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Things to do in
Chiang Rai

Our most recommended things to do in Chiang Rai

From Chiang Mai: Chiang Rai Temples Guided Tour

1. From Chiang Mai: Chiang Rai Temples Guided Tour

Quirky, charming, and creative are the words used to describe Chiang Rai by travelers and locals alike. The sights to be found here are by no means anything like the ones you’ll see in Chiang Mai, the city’s more popular sister. Before we begin temple sightseeing, we’ll break up the long three-hour drive at the Mae Khachan Hot Spring to relax, dip our feet in the steaming mineral water, maybe eat a snack, or walk around the surrounding gardens. We’ll then move on to the main attraction: the White Temple. If you’re looking for ancient ruins, you might be surprised to find a modern architectural masterpiece designed and built by local artist Chaloemchai Khositphiphat. He was rumored to have spent over THB 40 million of his own money to create this unconventional art exhibit to gain immortal life! After exploring this local wonder, we’ll have a quick lunch before heading to our next stop... The Blue Temple or Wat Rong Seua Ten literally translates to ‘temple of the dancing tiger.’ It was built on a site where tigers were said to have jumped over the river. If the White Temple was meant to be a stairway to heaven, the Black House has been called a “dark, mysterious, and almost sadistic” representation of hell, complete with preserved animals and a collection of bones. Built by Thailand national artist Thawan Duchanee (who incidentally was the mentor of Chaloemchai, the White Temple guy), the Baan Dam Museum (Black House) is a cluster of nearly 40 small shadowy structures exhibiting art dating back to the Ayutthaya period. This is truly something the likes of which we’ll never see anywhere else! Looking to make your road trip to Chiang Rai even more comfortable? You can choose to upgrade your transportation to a premium and more spacious vehicle. This ensures bigger and more comfortable seats, less people in one van (maximum of 6 people), and free snacks, cool towels, and soft drinks. You can opt for a private tour option to visit the White Temple and Golden Triangle (instead of the Blue Temple and Black House). The Golden Triangle is a triangular piece of land in which the borders of Thailand, Laos, and Myanmar all meet. The nickname was coined by the CIA in reference to this region, whose trading posts’ top product was opium. Dive deep into the wild history of this area and learn how it became one of the most notorious narcotrafficking spots in the world. This itinerary option also includes a cruise down the Mekong River. Please note that visit to the Blue Temple and Back House will not be possible if the Golden Triangle Option is selected due to travel duration and time constraints. Enjoy a low-impact way of exploring. On this tour, you explore sustainable experiences that prioritize providing water in glass bottles and offsetting carbon emissions in every tour, reducing your environmental impact and carbon footprint.

From Chiang Mai: Chiang Rai Temples and Golden Triangle Tour

2. From Chiang Mai: Chiang Rai Temples and Golden Triangle Tour

Depart Chiang Mai for a day tour blending cultural insight, history, and natural beauty. Explore the vibrant temples of Chiang Rai including the White Temple and Blue Temple. Visit the unique Long Neck Karen tribe, and finally enjoy a scenic cruise at the historic Golden Triangle. Your journey begins with pick-up from your hotel. A comfortable air-conditioned vehicle drives you to your first stop, the Mae Khachan hot spring, a perfect place to stretch your legs after a long drive. Next, marvel at Wat Rong Khun, the White Temple. This unique temple will captivate you with its radiant structure reflecting off the surrounding pond. A set menu lunch follows, ready to recharge you for the upcoming exploration. Your tour continues to Wat Rong Suea Ten, also known as the Blue Temple, with its striking hues and intricate design. From here, proceed to Baan Dam, the Black House, a museum gallery showcasing an intriguing blend of traditional and contemporary art. Continue your day trip with a visit to the Long Neck Karen Village. Learn about the tribe's traditions and lifestyle, including their distinctive practice of elongating their necks with brass coils. The grand finale of your tour is the historic Golden Triangle, where the borders of Thailand, Laos, and Myanmar meet. Experience a scenic boat trip that allows you a closer look at this geographical marvel. As evening falls, head back to Chiang Mai, arriving at your hotel around 10:00 PM.

From Chiang Mai: Chiang Rai's Temples Exploration Day Trip

3. From Chiang Mai: Chiang Rai's Temples Exploration Day Trip

Immerse yourself in a fascinating journey from Chiang Mai to Chiang Rai, visiting its famous, colorfully distinct temples and taking a restful pause at a natural hot spring. This day-long adventure is a harmonious blend of spirituality, culture, and relaxation. The adventure begins with a convenient pick-up from your hotel, setting the stage for an exploration of Chiang Rai's most iconic landmarks. Before starting our tour, we make a brief stop at a natural hot spring. Although it is not a place for swimming, you'll have a chance to observe the steam rising from the mineral-rich water, adding a soothing and calming interlude to your journey. Our trip begins with a visit to Wat Rong Khun, more commonly known as the White Temple. Covered in white with shimmering mirrors, this temple looks like something out of a dream, its image reflecting in the calm pond nearby. The peace you feel at this place and the Buddhist lessons it embodies will touch you deeply, all shown through its stunning design. Next, we'll visit the Blue Temple, also known as Wat Rong Suea Ten. It's painted in deep blues and covered in detailed designs. This temple was built where an old temple used to stand, a place once thought to be home to roaming tigers. Next, we head to the exciting Red Temple. It's full of bright colors and intricate artwork, and it brings to life Thai spiritual stories and folk tales. Every part of the Red Temple has a story to tell, which makes it a highlight of our tour. As our expedition concludes, we drop you back to your hotel in Chiang Mai, leaving you with treasured memories and a deeper understanding of Thailand's spiritual and cultural heritage.

From Chiang Mai: White Temple Black House and Blue Temple

4. From Chiang Mai: White Temple Black House and Blue Temple

Embark on a cultural odyssey to Chiang Rai's iconic landmarks, a journey rich in history and artistic splendor. This full-day tour showcases the region’s most magnificent sights, from the ethereal White Temple to the enigmatic Black House, rounded off with the serene beauty of the Blue Temple. Your day begins with a convenient hotel pickup, leading to the warm waters of Mae Kajan Hot Springs. Refreshed, proceed to the White Temple (Wat Rong Khun), a masterpiece of modern architecture with its intricate white carvings shimmering against the sky. A Thai-style buffet awaits to tantalize your taste buds, followed by an immersive experience at the Black House (Baan Dam). Here, the vision of renowned artist Thawan Duchanee unfolds in a complex of unique structures and thought-provoking art. As afternoon hues emerge, the Blue Temple (Wat Rong Sua Ten) awaits, dazzling with its vibrant façade and peaceful ambiance. For those intrigued by local cultures, an optional visit to the Karen Long-neck tribe offers a glimpse into the traditions of this unique community. The day concludes with a relaxed journey back, leaving you at your hotel doorstep, hearts full of memories and cameras full of breathtaking photos. This is more than a tour; it's a passage through the artistic soul of Northern Thailand, perfect for cultural aficionados, history buffs, and the creatively curious. With comfortable round-trip transfers from Chiang Mai, indulge in a day of discovery without the hassle of planning.

From Chiang Mai: White Temple & Golden Triangle Day Trip

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

Uncover the secrets of Thailand's famed Golden Triangle on this day trip from Chiang Mai. Travel aboard an air conditioned van from a centrally-located meeting point. Visit the Mae Kachan hot springs and the White Temple.  Explore the Mekong river on a longtail boat and enjoy a tasty lunch. Enjoy a pickup 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, before continuing to the Golden Triangle area. Go to Wat Chedi Luang. See the Thailand, Laos, and Myanmar borders from the Golden Triangle viewpoint. Stop for lunch before spending time at House of Opium. 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. 

Chiang Mai: Long Neck Village & Chiang Rai’s Iconic Temples

6. Chiang Mai: Long Neck Village & Chiang Rai’s Iconic Temples

Dive into the heart of Chiang Rai's culture on this guided day tour. Immerse yourself in the tranquil warmth of the Mae Kajan Hot Springs before visiting the White Temple, or Wat Rong Khun, crafted by artist Chalermchai Kositpipat. Savor a Thai-style buffet lunch to refuel for the afternoon. Continue to the Black House, or Baan Dam, the house and museum of artist Dr. Thawan Duchanee. See intriguing bone displays intertwine with artistic interiors. From there, enter the serene Blue Temple and experience its vibrant blue hues. Discover this undiscovered gem far from the crowds. Immerse yourself in the culture of the Karen Long-neck tribe with an emblematic visit before relaxing with an easy return to your Chiang Mai hotel.

Chiang Rai: Guided Full-Day Highlights Tour with Lunch

7. Chiang Rai: Guided Full-Day Highlights Tour with Lunch

We start by accepting all tourists in Chiang Rai city. It takes about 25 minutes to travel to the White Temple, admire the beauty of the world-famous White Temple. Then travel towards the north of Chiang Rai to the Blue Temple,A temple that represents true Thainess with the artistic and cultural style of Northern Thailand, decorated with blue colors and very beautiful murals.Then continue your journey to Baan Dam. Baan Dam is a museum that has an amazing collection of works by some of Thailand's top artists. You will be able to experience unusual works that you have never seen before.Take a lunch break not too far from Baan Dam. Here we prepare a variety of Thai food. You will be able to taste the Thainess with a shady atmosphere.After eating, we will visit the people who wear rings around their necks. Yes, they are the long-necked Karen, a hill tribe that adheres to traditions and customs, one of the most amazing things in the world.Continue your journey to see the beautiful scenery and taste the famous tea. This is the most beautiful and famous tea section in Thailand.Continue To point is the border that unites 3 countries, Thailand, Burma and Laos, which we call the Golden Triangle. See the beauty of the landscape and experience the 8th largest river in the world. It's called the Mekong River.Return to Chiang Rai and send everyone to their accommodations safely.

Thailand: 7-, 10-, 15-, or 30-Day Unlimited Data eSIM

8. Thailand: 7-, 10-, 15-, or 30-Day Unlimited Data eSIM

Experience the rich culture, stunning landscapes, and vibrant city life of Thailand while staying seamlessly connected with an unlimited high-speed eSIM. Whether you're exploring the ornate temples of Bangkok, relaxing on the pristine beaches of the Phi Phi Islands, wandering through the bustling street markets of Chiang Mai, or diving in the crystal-clear waters of Koh Tao, our eSIM ensures you're always connected. This eSIM offers unlimited high-speed data, an invaluable tool for modern-day travelers. Whether you're navigating unfamiliar streets, sharing your travel highlights on social media, video calling loved ones, or catching up on work emails, you can do it all without worrying about data limits. Available for 7, 10, 15 and 30-day durations, this eSIM package offers you the flexibility to choose a plan that fits your travel schedule. Whether you're on a quick getaway or an extended exploration, this eSIM ensures that you're connected every step of the way. This eSIM provides expansive coverage across Thailand. Whether you're in the bustling cities, serene countryside, or tropical islands, you can count on a reliable internet connection. With this eSIM, every corner of Thailand is at your fingertips. Gone are the days of searching for local SIM cards upon arrival - you're connected as soon as you touch down in Thailand. The eSIM activates instantly upon arrival, bringing convenience to your travel experience. The local partner understands the importance of online security, and that's why this eSIM provides a secure internet connection. You can enjoy peace of mind knowing that your online activities are private and your personal data is safe.

From Chiang Rai: Famous Temples and Golden Triangle Day Tour

9. From Chiang Rai: Famous Temples and Golden Triangle Day Tour

Experience some of Chiang Rai's beautiful sights on a temple and Golden Triangle adventure. Be picked up from your hotel and see Wat Huay Pla Kang, the Blue Temple, and Chiang Saen Old City. Begin your adventure with the utmost convenience, pick-up right from your Chiang Rai hotel. Be whisked away into the heart of Northern Thailand, where a rich tapestry of history and natural wonders awaits you. Explore the iconic White Temple, and witness breathtaking panoramic vistas from the vantage point of Wat Huay Pla Kang. Delve into the enigmatic realm of the Black House, and admire its architecture, a combination of traditional and modern. Step foot into the border town of Mae Sai, and find serenity among lush tea plantations. Visit the enchanting Blue Temple, and admire the beauty of its construction. Learn more about the significance of the Golden Triangle, a popular attraction as it connects Thailand, Myanmar, and Laos. Dive into the past as you stroll through the ancient Chiang Saen Old City, see its buildings and reconstructed walls, and learn more about the city's history.

Chiang Rai: Guided Tour of 8 Highlights with Thai Buffet

10. Chiang Rai: Guided Tour of 8 Highlights with Thai Buffet

Embark on an unforgettable journey through Chiang Rai Province, visiting some of its most popular tourist destinations with optional entrance at extra cost. Encounter quintessential sights like the White Temple, Long Neck Karen Village, and Opium House Museum. Immerse yourself in Thai culture at the mesmerizing White Temple, a world-class art masterpiece enveloped in pure white beauty. Next, be awed by the Blue Temple, a recent addition to Chiang Rai's architectural wonders, constructed by the students of the White Temple. Continue your adventure with a trip to Baan Dam, also known as the Black Museum. Stroll through the 40 houses adorned with captivating pictures and 3D art (admission at own expense). From there, venture to the Long Neck Karen Village, offering a glimpse into their rich culture. After a morning of exploration, enjoy a break with a delicious Thai buffet lunch. Then, head to the Choui Fong Tea Plantation, a must-visit for tea enthusiasts and popular for tea tasting and purchasing. Next, make a stop at the Mae Sai Border, the northernmost point in Thailand, marking the border gate between Thailand and Myanmar. Following this, explore the renowned Golden Triangle, where the borders of Thailand, Laos, and Myanmar converge. Conclude your experience at the Opium House Museum, to learn about the history of Khun Sa. After a day filled with unforgettable experiences, return safely to Chiang Rai City. We want to make sure that our customers feel comfortable and in control of their sightseeing experience. You are free to choose whether or not you want to enter the sightseeing site and pay the entrance fees. Your decision is important to us, and if you prefer not to visit a particular sightseeing site, you are welcome to wait outside. We respect your choice and want to ensure that you have a positive and enjoyable experience with us.

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Frequently asked questions about Chiang Rai

What top attractions are a must-see in Chiang Rai?

What are the best day trips and excursions from Chiang Rai?

The best day trips and excursions from Chiang Rai are:

Golden Triangle

Other Sightseeing Options in Chiang Rai

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What people are saying about Chiang Rai

Overall rating

(1,523 reviews)

The trip was very well organized! The driver was skilled on Thai roads and drove us back and forth between Chiang Rai and Chiang Mai smoothly. He offered to drop us off at our hotel or the night market if we wanted to continue our day. The ride also included a free water bottle. The guide was very sweet and told us a lot of information about the places we went to and about Thailand in general. We were given enough time at each spot. The temples are beautiful, but keep in mind that it can be very crowded. The Baandam museum / Black House as the last spot was a nice addition after visiting 2 temples. Overall we really enjoyed our day with this tour!

Sara the guide was very friendly and informative. Amazing locations with good amount to do and see. Day was a little too long but that can't be helped with distances, also no dinner included was a struggle for everyone I feel as we ate lunch at 1130am and didn't get back to Chiang Mai until 930pm.

The places I liked most were: White Temple, Blue Temple and Casa Preta. I found the entry and product prices at the Karen tribe to be very abusive.

Boon, our guide, was SO SO nice and knowledgable about everything. He is truly the greatest guide!!! Tour is so beautiful, well worth your money

Andy is the best guide ever, so funny and knowledgable! The temples were breathtakingly beautiful.