Chiang Rai Holidays
Often overlooked in favour of its neighbour Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai holds its own charm. Boasting jungle treks, temples, and a fascinating history, Chiang Rai is worth a venture.
Things to Do in Chiang Rai
- Like her big sister Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai is a great base for exploring the surrounding jungles and visiting the local hill tribes. If you really want to experience ethnic Thai culture a homestay is more than recommended.
- Wat Rong Kun, or White Temple, is one of the most intricately beautiful buildings in Thailand. Designed entirely by Thai artist Chalermchai Kositpipat, the work he put in becomes obvious the closer you get.
- Located about an hour from the city, the Hall of Opium museum delves into Chiang Rai's fascinating past as a major opium producer in the Golden Triangle.
- Our favourite Chiang Rai haunt, Cat Bar has a laid-back atmosphere, vintage rock music, free pool, and two lovely owners.
- Many of the hill tribes surrounding Chiang Rai sell their crafts at the Night Market – usually on the Saturday – making this a great way to support these ethnic groups while getting something nice for yourself.
Best Time to Visit
May-Sep: It's generally quite warm all year in Chiang Rai, but this would be the best time to avoid the heavy rain. Cool season runs from November to February, hot season runs from March to May, while monsoon season runs from June to October.
Visit late December/early January and watch the Saun Mai Ngam Park transform into a rainbow of flowers and flower figurines at the Chiang Rai Flower Festival.
Why We Love It“Chiang Rai is basically a smaller Chiang Mai, but it's still worth a visit. It's so laidback and the markets are great for picking up some souvenirs”.
Mary Dargan, Sales Executive