Things to do in
Chiang Rai

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Our most recommended things to do in Chiang Rai

From Chiang Mai: Chiang Rai Famous Temples Small Group Tour

1. From Chiang Mai: Chiang Rai Famous Temples Small Group Tour

Visit Chiang Mai’s sister city, Chiang Rai, on a 12-hour journey to visit 3 very different temples. Quirky, charming, and creative are words that could describe Chiang Rai. At the very least, this city is quite different from Chiang Mai, so join this trip to experience something quite new. Select the private option to have this experience with your friends and family only. Before you begin your tour, you’ll break up the long drive at the Mae Khachan Hot Springs to relax, dip your feet into steaming mineral water, have a snack, or walk around the gardens. Your first stop is the main attraction of the day: the White Temple. If you were expecting ancient ruins, then you might be surprised to find a modern architectural masterpiece designed and built by a local artist, Chaloemchai Khositphiphat. People say he spent over $40 million of his own money to create this unconventional art exhibit and through it, gain immortal life.   After exploring this Temple, head to the next stop, the Blue Wonder. Locally known as Wat Rong Seua Ten, this translates to “temple of the dancing tiger”, because it was built on a site where tigers were said jump over the river.   If the White Temple could be called the stairway to heaven, the Black House has been called a “dark, mysterious, and almost sadistic” place, complete with preserved animals and a collection of bones. Built by national artist Thawan Duchanee, the Black House (also called the Baan Dam Museum) is a cluster of nearly 40 shadowy structures exhibiting art dating back to the Ayutthaya period. After fully admiring these 3 very different structures, you'll be taken back to Chiang Mai.

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Chiang Rai and Golden Triangle Private Full-Day Tour

2. Chiang Rai and Golden Triangle Private Full-Day Tour

Depart Chiang Mai and journey towards Chiang Rai, stopping at the hot springs of Mae Kajan to soak your feet in the healing waters. Then, visit the temple of Wat Rong Khun and marvel at is white exterior inlaid with mirrored glass. Enter the "Golden Triangle" to see the city of Chiang Saen. Enjoy lunch at a famous restaurant before climbing aboard a boat for a ride along the Mekong River (optional). Cross into Laos and go to the market at Don Sao Island. Visit the Opium House Museum to learn more about opium and why it was once as expensive as gold.  Get the chance to stop at a hill tribe village en route back to Chiang Mai and meet the people of the Long Neck tribes.

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From Chiang Mai: White Temple & Golden Triangle Day Trip

3. From Chiang Mai: White Temple & Golden Triangle Day Trip

After a 07:00 AM pick-up in central Chiang Mai, depart for Chiang Rai, stopping for a short break at Mae Kachan hot springs. Visit Wat Rong Khun, the White Temple (limited access), before continuing to the Golden Triangle area. Go to Wat Phra That Chedi Luang (limited access). See the Thailand, Laos, and Myanmar borders from the Golden Triangle viewpoint. Stop for lunch before spending time at Golden Triangle Park. Enjoy a long-tail boat trip on the mighty Mekong River. On the way back to Chiang Mai take a break to stretch your legs in Mae Suay or Wiang Pa Pao district and enjoy a cup of coffee or tea. The estimated arrival time in Chiang Mai city is 8:30 PM. The arrival time in Chiang Mai City depends on the traffic conditions, amount of passengers, and any other unforeseen circumstances.

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Chiang Rai: 2-Day Private White Temple & Golden Triangle

4. Chiang Rai: 2-Day Private White Temple & Golden Triangle

Departing from Chiang Mai, your first visit will be at a hot springs. Enjoy lunch at the local restaurant. Continue your journey to White Temple (Wat Rong Khun), a dazzling temple built in 1990. Its ornate all-white exterior with embedded pieces of mirror gives it a resplendent appearance which marks it as one of the most beautiful temples. Visit the Black House (Baan Dam), an original contemporary art museum before heading to your hotel in Chiang Rai. Start your second day at Choui Fong Tea Plantation, well-known for its grand view and the highest quality traditional teas cultivated. As the site is located on the hill, you will be able to get great scenery of the land. Continue to Wat Rong Sua Ten (the Blue Temple), which is famous for its magnificent blue interior with a large white Buddha that marks the spirits. The paintings are reminiscent of the style that you can see inside the White Temple. Next, you will visit Doi Tung, the former king mother's botanical garden in the mountain.  Continue to Chiang Sean for a panoramic view of the Golden Triangle, where Laos, Myanmar and Thailand meet the mighty Mekong River. it will be a good combination tour of the nature, culture and traditions as well as the beautiful landscapes (optional boat ride on the mighty Mae Khong River). Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant and continue to explore Chiang Rai history at Opium Museum and head back to Chiang Mai by 6:00 PM. 

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Chiang Rai: Full-Day Customizable Private Tour

5. Chiang Rai: Full-Day Customizable Private Tour

Start with pickup from your hotel and meet your passionate tour guide who will impart tidbits of history and culture on a full-day exploration of Chiang Rai. Enjoy a private tour that allows you to choose the sights and activities you want to experience, without wasting time on those you’d rather skip. Although Chiang Rai is usually overlooked in favor of its sister city Chiang Mai, dig a little deeper and discover a charming town rich in arts and culture. Originally the capital of the Mengrai Dynasty, the city was founded in the late 1200s and retains many of its Lanna influences in architecture, language, and cuisine. Simply indicate the attractions you want to see so that your guide has several options to craft the best schedule for you based on geography and diversity. If you don’t know where to start, a visit to the famous White and Blue Temples is strongly recommended. These are masterpieces in Lanna architecture and art. Also of particular interest is the Golden Triangle – a marked area where the countries of Thailand, Myanmar, and Laos meet.

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Chiang Rai: Small Group Sightseeing Tour

6. Chiang Rai: Small Group Sightseeing Tour

Start with pickup from your hotel in Chiang Rai around 9:30 AM. First stop is the Chiang Rai White Temple, a unique and impressive temple known worldwide for its alternative figures and drawings. Then, visit the Big Buddha, an impressive figure at the top of a small hill. Go up inside the Buddha's head and enjoy the views of the surrounding countryside. Next stop is Black House, a group of houses decorated using a lot of different color blacks, and then discover the Blue Temple, with its impressive murals.  Finally, make a visit to the "Long neck tribe". Admire the local villagers' unique outfits and handmade crafts. Then journey back to your hotel in Chiang Rai, where you will arrive around 4:00 PM.

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From Chiang Mai: Chiang Rai Highlights Spanish Guided Tour

7. From Chiang Mai: Chiang Rai Highlights Spanish Guided Tour

Start off your full-day tour to Chiang Rai with pickup from your hotel in Chiang Mai between 06:15 and 06:45 AM. See the countryside on a long but comfortable drive with your Spanish-speaking guide. Stop at the hot springs halfway between Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai. The water is warm enough that you will witness locals boiling their breakfast eggs in the geothermal water.  Then, visit the iconic White Temple, an impressive temple known worldwide for its unique sculptures and carvings. Capture the beauty of this photogenic point designed by Thailand's famous artist, Chaloemchai. Next, head off to the Big Buddha, an impressive statue and temple at the top of a small hill. If there is no special celebration that day, you can go up inside the Buddha's head and take in the views. Have a lunch break and dig in to a delicious Thai meal. Move on to the next highlight, a visit to the Black House Museum. Learn about the history behind this Lanna-style house designed by artist Thawan Duchanee. See his masterpieces in a contemporary artwork museum. Discover sculptures, wooden carvings, and furniture created by him. In the afternoon, see another of Chiang Rai’s gems, The Blue Temple, with its impressive murals. Listen to the history of the city and temple from your informative Spanish guide. You will have the option to visit the Karen Village if you would like to learn more about the culture and lifestyle of the northern hill tribes. Wear traditional outfits, learn how to craft handmade goods, and see the famous neck rings worn by Karen women. After a full day of sightseeing and exploring, make the journey back to Chiang Mai. You will be dropped off at your hotel around 7:00 PM.

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Chiang Rai: Blue Temple and Black House Private Bike Tour

8. Chiang Rai: Blue Temple and Black House Private Bike Tour

Start with pickup from your accommodation and go to collect your bicycle, Complete a short safety briefing, then cycle over to the famous Wat Rong Suea Ten, otherwise known as the Blue Temple. Explore the temple, one of the most Instagrammable spots in Chiang Rai known for its bright blue hue and captivating carvings. Move on to Wat Huay Pla Kung, famous for its massive white statue of Guanyin, the goddess of mercy and compassion, as well as its 9-storey pagoda. Stand in awe of the statue and the two white dragons flanking it. Marvel at the Chinese-Lanna fusion architecture and design. Next cycle through breathtaking landscapes on your way to the next stop, past hills and mountains, local villages, pineapple plantations, rivers, and hot springs. You’ll also pass by one of the top universities in Chiang Rai, the Chiang Rai Rajabhat University, before having lunch at a local restaurant. Fill up on delicious Thai food, then bike to your next stop, the Baan Dam Museum, more popularly known as the Black House. Discover this eerie museum's collection of animal skeletons, wooden carvings, and other artifacts curated by local artist, Thawan Duchanee, to bring to life his interpretation of hell. Head to Doy Din Dang Pottery next, which means ‘red clay hill’ in the local language. Learn about how the pottery house came to fruition when local artist Somluk Pantiboon returned to Chiang Rai after learning the craft from a Japanese master potter. Browse through some of the current collections before you make a visit to the Karen Tribe. Native to the area, the women of the Karen Tribe are known for wearing golden or brass neck rings. Meet some members of the tribe and learn about their culture and way of life.

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Chiang Mai: Private Airport Transfer to or from Chiang Rai

9. Chiang Mai: Private Airport Transfer to or from Chiang Rai

Start or end your trip to Chiang Rai with as little stress possible. Pre-book your Chiang Rai hotel transfer to or from Chiang Mai International Airport or your hotel in Chiang Mai, and benefit from the services of a ground transportation provider with a large fleet of vehicles to suit your needs. Enjoy a meet and greet service upon arrival at the airport, with 90 minutes of grace time in the event of any delays. Relax in the knowledge that all incoming flights are tracked to adjust meeting times if needed, and avoid unexpected extra fees. Sit back and relax as a fully licensed driver navigates the unfamiliar roads, with all vehicles equipped with GPS to ensure a smooth and comfortable journey.

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What people are saying about Chiang Rai

Overall rating

4.4 / 5

based on 737 reviews

This was a well organized and wondrous experience. The guide was super clear and took us to some of the most stunning locations in Chiang Rai - giving us a little history as we went. It was also a beautiful drive through the winding mountains - lots of rice paddies to be seen. The van was very comfortable with cushion seats, air conditioning, and music.

My guide (Mr Parnatee) was fantastic! He knew so much at every stop, and was very attentive to all of my questions and requests for the tour. I had an amazing time in Chiang Rai, and I strongly recommend this trip to anyone wanting a one day trip.

Great tour! If you aren’t fit or haven’t ridden a bike in a while, be cautious as it’s 40km of riding. We did 20kms then asked for a car as our butts hurt :) Knowledgeable, fun tour guide and really beautiful spots. Recommend

It was a great and excellent trip. Niran has a deep knowledge of the region and was really kind and friendly. I highly recommend the trip! Many thanks! I am looking forward to see you again.

Best guided experience ever! Cannot recommend enough