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Chiang Rai

Chiang Rai (Thailand)

Practical information on Chiang Rai

  • Family
  • Mountain
  • Place or Religious Monument
  • Museums
4 / 5 - 3 reviews

Reviews of Chiang Rai

Simon Hoffmann Seasoned Traveller
185 written opinions

Chiang Rai is the largest city in the extreme north of Thailand. Located close to the borders with Burma and Laos, the city serves as the point of departure for numerous excursions in the Golden Triangle.

My suggestion:
Once night falls, head for Chiang Rai's central square to enjoy local dishes whilst watching concerts and dancing (more or less traditional in style). On the menu: pad Thai, fried chicken, shrimp, etc.
My review

The city itself has nothing particularly out of the ordinary to offer. It spreads out around a main central artery along which a number of shops, restaurants and bars are to be found. Not far from the bus station lies the central square where the Night Bazaar is held. Here you can enjoy delicious rotis (a kind of pancake), kebabs, Thai-style fondues or even crispy crickets. The choice is yours.

If you like visiting unusual places, an essential thing to do if you go to Chiang Rai, in my opinion, is to visit and explore the Wat Rong Khun, or "White Temple" as it's also known, 13 kilometers south of the city. Created by a Thai artist who wanted to pay homage to the king, this religious building, which looks unlike any other, is meant to represent the Buddhist paradise. I don't know whether it does resemble that or not, but I can confirm that this extraordinary temple will not leave you indifferent!

Romain Beuvart Seasoned Traveller
89 written opinions

This town at the northern limits of Thailand is the departure point for visiting the Golden Triangle, which marks the border between Thailand, Myanmar and Laos.

My suggestion:
Rent a bike to really experience the calmness of the town around the market.
My review
The main attraction of Chiang Raiis still without doubt the White Temple, the slightly crazy work of a Thai artist that I was lucky enough to meet. A few kilometers from the town, it is the result of 20 years work, which was unfortunately damaged by the recent earthquake in the region. It's still possible to visit it, and especially to see the interior frescoes with their unique mix of Thai mythology and American super heroes (you need to see it to believe it!)

Apart from this temple,  you can also see Wat Phra Kaeo in Chiang Rai. Does the name mean something to you? That's normal because it's where the little emerald colored Buddha that gave it's name to the famous temple in Bangkok, was found. Chiang Rai is an alternative base camp to Chaing Mai for trekking fans. I suggest you visit the Hill Tribe Museum to learn about the different mountain people you are going to meet in the area. 
Emmanuelle Bluman Seasoned Traveller
157 written opinions

Chiang Rai is a town perched in the mountains in the northern part of the country, near the border between Laos and Myanmar and the famous Golden Triangle. 

My suggestion:
Chiang Rai is a good starting point for going for a hike in the mountains and seeing the most remote villages. 
My review

After staying several days in Chiang Mai, which is a very nice town, Chiang Rai was the next step. From there, had to go trekking in the mountains for 2 days, spending a night in a traditional village. 

The guide came to pick us up in the morning in Chiang Rai and after a short drive dropped us off at the foot of a little trail. It started to rain while we were walking in the middle of the forest, and we spent 4 hours in the rain before reaching the village. Fortunately, the rain is warm there! This trek was a great experience on the human level. We took a little more time to meet the locals by spending the evening in their village.

There are also some very beautiful temples to see, as in all the rest of Thailand, and the most impressive one was the white temple of Wat Rong Khun.

Tours and travel ideas Chiang Rai

  • Highlights
Northern Adventure For Families
Length 9 days Approx. $1,860
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