it comes to scenic beauty.

This is a bronze statue is located at the starting point of Highway 10, in the heart of the town. Tourists flock to this statue to pay their respect to the founder of Chiang Rai and also to have their pictures taken as souvenirs.

Built long ago in 1432, this ancient temple is the best witness to the changing times of Thailand. It also houses contemporary Lanna Thai art dating over 500 years. Geographical survey found that this temple is located at the absolute centre of the city. The temple was well known for a great Red Sandal Wood tree, hence it was also called “Wat Chan Lok” (Chan is Thai for Red Sandal wood). However, a heavy storm in 1903 felled the tree. Today there is a stupa built where the great tree once stood tall.

Located 30 kms south of Chiang Rai town, along route 1211, this is the province’s highest and most beautiful waterfall. It is also an excellent spot for those who like to go trekking.

This large scenic park, situated behind Ratchapat Institute on the Chiang Rai – Mae Chan highway, is ideal for relaxation. Packed with botanical gardens, palm and bamboo gardens and a big lotus pond, this place will definitely help you relax.

Mountain Biking: To truly appreciate and comprehend the scenery of beautiful Chiang Rai you absolutely need to hop on a mountain bike and take it for a spin to enjoy amazing views of the Mekong River, tropical forests and Myanmar.

River Rafting along the Mae Kok river: When you go river rafting on of Thailand’s most pristine rivers, you can take in the beauty of scintillating scenery comprising lush green forests and mountains cliffs.

Trekking: Being an area that boasts of an incredible array of mountains and hill tribes, Chiang Rai is automatically a place really suitable to go on treks. Many travel agencies offer trekking packages with experienced and competent guides. Trekking alone is risky and is not advised, even if you carry a map with you.

Golfing: There are many sports and activities that Chiang Rai has to offer. One of the most relaxing ones is the ever popular sport of golf. There are new golf courses in this province and this relaxing sport is something that will make your vacation an even better one. 

Elephant Riding: This activity is perhaps the most enjoyable experiences you can have in Chiang Rai. Apart from it being a chance to experience something really rare, it is also one of the best ways to explore the forest. You should definitely not miss out on this!

As is expected on a trip to Northern Thailand, exquisite food plays a crucial role during your stay. Chiang Rai’s cultural wealth is reflected in its rich gastronomical heritage too. Chiang Rai’s cuisine is not only influenced by Thai cuisine, but also by cuisines from neighbouring states of Myanmar, China and also Laos. Visitors should definitely try the iconic dishes like the sumptuous Khan Khanoon (spicy jack-fruit curry) served with sticky rice and spicy pork sausage known as sai ooa . A Thai dinner does get more traditional than a Khan Toke dinner, which features a variety of dishes served on a small round table. Visitors can experience a Khan Toke dinner in most restaurants in Chiang Rai.

Given below are some of the best known restaurants specializing in the cuisine that is authentic to Chiang Rai: 

  • Lung Eed
  • Loong It
  • Paa Suk
  • Phu-Lae
  • Cham Cha
  • Rosprasert Muslim Food
  • Nakhon Pathom
  • Nam NgiawPaaNuan (Fusion of Vietnamese and Northern Thai)
  • Khao Soi Phor Jai.

Around Wangcome Hotel and on Jet Yod Street you will find a number of bars and pubs. Instead of swanky and fancy nightclubs or discotheques you will find bars will pool tables and large screen televisions for watching sports. Some of the bars or pubs that you can visit are Cat Bar, Bar Lamyai, Easy House and Coconut’s Bar. Besides bars and pubs, one place that you will love to visit is the Night Bazaar. Here you will get handicrafts, silver jewellery, fashionable accessories, t-shirts, sneakers, etc. Be sure to bargain when you buy.

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