10 must-see places in Chiang Rai


This list of the best places to see in Chiang Rai It will help you to organize the visit to one of the most amazing cities in Thailand, which we are sure, will not leave you indifferent.
Located in the northern part of Thailand, Ching Rai has nothing to envy to its much visited Chiang Mai neighbor, standing out for its beautiful temples scattered throughout the city and surroundings, as well as for one of the best gastronomic offers in the country.
Although in 2 or 3 days you can know all its points of interest and enjoy the city with peace of mind, if you have more time we recommend you to make an excursion such as the Golden Triangle or Mae Salong, where you will enjoy the spectacular landscapes Mountain in this area.
Another option is to go on a day trip from Chiang Mai, which although it is not long, it will allow you to get an idea of ​​the city.

To get to Chiang Rai from Chiang Mai the best option is to take a bus from the Green Bus company that takes about 3 hours and from Bangkok, it would be best to opt for some direct flights to Chiang Rai airport.
In case of opting for the bus in any of the routes, we advise you to book it in advance on the 12Go platform to secure the place in the day and time you need.

Based on the experience of the four days we spent in the city, during which we wrote this travel guide to Thailand, we have prepared this list of those we believe are the 10 essential places to visit in Chiang Rai. We start!

1. White Temple

The White Temple or Wat Rong Khun is one of the wonders to visit in Thailand and one of the places to see in Chiang RaI prettier.
This modern temple, its construction began in 1996 and still continues, impresses with its architecture and originality, which have turned it into a unique space throughout the world as well as one of the most visited places in the country, so if you are going to visit it, something important is to arrive early in the morning or last, if you want to visit without many people.

Some of the most prominent elements of this temple, completely painted white, are the lake in front, which in sunny days, completely reflects the image of the temple, the Bridge of Reincarnation, the Gate of Heaven, the Ubusot, which is the central part, and the house of gold.
Considered by many as an unconventional place, this Buddhist and Hindu temple, surprises with the mixture of traditional style with the most surrealist, in which even mosaics in which comics and current events appear.
In addition to the temple itself, it is worth taking a walk around to see various structures and sculptures that maintain the style of the creator of the White Temple, such as the original washbasins, which are located in a yellow building and the museum.

To reach this temple located about 15 kilometers from Chiang Rai you can take a van at the bus station for a price of 30 baths per person.
Another option is to use Grab, the Uber of Asia, or a taxi, which will cost you about 200TH the journey.
Visiting hours: Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday close half an hour later.

2. Blue Temple

The Blue Temple or Wat Rong Seua Ten, is next to the White Temple, our favorite city temple and another of the essential places to visit in Chiang Rai. This original temple, dedicated to the cult of Buddha, surprises with the intense blue color that predominates throughout the building and makes it another unique temple. Although it was built in 2005, the temple was not open to the public until 2016 and soon became one of the most visited temples and a claim for tourists looking for a perfect photo to post on Instagram.
Its most impressive place is the central building or Ubosot, decorated to the smallest detail with paintings and sculptures and that keeps a white Buddha 6 meters high to which the erect white Buddha is added, located at the back of the temple, which you We recommend not to get lost.
Other highlights of the enclosure are the two huge sculptures called Nagas that protect the entrance, a platform that serves as a viewpoint to the left of the entrance and the original fountain in front of the temple.

Keep in mind that it is a very popular temple among tourists and locals, so if you want to visit or take a picture without anyone, it is best to go at dawn or from 7 in the afternoon, when practically not there is no one.

To get to the Blue Temple, located about 3 kilometers from the city center, the best option is to take a tuk tuk for about 50THB. Another option is to walk, although the lack of sidewalk and you have to do a good piece of walking on the road, it does not recommend it.
Another very common way to visit all the surrounding temples is by renting a motorcycle, a highly recommended option but always being careful with driving and carrying the corresponding license.

The official schedule of the temple is impossible to locate and although in some blog we have read that it opens at 8 in the morning, from our experience we can confirm that before this time it is already open. As far as we could tell, once there, we believe that they close at 20-21h and open at dawn.

The Golden Triangle

10. Mae Salong

Mae Salong is a town located in northern Thailand, which is located in a beautiful mountainous natural environment full of tea plantations. This last recommended place from the list of places to see in Chiang Rai and surroundings, it has the peculiarity that the majority of its inhabitants are Chinese and tribal descendants of the Akha ethnic group. In addition to touring the factories and tea fields, in this area you can visit the mausoleum of General Tuan Shin, the Akha market of Mae Salong, the impressive Phra Chedi Boromathat temple and the Chinese Martyrs Memorial Museum.

You can get to Mae Salong from Chiang Rai by motorcycle in less than two hours although another option is to take the bus (platform 5) to Mae Sai, get off at the Pasang / Mae Salong stop and from there take a blue shared van to Mae Salong . In case of taking any bus in Thailand it is always better to talk with the driver to tell him where you want to go and thus ensure that he warns you if you should get off at an intermediate stop.

Map of the best places to visit in Chiang Rai

If you feel like helping us complete the list of the 10 places to see in Chiang Rai essential, add yours in the comments.