Chiang Rai, the northernmost province of Thailand, is about 488 miles north of Bangkok. Situated on the Kok River basin, the province is located within the renowned Golden Triangle area where Myanmar, Laos and Thailand converge. Thus, Chiang Rai is also known as the gateway to Myanmar, Laos and Southern China.
01The lush and breathtaking Doi Tung
This revered mountain features several attractions, including Doi Tung Royal Villa, the Mae Fah Luang Botanical Garden, and various hill tribe villages. The mountain is topped by the revered temple of Wat Phrathat Doi Tung and commands a spectacular panoramic view of the surrounding countryside.
02The legendary, scenic experience of the Golden Triangle
This famed border location where Thailand, Laos and Myanmar meet on the Mekong River was once supposed to be the center of all the poppy cultivation in Thailand. Boats can be hired to view the scenery of the Golden Triangle.
03The dramatic Hall of Opium at Golden Triangle Park
The Hall of Opium offers one of the best exhibitions on opium, including the 60,277 square-feet hall presenting An Invitation to the Mysterious World of Opium from Darkness to Light. The history of opium goes as far back as 5,000 years ago, where it was used for its natural properties.
04The quaint and traditional Doi Mae Salong
Doi Mae Salong is home to the community settled by the former Chinese 93rd Division who moved from Myanmar to Thai territory in 1961. Today, it is a major tourist attraction with its small-town ambience with tea and coffee plantations. Scattered with many hill tribe villages, it is also ideal for trekking.
05A gorgeous sunrise awaits you at Phu Chi Fa
Phu Chi Fa is the highest peak in Chiang Rai. It points out sharply towards the sky and is famed for its sea of mist at sunrise. The cool climate produces colorful flowering shrubs, and the large meadow on the top provides a breathtaking view of Laos.
06The sacred and revered Wat Phra Kaeo
and Wat Phra Sing
Wat Phra Kaeo is noted for its late Lanna image hall and several fine bronze Buddha images. The temple is more famous, however, as the place where the statue of the Emerald Buddha, now housed in Bangkok, was originally discovered. Wat Phra Sing is a fine example of Lanna religious architecture. The Phra Buddha Sihing image, now at Chiang Mai’s Wat Phra Sing, was originally enshrined here. A special feature is the Lanna-style Ubosot and the carved wooden door panels.
07The unconventional and impressive Wat Rong Khun
Also known as the White Temple, Wat Rong Khun, was designed and built by Thailand’s noted artist, Chalermchai Kositpipat. The white ordination hall is decorated with silver glittering pieces of mirrors. The temple's many statues of figures are based on religious beliefs. There is a gallery nearby exhibiting his paintings as well.
08Rafting and trekking along the Kok River for
the adventurous spirit
As one of the oldest rafting destinations in the country, Chiang Rai continues to draw travelers from all over the globe. Bamboo rafts leave daily, venturing into the surrounding mountains where the jungle dips into the river's cool waters. Kok River rafting, combined with trekking and visiting hill tribe villages along the route, can last 3 days and 2 nights.
09 Shopping meets culture at the
Walking Street Kad Chiang Hai Remembers
The Walking Street Kad Chiang Hai Remembers features a traditional Lanna style market and activities every Saturday night. The market will make you feel as if you’re returning to the old days in a very different atmosphere. Chiang Rai is popular for its hill tribe arts and crafts as well as agricultural products including tea, lychee and pineapples. Shopping Directory
10Savor Chiang Rai’s dining delights
Restaurants and food stalls at the Night Bazaar and Walking Street Kad Chiang Hai Remembers are best and convenient to experience Chiang Rai specialties. Beyond that, there are a few good restaurants from which to choose from. Be sure to sample Kaeng Hang Le (pork curry), Kaeng Khanoon (spicy jackfruit curry), Sai-Ua (spicy pork sausage), Yunnanese and Burmese influenced noodles.