Photo: Scenery surrounding Chiang Rai.

Things to see and do

Use the quick links below to jump to a particular section of our sights and activities coverage for Chiang Rai.

Temples


Wat Phra Kaew
Tri Rat Road across from Overbrooke Hospital.
T: (053) 711 385

Wat Phra Kaew is the most highly revered wat in Chiang Rai and, with its decent little museum and attractive grounds, probably also the most interesting to the casual visitor. ... Read more about Wat Phra Kaew .

Wat Phra Singh
Singhaklai Road
T: (053) 711 735

The conveniently placed Wat Phra Singh features what is said to be a classic Lanna-style hall as well as another prestigious Buddha image and is worth a visit if you’re in the ... Read more about Wat Phra Singh .

Wat Prathat Doi Chom Thong
Doi Thong Rd
T: (053) 716 055

According to Thai historians, there has been a stupa on the site of the low hill which is home to Wat Prathat Doi Chom Thong since the 10th century, when it was raised to hold a Buddha relic—hence the Prathat title—which makes the original chedi both pre-Thai and pre-Chiang Rai. ... Read more about Wat Prathat Doi Chom Thong .

Wat Rong Suea Ten
Thanon Maekok

In case Chiang Rai felt it was coming up a bit short in the unusual temple range then recently completed Wat Rong Suea—commonly known as the Blue temple—tops it up nicely. ... Read more about Wat Rong Suea Ten .

Wat Rong Khun
Ban Rong Khun
T: (053) 673 579

A visit to the famous White Temple, or Wat Rong Khun to give it its correct name, has become absolutely de rigeur for any visitor to Chiang Rai. Spectacular, spectacularly kitsch or just simply kitsch this highly ornate, all white, icing sugar temple certainly divides ... Read more about Wat Rong Khun .

Wat Huay Sai Khao
Highway 1, Phan District

Another entry into Chiang Rai’s highly unusual temple category is Phan district’s incredible Wat Huay Sai Khao. ... Read more about Wat Huay Sai Khao .

Wat Huay Pla Kung
553 Moo 3, Rimkok district
T: (089) 851 5127

A new entry on Chiang Rai’s growing list of unusual temples, the surreal Wat Huay Pla Kung certainly merits a ranking close to the top. ... Read more about Wat Huay Pla Kung .

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Museums


Oub Kham Museum
81/1 Nakai Rd
T: (053) 713 349

Oub Kham Museum was another of those sites where we moaned about the admission price but came out thoroughly glad we paid. It’s an amazing and priceless display; beautifully presented in a spectacular ... Read more about Oub Kham Museum .

Baan Dam
414 Moo 13, Ban Du district, north of Chiang Rai
T: (089) 767 4444

Another of Chiang Rai’s more extraordinary sites, in a town that’s blessed with several rather eccentric attractions, is the highly unusual Baan Dam. ... Read more about Baan Dam .

Hill Tribe Museum and Education Centre
620/25 Thanalai Rd (3rd floor)
T: (053) 740 088

The Hill Tribe Museum and Education Centre is a long-standing establishment dedicated to the culture of Chiang Rai and northern Thailand’s ethnic hill-tribe ... Read more about Hill Tribe Museum and Education Centre .

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Markets


Chiang Rai Night Bazaar
Off Phaholyothin Rd, Chiang Rai

Despite covering a fraction of the area of Chiang Mai’s vast Night Bazaar, Chiang Rai’s evening street market makes up for its small size with a lively and friendly atmosphere and plenty of good ... Read more about Chiang Rai Night Bazaar .

Municipal market
Main entrance on Thanalai Rd, and rear on Uttarakit Rd

Chiang Rai’s extensive Municipal Market is one of the North’s better and livelier provincial efforts and with a maze of crowded, narrow alleyways packed from floor to ceiling with goods of every description is probably as close as you’ll get to a Moroccan souk in northern Thailand. ... Read more about Municipal market .

Chiang Rai walking street markets

If your calendar hasn’t permitted a visit to either Chiang Mai’s Saturday or Sunday street markets never fear: Chiang Rai also has a couple of good walking street markets. ... Read more about Chiang Rai walking street markets .

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Cooking classes


Cooking classes

If you haven't yet signed up for a course in Chiang Mai, Pai or elsewhere then a cooking class in Chiang Rai may be your last chance to put into practice some Thai cookery (as opposed to Lao cookery classes in for example Luang Prabang) before you head off on a slow boat down the Mekong. ... Read more about Cooking classes .

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Hiking, walking tours and itineraries


Chiang Rai City walking tour

Since you’ll have noticed “worth a peek if you’re passing” seems to be a frequent description of our itemised city sight descriptions then combining as many as possible into a join-the-dots walking tour could be the perfect solution. ... Read more about Chiang Rai City walking tour .

Trekking from Chiang Rai

As Chiang Rai Province has less mountain and forest cover than Mae Hong Son or Chiang Mai, trekking possibilities are correspondingly somewhat more limited. ... Read more about Trekking from Chiang Rai .

Kok Valley cycling tour

Perhaps better referred to as “Up the Kok Without a Paddle”, this day tour up the left bank of the Kok River and returning to Chiang Rai by the right bank involves no boats at all and is eminently suitable for cycling or, for the less energetic, motorbiking. ... Read more about Kok Valley cycling tour .

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Day trips


Elephant Valley
Phaholyothin Rd
T: (095) 452 1974

The original Elephant Valley Project was established in Cambodia's remote Mondulkiri Province with the aim of rescuing working elephants and providing a stress and gimmick-free environment where tourists can interact and learn about the indigenous pachyderms without the usual trappings of shows and ... Read more about Elephant Valley .

Doi Tung
Doi Tung, Mae Fah Luang District
T: (053) 767 0157

Chiang Rai’s spectacular Doi Tung Range stretches from Mae Fah Luang in the south up to Mae Sai district in the north, with the Burmese border demarcating the mountains’ western slopes. ... Read more about Doi Tung .

Shorter Mae Salong loop

Wonderful scenery, varied sites and relatively easy riding make this short version of the Mae Salong loop through the mountains of western Chiang Rai a great trip if you have a couple of days to ... Read more about Shorter Mae Salong loop .

Motorcycling the Chiang Rai loop

The vast majority of the roads in northern Thailand are paved and 99 times out of a 100 a Honda Dream will be more than sufficient (as long as you don’t mind the occasion sections spent permanently in first gear). A very interesting and little trafficked route is the Chiang Rai Loop—a fun and beautiful ride with dozens of kilometres of stunning scenery and next to no ... Read more about Motorcycling the Chiang Rai loop .

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Where to next?

Where are you planning on heading to after Chiang Rai? Here are some spots commonly visited from here, or click here to see a full destination list for Thailand.


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