15 Best Things To Do in Chiang Rai

Chiang Rai is that place which beckons budget travel and Thai authenticity at its best on fronts including everything from food, attractions to even accommodation. The plethora of places to visit in Chiang Rai will leave you spoiled for choice laying an eclectic array of interests. Also holding great significance as the closest base to Tourist Attractions in Chiang Rai that lie a little away from the city. Of all the things to do in Chiang Rai, natural beauty and history rule the roost as the main Chiang Rai points of interest. With that being said, here is a list of what must be on your itinerary of Chiang Rai, Mueang Chiang Rai District, Chiang Rai Province, Thailand.

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1. Dwell in the past at the Golden Triangle

Deriving its name from the confluence of three of Southeast Asia’s most important countries - Myanmar, Laos and Thailand, the Golden Triangle is one of the best things to do in Chiang Rai. Since these three countries lie adjacent to each other, the triangular confluence becomes very evident. If you want to experience this attraction at its vibrant best, visiting during the festival of Songkran is highly advisable. If you wish to avoid the crowd, the best time to visit Golden Triangle is early morning.

2. Catch a sunrise at the Phu Chi Fa Forest Park

Certain to turn out to be one of the most cherishing sunrises of your life, the Phu Chi Fa Forest Park is sure to mesmerize you with its natural beauty. To reach the summit of this park’s peak, you will have to hike a little, a hike which in itself is an experience you must behold. If you are a photography enthusiast this place holds great significance in accordance of natural beauty and geographical significance overlooking the Laos border. To get the best of this park, opt for a guided tour of Phu Chi Fa Forest Park.

3. Behold spiritual bliss at the Wat Phra Kaew

Counted among the oldest temples of Thailand, the Wat Phra Kaew is a third-common-class royal temple. Initially, just a temple, it was credited with the title of a royal temple in the year 1978, by the then King of Thailand. Holding great religious significance for being the grounds of the discovery of the Emerald Buddha, this attraction is indeed a must on every Chiang Rai itinerary. Being an important Buddhist institution, you will also witness various practices of monks here, an experience truly one of its kind.

4. Get awestruck at the Wat Rong Khun

The highlights of Chiang Rai tourism, the Wat Rong Khun is also known as the White Temple owing to its spectacular white architecture. You might think of this structure to be a temple, given its characteristic Thai temple or wat architecture, also bearing in the name, this attraction is essentially an art gallery! You will find some of the delightful works of art sprawling the genres of unconventional and contemporary. Its structure has drawn visitors from across the world, planning a Thailand vacation.

5. Soak in the outdoors of Chiang Rai at the Singha Park

One of the best places to spend the day in the glorious outdoors of Chiang Rai indulging in a wide array of activities, the Singha Park is a beautiful farm-like setting. This attraction features everything from orchards, nature trails, aromatic tea plantations to a petting zoo where you can get to interact with friendly animals. This also a lovely place to just spend the day in leisure and have good food and drinks like a beer that can be easily availed here.

6. Take a cruise over the Kok River

Also known as Mae Nam Kok, the Kok River and the scope of activities it offers is something that visitors to Chiang Rai don’t cease looking forward to. Originating in Burma, this river is popular for the beautiful cruise ride that covers the scenic area between the districts of Tha Ton and Chiang Rai. En route, there are several stops that one can make the most of to dive deep into the region’s impressive indigenous nature. Choose your pick from ferries, long tail boats or even chartered special boats to embark on this unique experience.

7. Get enlightened with tribal history of Thailand at the Oub Kham Museum

From jewelry to native costumes, the Oub Kham Museum is a wealth of history. Exhibiting a lovely array of articles and artefacts native to the northern part of Thailand. The objects are quirky enough to surprise you, what with things ranging from food tasters made of monkey bones to structures that will bewilder you with their lively features. Not to mention a beautiful layout that makes you wonder if you are having a time lapse of a sort. All this goodness it just rightly conceited in one area of the city, making you earn your visit there!

8. Fill yourself with insights at the Hill Tribe Museum And Education Center

Chiang Rai and its distinct location is one reason that justifies the diversity of the tribes here. Of the many, the six hill tribes prevalent in the Chiang Rai district are well-known for their rich, one of its kind culture and tradition. What you can look forward to here is an eclectic display of everything ranging from artifacts to tools that were used for various purposes back then. It is compact in size but definitely big on the experience!

9. Trace the evolution of narcotics at the House Of Opium

Lying just next to The Golden Triangle, the House of Opium is a tiny museum packed with a bunch of delights. It is no news how this region is the world’s largest of opium-producing countries, and that is exactly what the museum highlights. The display exhibits a wonderful array of various memorabilia and insightful paraphernalia which were used back in time as equipment of the trade. A whole lot of knives, scales, scrapers and weighing scales that will leave you surprised!

10. Explore the plethora of memorabilia at the Chiang Saen National Museum

Small in size, but big on the enlightenment factor the Chiang Saen National Museum is a must-visit if you are someone easily inspired by culture. The walls here hold great significance and give you an insight into the then fortifications of the region. Given its limited display, this attraction can be covered in a matter of few minutes so you can carry on with rest of the Chiang Rai points of interest. A sweet pleasure just walking around the campus of this museum.

11. Stroll back in time at the Ancient City Of Chiang Saen

Lying in the proximity of the Golden Triangle, the Ancient City Of Chiang Saen is well worth a visit if you would like a few moments of solace, strolling amidst historic walls, beautiful ruins, and objects that emphasize on the bygone era of the region. It is good enough to spend a few minutes, or more to your liking. Lots of photo opportunities too if you are fond of photography, however, you may have to choose carefully as most of the establishments here are now adorned with creepers and moss, nevertheless adding more beauty.

12. Embark on a spiritual retreat at the Wat Ming Muang Temple

There is no better way to explore the tranquility of Chiang Rai then embarking on an itinerary that covers its temples in all their glory. The Wat Ming Muang Temple is a small temple in the region of Tambon Wiang. With a construction dating back to the thirteenth century, this temple dons an intricate design unique to that period. With its recent renovation, the temple has been drawing several crowds. The highlight of this temple’s architecture is the Burmese architecture and design.

13. Spend an evening to cherish at the Chiang Rai Night Bazaar

Counted among the best things to do in Chiang Rai, the Chiang Rai Night Bazaar is one of the most sought-after places. This night bazaar is characterized by an eclectic array of food, drinks, shoppable items among other pomp and flair. Grab a beer and walk around the bazaar for an evening to easily turn out into a cherishing Chiang Rai evening. If you are looking to buy souvenirs, rest assured, you will find plenty here. Handicrafts are the most popular item picked up by many as souvenirs.

14. Dive deep into culture at the Mae Fah Luang Art And Cultural Park

A refreshing sight of lush gardens and intricately designed temples or wats as referred to locally is what you can look forward to at the Mae Fah Luang Art And Cultural Park. A wonderful combination of natural beauty, culture and spirituality, this attraction has a plethora of tropical plants. Along with all this, you will also get to see a good collection of contemporary art holding great historic significance. A lovely place to sit down and enjoy a picnic too, so carry some food along for a leisurely day.

15. Admire architecture and seek spirituality at the Wat Phra That Doi Tong

Of the many temples across Chiang Rai, the Wat Phra That Doi Tong too holds great significance for being one of the oldest and most important temples. Several locals come here to worship the idols inside who are known to especially cure health conditions and render peace. Strolling up here from the downtown can be a lovely experience overall. It has been a sacred site for a very long time in the region.

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Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Chiang Rai, Thailand

Must see places in Chiang Rai ranked on popularity. Here is the complete list of best attractions in Chiang Rai and point of interests to visit.

  1. Golden Triangle

    #1 of 73 Things To Do in Chiang Rai
    Golden Triangle

    Tags: View Point

    Address: Sob Ruak Village, Chiang Saen 57150, Thailand

    Timings: 24-hrs Details

    Golden Triangle is the famed border location from where you can see the boundaries of Thailand, Laos and Myanmar as they meet on the Mekong River. This point is of historic value as it was once suppos...Read more

  2. Phu Chi Fa Forest Park

    #2 of 73 Things To Do in Chiang Rai
    Phu Chi Fa Forest Park

    Tags: Outdoors, Park, View Point, Nature

    Address: Chiang Rai Province, Chiang Rai, Thailand

    Timings: 24-hrs Details

    Apart from the world famous temples for which Chiang Rai is famous for, this district also offers beautiful views of scenic landscapes. Visit Phu Chi Fa and you will experience the spectacular mountai...Read more

  3. Wat Phra Kaeo

    #3 of 73 Things To Do in Chiang Rai
    Wat Phra Kaeo

    Tags: Religious Site, Temple

    Address: Mueang Chiang Rai District, Chiang Rai, Thailand

    Timings: 07:00 am - 07:00 pm Details

    Wat Phra Kaeo is one of the oldest royal temples situated in Thailand. It is considered that this temple was built in the 14th century however, the structure that we see today is the one that had been...Read more

  4. Wat Rong Khun

    #4 of 73 Things To Do in Chiang Rai
    Wat Rong Khun

    Tags: Religious Site, Temple

    Address: Pa O Don Chai Road, A. Muang, Chiang Rai, 57000, Thailand

    Timings: 06:30 am - 06:00 pm Details

    Although considered to be bit odd, the Wat Rong Khun, or the White Temple, is considered to be one of the main attractions of not just Chiang Rai but the whole of Thailand. This Buddhist temple featur...Read more

  5. Singha Park

    #5 of 73 Things To Do in Chiang Rai
    Singha Park

    Tags: Outdoors, Park, Wildlife Park, View Point

    Address: 99 Moo 1, Mae Korn, Chiang Rai 57000, Thailand

    Timings: 24-hrs Details

    Singha Park is a huge park that belongs to Boon Rawd Brewery estate in Chiang Rai. Boon Rawd Brewery is Thailand’s biggest beer producer. This Park was originally developed to grow barley f...Read more

  6. Kok River

    #6 of 73 Things To Do in Chiang Rai
    Kok River

    Tags: View Point, River

    Address: Chaing Rai, Thailand

    Timings: 24-hrs Details

    The Kok River runs from Thathon in northern Chiang Mai to Chiang Rai City. In order to enjoy scenic views around this river, you can walk along its boundaries that have been developed well for the vis...Read more

  7. Oub Kham Museum

    #7 of 73 Things To Do in Chiang Rai
    Oub Kham Museum

    Tags: Specialty Museum

    Address: 81/1, Military Front Road, Robwiang, Chiang Rai 57000, Thailand

    Timings: 08:00 am - 06:00 pm Details

    Visit the Oub Kham Museum that exhibits thousands of rare Lanna items, as well as the artefacts of the Tai people from neighbouring countries. This museum was conceptualized by a retired teacher Julas...Read more

  8. Hill Tribe Museum And Education Center

    #8 of 73 Things To Do in Chiang Rai
    Hill Tribe Museum And Education Center

    Tags: Art And Culture, Arts And Crafts, Specialty Shop, Specialty Museum

    Address: 620/25 Thanalai Road | Population and Community Development Association, Chiang Rai 57000, Thailand

    Timings: 08:30 am - 06:00 pm Details

    Hill tribe Museum and Education Centre is run by a nonprofit organization called the Population and Community Development Association (PDA) with the intention of showcasing the culture of hill tribes ...Read more

  9. House Of Opium

    #9 of 73 Things To Do in Chiang Rai
    House Of Opium

    Tags: Museum, Park, View Point

    Address: 212 House of Opium (Museum), Wiang, Chiang Saen District, Chiang Rai 57150, Thailand

    Timings: 08:30 am - 04:00 pm Details

    If you are visiting the famous area of Golden Triangle that sees the intersection of borders of Thailand, Myanmar and Laos, then visit it’s House of Opium, a museum dedicated to the opium trade....Read more

  10. Chiangsaen National Museum

    #10 of 73 Things To Do in Chiang Rai
    Chiangsaen National Museum

    Tags: Museum, Specialty Museum, Sculpture

    Address: Chiang Saen District, Chiang Rai, Thailand

    Timings: 08:30 am - 04:30 pm Details

    Established in 1957, this museum offers a profound preview of the past of Chiang Saen town. The Museum features displays of excavated artefacts and ancient sculptures with inscriptions, locally made C...Read more

  11. Ancient City Of Chiang Saen

    #11 of 73 Things To Do in Chiang Rai
    Ancient City Of Chiang Saen

    Tags: Ancient Ruin, Historical Site, Architecture

    Address: Chiang Rai, Thailand

    Timings: 24-hrs Details

    Situated within the province of Chiang Rai, Chiang Saen is a small district and is also one of the oldest settlements in the Kingdom of Thailand. It is located along the Mekong River. This area i...Read more

  12. Wat Ming Mueang Temple

    #12 of 73 Things To Do in Chiang Rai
    Wat Ming Mueang Temple

    Tags: Religious Site, Temple

    Address: Mueang Chiang Rai District, Chiang Rai, Thailand

    Timings: 08:00 am - 04:30 pm Details

    Wat Ming Mueang temple was considered to be established by Chao Nang Talamae Sri, wife of King MengRai and daughter of a Burmese King from PhaKo city (Hong Sao Wadee). This temple was a personal templ...Read more

  13. Chiang Rai Night Bazaar

    #13 of 73 Things To Do in Chiang Rai
    Chiang Rai Night Bazaar

    Tags: Outdoors, Market, Street Market

    Address: Wiang, Mueang Chiang Rai District, Chiang Rai, Thailand

    Timings: 06:00 pm - 11:00 pm Details

    For an insider’s view into the culture of Chiang Rai, visit its night market that bustles with local items, cries and people. This bazaar is conveniently near the centre of town, a short walk fr...Read more

  14. Mae Fah Luang Art And Cultural Park

    #14 of 73 Things To Do in Chiang Rai
    Mae Fah Luang Art And Cultural Park

    Tags: Art And Culture, Performance, Architecture , Exhibition

    Address: Rai Mae Fah Luang, Rop Wiang, Mueang Chiang Rai District, Chiang Rai 57000, Thailand

    Timings: 08:30 am - 05:30 pm Details

    This cultural park is situated on the west of Chiang Rai City and serves as an art and cultural haven. This park houses lush green grounds and has welcomes people who wish to learn about the indigenou...Read more

  15. Wat Phra That Doi Tong

    #15 of 73 Things To Do in Chiang Rai
    Wat Phra That Doi Tong

    Tags: Religious Site, Temple, View Point

    Address: Doi Tung, Chiang Rai, Thailand

    Timings: 06:00 am - 07:00 pm Details

    Wat Phrathat Doi is located on the mountain top of Doi Tung (the highest in Chiang Rai) at Km. 17.5. This temple is considered to be the most important place of worship for Buddhists in the North. The...Read more

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