Guide to Chiang Rai Attractions

As one of the most visited provinces in Northern Thailand, Chiang Rai is full of nature trails and cultural experiences. Here we give you a list of Chiang Rai’s attractions in the north, center, east and south of Chiang Rai. Read on to get an idea of where to visit in Chiang Rai!

1. North of Chiang Rai

1. Doi Tung Royal Villa and Mae Fah Luang Garden

Doi Tung Royal Villa was the former residence of Srinagarindra, the royal mother of the late Thai monarch; King Bhumibol Adulyadej. The villa stands high up on a hill.

Originally built as a summer residence for Srinagarindra, it now houses a museum and displays her works to improve the quality of life of local tribespeople. You are able to walk into the palace to see the royal bedroom and others. But cameras are not allowed while you are inside. The ‘Mae Fah Luang Garden’ is a botanical park on the slopes below the royal villa. Flowers and plants grow among rock formations scattered around the garden.

2. Golden Triangle/ Mekong River

The Golden Triangle is where Thai, Myanmar and Lao borders converge. You can see the river flowing through and trisecting the borders of the 3 counties. Historically the Golden Triangle has been an area well-known for the cultivation of opium.

3. House of Opium Museum

Not far from the Golden Triangle, you will see The House of Opium is everything you ever wanted to know about opium but never dared ask. The exhibit displays tools used to plant, harvest and trade opium, including pipes, scales, weights, knives, and scrapers. There are also lovely poppy flowers on display, the source of opium production. However nowadays, no opium is grown.

Check out the amazing places you can visit in the north of Chiang Mai below!

2. Center of Chiang Rai

1. Wat Rong Khun (White Temple)

Wat Rong Khun or ‘White Temple‘ is a Buddhist temple where you can see unique architecture and unconventional arts which were built and designed by contemporary artist Chalermcai Kosipipat. The use of the color white carries meaning and encourages visitors to reflect on Buddhist teachings that show the way to escape from the worldly temptations and desires, greed and to focus on the mind instead.

The highlight spot of this temple is the bridge of “the cycle of rebirth” which is also the symbol of this temple. Reflected in the sunlight, the temple shines due to the use of glass pieces as decorations. The White Temple is yet to be completed and is still undergoing construction, you can still go to witness the beauty of this temple.

2. Baan Dam (Black House)

Baan Dam or ‘Black House‘ is a collection of more than 40 houses in black color and various shapes, and also a collection of dead animal skins, bones, teeth, and taxidermy is displayed. This place is a museum, art studio and traditional house all in one, which is designed and styled like an actual temple with multiple buildings and structures. As the name ‘Baan Dam’ suggests, the general theme of this “house” is dark and mysterious.

3. Wat Rong Sear Tean (Blue Temple)

The Blue Temple (Wat Rong Sear Tean) is a blue colored temple, both the interior and exterior, with a painting style reminiscent of the artwork seen in The White Temple. The name of the temple, “Sear Tean”, translates literally into “dancing tiger” because legends say there were tigers that used to jump over the river.

The ordinary hall inside is even more spectacular with beautiful paintings and a huge white Buddha is in the center which you can truly marvel at, making this temple one of the most beautiful ones in Chiang Rai.

4. Long Neck Hill Tribe Village

There are many tribes who live in the hill’s far to the north of Thailand. The most famous tribe out of all of them are known as the ‘Long Neck Hill Tribe’. Visit their place to learn their culture of farming, camping, trekking or do other activities such as sightseeing and riding a cart pulled by a water buffalo.

5. Singha Park

A family-friendly attraction with a park, a huge tea plantation, strawberry farm, and cycling course. You can also rest in a cafe, a bakery, restaurants and more. This place holds numerous festivals every year, such as a Balloons festival or Bike Racing festivals.

Don’t you think there’s so many places to visit in the center? Why not have a closer look at them in the links below?

3. East of Chiang Rai

1. Phu Chi Fa

Phu Chi Fa is in a mountainous region and is a national forest park in Thailand. The name of this place translates to ‘The mountain that points to the sky.’ It is one of the best locations in the Thai mountainous regions to view the sunrise, and a glimpse of the ‘Sea of mist’ which is a view of the fog-surrounded mountains.

4. South of Chiang Rai

1. Chiang Rai Hot Spring Village

Also known as ‘Mae Khachan Hot Spring’, this place is considered the most beautiful hot spring in Thailand. Located in Wiang Pa Pao district, in the south-westernmost point of Chiang Rai. This district is less well known to foreign tourists. Amongst the locals and drivers who drive long distances, the hot spring is a popular rest stop. You can relax and recharge by dipping your feet into one of the hot springs and eating some boiled eggs.

You can even go on a private tour that takes you to the mentioned attractions, Check the link below!

Chiang Mai <-> Chiang Rai Transfer (Private Taxi)

And as always, don’t forget to check out for more updates on fantastic tours you could go to in Thailand!

Photo Credits

Pgmark1 (Flickr)

Official Facebook of Singha Park Chiang Rai

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