Chiang Rai | Chiang Rai Travel Guide

Unwittingly claimed a city overshadowed by its sister town Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai has fought its way up from humble beginnings to be parallel in standard to that of the city of Lanna but in a rustic, down-to-earth atmosphere. As it does not let vacation seekers outnumber Chiang Rai locals, the pulse here is getting slower and slower. Chiang Rai boasts winter flowers that come during winter season throughout November and December. The scent of newly bloomed plant species genuinely defines decent quality of a breath of fresh air.

singha park in Chiang rai

Thankfully to its geography on Thailand’s northernmost province which divided from its neighboring territory Myanmar, Chiang Rai absorbs the cool year-round weather from the northeast monsoon better than anywhere else in Thailand. An abundance of verdant hills, flower gardens, and mountain breeze justify Chiang Rai travel guide as the most-wanted one. Chiang Rai’s urban though does not live up to hustle and bustle that Chiang Mai always has, the people simply retain simplicity that most of the bigger cities do not have.


1.Wat Phra That Doi Chom Thong  & Wat Phra That Chedi Luang | Chiang Rai Travel Guide 

Chiang Mai has Wat Phra That Doi Suthep, Chiang Rai has Wat Phra That Doi Chom Thong as indispensable part for all pilgrims seeking a blessing and making merit. It is believed as Chiang Rai’s respectable temple with its legendary alongside the foundation of the city of Chiang Rai. To guarantee the originality, Wat Phra That Doi Jom Thong is a prototype of Lanna Bagan architecture gilded glowingly with gold.  

Wat Phra That Chedi Luang

Moving to the outskirt of Chiang San subdistrict, Wat Phra That Chedi Luang is one of the most awe-inspiring temples with its octagonal base modeled after Chiang Saen style. With its eye-catching pinnacle, Wat Phra That Chedi Luang is undoubtedly the tallest religious monument in Chiang Rai although it has long been existing since 1291. Adding this to the fact that it is accredited by UNESCO and the Japanese government, Wat Phra That Chedi Luang is classified as a must-visit in this Chiang Rai travel guide.


2.Kok River | Chiang Rai Travel Guide 

Kok river

The northern scenery of Chiang Rai is unbeatable. That’s why Chiang Rai travel guide must feature Kok River boat cruise as one of the things to do in Chiang Rai. Winding across the heart of Chiang Rai from Tha Ton, the Kok River is one of the most scenic and unspoiled streams that Chiang Rai folks live around. Cruising along the Kok River thus serves the ultimate experience in observing the locals at close as well as admiring the northern natural beauty.

Ruammit Elephant Camp by Kok river

Outside of sitting in a boat and looking at the view on both sides of the riverbank, boat trippers can choose to stop by hill tribe villages, visit Ruammit Elephant Camp or stay overnight at some of the local homestays. Whatever options you pick: public long-tail boat, a private charter or river tour package from agents, sailing along the Kok River makes sure that this is not a wasted vacation.


3.Phu Chi Fah & Doi Pha Tang | Chiang Rai Travel Guide 

Phu Chi Fah

At the northern edge of the country, the sea mist that’s rare elsewhere can be said to call Chiang Rai as their home sweet home. Phu Chi Fah is a proudly present for this Chiang Rai travel guide. Other than being the highest tip of Doi Pah Mhon which shares its border with Laos, Phu Chi Fah characterizes sea fog, a view of sunrise that shines upon the complex mountain range.

Doi Pha Tang in Chiang Rai

Extending your vacation by heading just few kilometers away from Phu Chi Fah to its sister tourist attraction in Chiang Rai. Doi Pha Tang is as amazing as one’s eye can see. Though it does not embrace that sea fog as Phu Chi Fah does, Doi Pha Tang is all about many verdant hills you can see as the farthest. Plus a side trip to Pha Bong Siam Gate, a natural door formed by two huge rocks offering a charming view of the lush green mountains on the other side of the Laos border. This Chiang Rai travel guide is simply to fulfill the need of energy refresh!


4.Phu Chi Dao | Chiang Rai Travel Guide 

Phu Chi Dao

Wondrous mountain ranges formation resembling a finger pointing at stars is Phu Chi Dao. Its meaning in Thai literally refers to pointing at stars in English. But whatever is the nickname, it depicts the 360 panorama with no objects obscured the beauty and its astounding scenery. In this Chiang Rai travel guide, it is not too much to ask for a place of sea of morning mist like Phu Chi Dao as for example.  

Phu Chi Dao in Chiang Rai

There is only small bamboo fence preventing you from touching the sky, however. Somehow it can’t help feeling the mountain breeze and the mist as a gift from nature once you reached the top. It seems that the toughness while traveling to Phu Chi Dao automatically screens  incomers to be a less-touristy viewing spot. Yet that’s the point why the less-known destination appeals more beauty.


5.Doi Chang | Chiang Rai Travel Guide 

Doi Chang

What better way to beat cool climate than sipping a fresh cup of hot coffee? This Chiang Rai travel guide features Doi Chang as a playground for all coffee lovers who wouldn’t hesitate to visit. Located at 1,000 meters above sea level, the year-round cool weather offers perfect conditions for Arabica coffee to flourish.  

Doi chang coffee

Coffee lovers are free to wander around the coffee plantation and admire healthy plots of coffee plants genuinely cared for by individual farmers’ families as well as other delicate produces such as macadamia, persimmon, plum and chestnut. If your visit is in between December to early January, blooming cherry blossoms await to welcome you with a unique photo opportunity. This aromatic journey in Doi Chang proves that heaven isn’t out of reach for all coffee lovers.


6.Golden Triangle | Chiang Rai Travel Guide 

golden triangle

Chiang Rai travel guide is not complete without setting foot in its iconic landmark, Golden Triangle. The triangular-shaped land was a result of a confluence of the two river: the Mekong and Ruak rivers. As part of forming the land barrier among three countries, it is recognizable to demarcate Thai, Laos and Myanmar. It makes sense to literally give its a title which reflects its configuration.

golden triangle in chiang rai

Standing on the Thai riverside, one can look across the river to behold Myanmar and Laos’ partial terrains. In the old days, the area was one of the most extensive opium-producing spots in the world, but since local authorities enforced an opium ban, it’s rather a picture-perfect scenery. The simple, self-sufficient lifestyle of its people is oddly attractive which can be witnessed at the local markets where Chiang Rai folks gather to sell fresh homegrown products.

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