Chiang Rai province is located in the northern part of Thailand. It shared borders with neighboring countries Myanmar and Laos which are separated by River Mekong and River Ruak. Once upon a time, mountainous state Chiang Rai state was infamous because of Opium smuggling. But, after the initiative by Royal family, the big transformation happened and now this land is known for its tea gardens, fruits, national parks, rural lifestyle and of course Buddhist Temple. Chiang Rai itself is the capital of Chiang Rai state and one of the famous cities of Thailand. Unlike other tourists cities, Chiang Rai is full of the tourist attraction with fewer crowds and more lively people.
There are a lot of places which tourist should visit in Chiang Rai province. In my view, people should not miss 7 places while traveling in Chiang Rai.
- Choui Fong Tea Plantation: A peaceful hilly place is located in Mae Chan district of Chiang Rai surrounded by Tea estates famous for its tea products available in the cafes. Sloppy fields of tea farms are very attractive and best landscape to click photos. The soothing environment of lush green tea plantation farms attracts tea lovers and other tourists from all over the world. It is the best place for enjoying the panoramic view of tea gardens from the rooftop cafeterias with enjoying a sip of tea.
Location: 12km to the north of the center of Chiang Rai city.
- Golden Triangle: Golden Triangle, a place where river Ruak and river Mekong meets and divide landform in 3 parts i.e Thailand, Myanmar and Laos. It is situated in Northernmost part of Chiang Rai province. According to local peoples, earlier this place was very infamous because of smuggling of opium. After the intervention of royal family and government strict action now this land transform into the tourist destination. Fruits & Vegetable farming and cottage industry are now the main sources of income for the locals. Opium Museum and Budhha Temple are main attractions of Golden Triangle.
Wat Phra That Pha Ngao: It is situated 15 km away from Golden Triangle and famous for hilltop Buddha temples. The tourists enjoy the panoramic view of Mekong river and its islands, mountains, valleys etc.
Location: It is situated in Chiang Saen District and 70 km from Chiang Rai.
- Jinnaluck the Miracle of Saa and Ban Pang Ha: Ban Pang Ha village is one the best place for experience the village and farming culture of Thailand. Jinnaluck Mulberry Saa Paper Community Enterprises is the main attraction where they offer the tourist a chance to make papers by mulberry plant fibers on the DIY basis. Handmade cosmetic products, authentic Thai food, Thai culture dance are main things tourists should do here. Village tour on farm tractor gives your chance to visit Black-smith place and also to farms. Tourists can also stay in Ban Pang Ha. It is one of the must visit the place of Chaing Rai.
Location: Ban Pang Ha Soi-1 (Next to Baan Pang Ha school), Tumbon Koh Chang, Amphoe Mai Sai, Chaing Rai.
- Doi Tung: It consists of Tree Top Adventure Park and Mae Fah Luang Garden. Located on the hilltop, Doi Tung attracts tourists from Thailand and other counties. Tourist can enjoy 300 m long walkway among the garden trees at 30 meters above the ground in Adventure Park. Mae Fah Luang Garden is one the well-maintained park of Thailand with numerous varieties of flowers. I must say, It is a paradise for flower lovers and photographers. Thai street food and handicraft shops also attract tourists towards them.
Entry Ticket: 50 Baht for Mar Fah Luang Garden, 150 Baht for Tree Top Adventure Park.
Location: Doi Tung Villa, Amphoe Mae Fah Luang, Chiang Rai.
- Wat Rong Khun: Popularly known as ‘white temple’, Wat Rong Khun is one of the most visited religious places in Chiang Rai city. Wat Rong Khun Buddhist Temple was designed and constructed by famous Thai artist, Chalermchai Kositpipat which showcase the theme of ‘Cycle of rebirth’, ‘Gate of Heaven’ etc. Beside tourist can also see Chalermchai Kositpipat museum and souvenir show. One thing that attracts tourists in this premises is ‘Golden Toilet’, which is unique and open for the public to use.
Entry Ticket: 50 Baht for Mar Fah Luang Garden
Location: Off Highway 1 (Phahonyothin Road), 15 km to the southwest of the center of the Chiang Rai city.
- Singha Park: Singha literally means ‘Lion’ that’s why Singha Park welcomes tourists with the attractive statue of Lion. Park is the best example of Community based Tourism and Farm Tourism. Here Tourist can experience Farming, Cattle Feeding Biking, etc. Animals like Girrafe, Zebra, Horse, Bull etc can easily encounter here. Adventure activities like Zipline, Air ballooning attracts tourists here. Restaurant and Cafes surrounded by green fields and farms give tourists a special feel.
Location: Situated on Den Ha-Dong Mada Road (Route 1211), 12 km to the southwest of the center of Chiang Rai city.
- Wat Rong Suea Ten: A Buddhist temple is located on the outskirts of Chiang Rai city, also famous as ‘Blue Temple’. Inside the temple, White Buddha idol and paintings related to Buddha’s life are very beautiful. Standing statue of Lord Buddha behind the temple is also one of the main attraction of the Wat Rong Suea Ten temple.
Location: Soi Rim Kok, Ban Du, Off Highway 1,350 meters after the Kok River, Chiang Rai.
How to Reach:
Airways: Chaing Rai International Airport (CEI) is connected with Bangkok, Hong Kong, and China directly.
Roadways: Schedule Bus available from neighboring cities like Chiang Rai, Chiang Seam and National capital Bangkok too.
Where to eat:
- Must try continental food in Melt in Your Mouth.
- Must authentic Thai food in Jinnaluck Miracle of Saa.
- Must try tea products in Choui Fong Tea Plantation.
Where to Stay: All types of hotels, resorts, guest houses and homestays available in Chiang Rai.
I must say Chiang Rai is the best place to experience the authentic Thai food and Rural lifestyle of Thailand.