14 Things to do in Chiang Rai, Thailand by JetSettingFools.com

14 Best Things To Do in Chiang Rai, Thailand

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Chiang Rai is an intriguing destination and an ideal place to spend a few days when touring Thailand. From seeing unique temples to taking waterfall treks to sampling the exquisite regional cuisine, there are an array of Fun Things To Do in Chiang Rai!

Many travelers rush through Chiang Rai, visiting on a long day trip to Northern Thailand from the more popular city of Chiang Mai. The Golden Triangle Tour, as it is often called, makes a short stop at the White Temple – the most famous Chiang Rai attraction –  but bypasses the city itself.

While seeing the White Temple was high on our list of things to do in Chiang Rai, we knew there was more to the ancient city. Rather than breezing through, we booked a 10 night stay in Chiang Rai during a recent Thailand trip. 


Top Things To Do in Chiang Rai

On our list of things to see, we share the best Chiang Rai tourist attractions that are located in the town center and just beyond the city limits. Founded in the year 1262, the city boasts a long history and incredible traditions. Chiang Rai sightseeing isn’t limited to specific sights, but also includes experiences – and we highlight it all next!

Save, Pin or Bookmark our Chiang Rai Travel Guide to plan your trip to Thailand!


#1 Marvel at the White Temple

The White Temple, Wat Rong Khun, in Chiang Rai, Thailand

The intricately detailed White Temple (officially called Wat Rong Khun) is a Chiang Rai must-see. In a land of brightly decorated temples, the stark White Temple is captivating. The popular Chiang Rai temple was opened in 1997, replacing a previous building that was in disrepair.

Renowned Thai artist, Chalermchai Kositpipat, designed the unique structure using his own funds (reportedly spending more than $1 million USD on the project). Not only does it stand out for its lack of color, but also incorporates elements not usually seen at Thai temples. 

Visitors should look for the unusual details, like the pool of reaching hands and carvings of caged heads (that are, quite frankly, a bit creepy). Artwork throughout the site illustrates symbols of the Buddhist beliefs (at least according to the artist).


Tips for Visiting White Temple

Cost: 100 baht ($2.75 USD) 

Getting There: The famous Chiang Rai White Temple is actually located 7.5 miles from the city center. We used a Grab Taxi to get there and then hopped on a songthaew for the ride back. Visitors can also use the less expensive public bus or join a guided bicycle tour through the scenic countryside to the temple.


#2 Hike to Khun Korn Waterfall

Khun Korn Waterfall in Chiang Rai, Thailand

Gorgeous, flowing waterfalls abound in the mountainous region of Northern Thailand. As several of the falls are easily accessible from the city, they have become tourist attractions in Chiang Rai. 

Khun Korn (also called Khun Kon or Tat Mok) is the highest and most popular Chiang Rai waterfall. It is located within the boundaries of the Nam Tok Khun Kon National Forest Park. The waterfall plunges 230 feet from a rocky ledge into a small pool.

The only way to get to the waterfall is by hiking. The trail – which is mostly shaded – winds, curves and climbs through bamboo groves and lush jungle. Along the route, butterflies float on the breeze and the sound of singing cicadas can be almost deafening.

In the dry season, visitors can swim in the water below the falls. However, during our rainy season visit, the powerful flow was moving too fast to safely take a dip. We were still able to cool down from the hike though; we got drenched from the waterfall’s mist just by standing on the trail!


Advice for Visiting Khun Korn Forest Park

The hike to Khun Korn waterfall is just under 2 miles roundtrip. The trek is slightly strenuous, but well-worth the effort!

Cost: Entrance to the national park is free.

Getting There: We hired a songthaew from the main bus station for 500 baht ($15 USD) roundtrip, which included 2 hours wait time.


#3 Visit the Night Market in Chiang Rai

Dancers perform traditional Thai dance at Night Market in Chiang Rai, Thailand

Like with many cities and towns in Thailand and Southeast Asia, one of the top things to do in Chiang Rai at night is to visit the local market. When the sun begins to set and the temperatures start to cool, vendors set up booths to sell their wares and cooks create masterful dishes in tiny mobile kitchens. 

The night bazaar in Chiang Rai features handicrafts, souvenir trinkets, cheap clothing, delicious food and live entertainment.

The best thing to eat at the Chiang Rai Night Bazaar is Hot Pot – and many vendors sell meat and vegetable sets. Other top eats are Tempura and Sushi – and the local Bua Loi dessert (rice balls in coconut milk) is not to be missed! 

Tower of Leo Beer at Night Market in Chiang Rai, Thailand

Drinks are sold from a separate counter – and the popular option for groups is the Tower of Beer, which is 3 liters of local draft beer (don’t forget to order a side of ice!).

The market features multiple stages and various acts perform throughout the evening, providing a bit of Chiang Rai nightlife. Traditional dance, acoustic guitar and lip-syncers wearing lavish costumes are a few of the acts that may grace the stage. 


Info for Chiang Rai Night Market

The Night Bazaar is open every day of the week from 6pm until 11pm. If traveling in a large group, it’s best to arrive before 7pm in order to get a table. 


#4 Contemplate Artwork at Black House Chiang Rai

Modern building with eyes at Black Temple Museum in Chiang Rai, Thailand

The Black House is another one of the top Chiang Rai attractions. Often referred to as the Black Temple Chiang Rai, the 40 structures and grounds at Baan Dam (the official name) are actually a museum. Designed by Thawan Duchanee, a controversial Thai artist, the displays are thought-provoking, whimsical and downright bizarre. 

The Black House Museum features a combination of traditional wooden huts and contemporary round structures. One odd building is shaped like a whale – and the main entrance is through the open mouth.

An animal horn chair at Black House Museum, Baan Dam, in Chiang Rai, Thailand

However, the strangeness is not only in the architecture, but more so in the interior design. Each structure is uniquely ‘decorated’ with animals…as in skins, horns, bones and pelts. Snakes and alligators are used as table runners, bearskins have been made into blankets and an elephant skeleton hides below a deck. And, if that isn’t enough to stimulate the mind and senses, several phallic carvings make an appearance in the design, as well.


How To Visit Chiang Rai Black House Museum

Cost: 80 baht ($2.25 USD) entrance fee

Getting There: The Baan Dam Museum is 8 miles north of the city center. We hired a songthaew from the main bus station for 300 baht ($9 USD) roundtrip, which included 1 hour wait time. Inexpensive public buses from the Chiang Rai bus terminal are another way to reach the site. 


#5 Sip Local Chiang Rai Tea

Blue Lemongrass and Butterfly Pea Tea at Suwirun Tea Shop in Chiang Rai, Thailand

One of the best things about traveling is tasting locally produced products – and in Chiang Rai, that’s tea! In Northern Thailand, beautiful plantations cover the hillsides. Travelers can visit the tea plantations to learn more about the process or sip the local product right in town. 

Visiting the modern Choui Fong Tea farm is a popular Chiang Rai day tour. Not only do they offer tours, but they have a lovely tea room where visitors can partake in a tea tasting. 

That said, travelers can also taste locally-produced, organic tea in the center of Chiang Rai city at Suwirun Tea Shop. The shop sells more than 30 types of tea, including the region’s Oolong Tea.  My personal favorites are the herbal lemongrass tea and blue butterfly pea tea.

Additionally, the Suwirun Tea Shop also offers free tea making demonstrations that are quite fascinating. I never knew making a proper cup of Thai tea required so much effort! 


Tips for Tea Tastings

Tea demonstration at Suwirun Tea Shop in Chiang Rai, Thailand

Those without their own transport can arrange for tours to Choui Fong Tea plantation or join a full-day tour that includes a stop at the farm. 

Visitors who want to sample and buy tea in Chiang Rai city center can swing into one of the two Suwirun Tea Shop locations; the 2nd Floor Cafe or the newest location at the Night Bazaar.


#6 Get a Traditional Thai Massage

Thai Massage sign in Chiang Mai, Thailand

One of the wonderful things to do in Chiang Rai City Center is to get a traditional Thai massage. There are dozens of places offering inexpensive, hour-long massages in the center of town – but for a top-rated massage, go to Chiang Rai Nice Massage.

Unlike the relaxing massages that many of us are used to getting at spas, Thai massages focus on applying pressure and then stretching the muscles. The massage begins with washing the feet and then changing into the appropriate massage attire. Next, the masseuse begins to work from the feet up the body to the head.


Thai Massage Tips for Travelers

For first-timers, the close relationship with the masseuse can be awkward. Therefore, if a traditional Thai massage is outside of your comfort zone, perhaps consider getting just a foot massage instead.

Cost: 200 baht ($6 USD) for a one-hour Thai massage.

Getting There: Nice Massage (map) is located by the Chiang Rai Bus Station and Night Bazaar. 


#7 See Wat Rong Suea Ten Blue Temple

Exterior of the Blue Temple, Chiang Rai, Thailand

The unique Blue Temple is a top tourist attraction in Chiang Rai, Thailand. Designed by a student of Chalermchai Kositpipat (of the White Temple fame), the entire complex is decorated in a blue and gold color scheme. 

The structure features incredibly intricate details and works of art throughout the complex. Highlights are the Buddhist mythology wall murals inside the temple and the meticulously manicured gardens.


Chiang Rai Blue Temple Info

Visitors are free to take photos anywhere in the complex and they stay as long as they wish. Vendors are on-site as well; on a hot day the blue ice cream is sensational! 

Cost: Free! 

Getting There: The Blue Temple is located less than 2 miles north of the city center and is easy to reach by taxi, motorbike or tuk tuk. 


#8 Relax at Chiang Rai Beach

Fisherman on Kok River at Chiang Rai Beach in Chiang Rai, Thailand

Spending time at the Chiang Rai Beach is one of the unusual things to do…because the city is not on the coast! Yet, the beach is one of the lesser-known tourist attractions in Chiang Rai.

The Beach in Chiang Rai is a stretch of sandy embankment along the Kok River. It sits just to the west of the city center – and during rainy season, it completely disappears.

Rustic bamboo huts featuring floor mats are perched above the water’s edge. Patrons are invited to kick back and relax with friends for a round of beers and local food. Kids play in the water – and in dry season the river is low enough to cross to Wat Tham Phra (Buddha Cave Chiang Rai).


Tips for Visiting the Beach

A Buddha Statue on the Kok River at Chiang Rai Beach in Chiang Rai, Thailand

Before you get too excited: it’s not that kind of Thai beach…so leave the beach ball and bikini at the hotel. The beach is one of the best places in Chiang Rai to relax and take in the scenic river views. 

Cost: Free to enter, but a purchase is expected.

Getting There: We took a tuk-tuk from the main bus station for 250 baht ($7.50 USD) roundtrip, including 1.5 hours wait time.


#9 Stroll Chiang Rai Walking Street Markets

Dancing at Sunday Walking Street Market in Chiang Rai, Thailand

In addition to the daily Chiang Rai Night Market, there are two weekend Walking Street Markets – one on Saturday and one on Sunday. 

Naturally, the Saturday Walking Street Market and the Sunday Walking Street Market are located on completely different streets. However, the same vendors show up at both markets. Join the flow of foot traffic (everyone tends to walk in the same direction) as you work your way around the stands. Goods at the Walking Street Markets range from produce to shoes to cell phone cases and trinkets.

Both markets feature a food area, a performance stage and open space for dancing. Purchase plates of Pad Thai, whole grilled fish, sushi or fried insects, and then find a table or chair near the center stage to watch the locals dance – or, get out on the dance floor and join the fun!


Walking Market Street Tips

Shoppers at Saturday Walking Street Market in Chiang Rai, Thailand

The Weekend Walking Street Markets can get a lot more crowded than the daily Night Market – as it’s popular with both locals and tourists. If you visit Chiang Rai on a Saturday or Sunday it’s a must-do! 

Cost: Walking Street Markets are free! 

Getting There: Use this map to find the Saturday Walking Market Chiang Rai – and this map to find the Sunday Walking Market.


#10 Shop at the Daily Chiang Rai Municipal Market

Produce vendors line the sidewalk in front of a temple in Chiang Rai, Thailand

The Daily Municipal Market – also known as Kad Luang Market – is one of the top places to go in Chiang Rai. Especially for visitors who want a glimpse into local life, as both city traders and hilltribe farmers sell goods at Kad Luang. 

Most of the fresh produce is sold on the sidewalk surrounding the perimeter of the Chiang Rai market hall. Inside, however, it’s a mixed bag of vendors. The indoor morning market is a maze of stalls that sell anything you could possibly imagine. There are butchers, cosmetic shops, overflowing hardware stores and stalls selling kitchen supplies. The market is where many local residents do their everyday shopping, and we think it’s simply fascinating! 


Chiang Rai Morning Market Tips

It’s best to visit the market early in the morning. Go before breakfast and you can pick up local prepared food at the market! 

Cost: It is free to enter the Daily Municipal Market.

Getting There: Use this map to find this market in Chiang Rai.


#11 Gaze at the Golden Chiang Rai Clock Tower

View of the Clock Tower, Chiang Rai, Thailand

The ornate clock tower is one of the obvious things to see in Chiang Rai. The opulent and glittering golden clock tower in Chiang Rai is difficult to miss; it sits in the middle of a busy traffic roundabout. The extravagant piece was designed in 2008 by Chalermchai Khositpipat, again the same artist responsible for building the White Temple. 


Best Time to See the Famous Clock

The clock tower is a 24/7 tourist attraction. However, it (literally) shines at night. On the hour at 6pm, 7pm and 8pm, colorful lights dance to the beat of music, illuminating the artwork in hues of  pink, purple and blue. While it’s not the most spectacular light show, it is pretty. 

Getting There: As we mentioned, the clock tower in Chiang Rai is difficult to miss. It’s located at the intersection of Jetyod Raod and Thanon Baanpa Pragarn Road (map), where motorbikes and tuk tuks buzz by it all day long. 


#12 Watch a Chiang Rai Sunset from a Rooftop Bar

Sunset from Dinner Late Cafe in Chiang Rai, Thailand

There is no better way to cap off a long day of sightseeing Chiang Rai than with a cold drink and a beautiful sunset. Two of the best places in the city to see the glow in the sky with a cocktail in hand is Rongsri Rooftop (map) and RTCR (map).


More Tips for Nightlife in Chiang Rai

Although the Chiang Rai nightlife was pretty quiet during our visit, there are several bars around town where visitors can socialize well into the evening. On Jetyod Road, which we dubbed “Farang Street,” a plethora of narrow bars line both sides of the throughfare. Visitors can find everything from the required Irish pub (O’Kane’s) and reggae bar (Peace House Bar) to expat spots like Hangover Corner.

Cost: A bottle of a large, cold local beer (Chang and Leo) costs between 80-100 baht ($2.50-$3 USD). Cocktails and craft beer costs about twice as much. 

Getting There: Jetyod Road is the street that extends south from the clock tower. 


#13 Enjoy the Chiang Rai Cafe Culture…with a Cat

Cats Only shelf at the Cat n a Cup Cafe in Chiang Rai, Thailand

While Chiang Rai remains one of the lesser-visited cities in Thailand, there are enough expats, nomads and backpackers to warrant a thriving cafe scene. The trendy spaces offer free Wi-Fi, fancy coffee drinks and exotic-fruit smoothies. 

Amongst the hip cafes in Chiang Rai, one novelty coffeehouse stands out: Cat ‘n’ a Cup. At this spot, patrons drink their beverage with the 30-or-so resident cats.

The cats do as cats do. Sometimes they curiously wonder onto laps (or laptops) and playfully chase each other around the room. Treats, which can be purchased along with your coffee, guarantee an up close and personal encounter with an entire herd of cats.

Cost: Specialty coffee and smoothies cost between 60-125 baht ($1.75-$3.50 USD).

Getting There: Use this Map to make your way to Cat ‘n’ a Cup. 


#14 Visit Temples in Chiang Rai

Monks climbs stairs to Wat Phra That Chom Thong in Chiang Rai, Thailand

While a heavy dose of fanfare surrounds the White and Blue temples, we think the ancient religious sites in the city center are some of the most beautiful places to visit in Chiang Rai. We loved exploring on foot to see what temples we would stumble across – and we are sharing our top picks! 


Wat Phra Kaew 

The Emerald Buddha at Wat Phra Kaew Temple in Chiang Rai, Thailand

Wat Phra Kaew – also known as the Emerald Buddha Temple – is famous throughout Thailand and Southeast Asia. The legendary Emerald Buddha, which is believed to have been carved by gods, was discovered at this Chiang Rai temple in 1434. It was only revealed when the chedi was destroyed (either by lightning or an earthquake). The Emerald Buddha had apparently been hidden inside for 45 years.

Since then, the shiny green phenom has been on the move, making appearances in Chiang Mai as well as Luang Prabang, Laos. Currently, it’s housed in the Temple of the Emerald Buddha at the Royal Palace in Bangkok.

At Wat Phra Kaew Chiang Rai, a replica Emerald Buddha and story-telling murals are on display, as well as the 700-year-old Phra Jao Lan Thong. There is also a museum that exhibits religious artifacts with a book of explanations in English. Don’t miss the pond filled with turtles that are fun to watch during their mid-day feeding!


Wat Doi Ngam Muang King Phraya Mengrai chedi at Wat Doi Ngam Muang in Chiang Rai, Thailand

Wat Doi Ngam Muang is accessed by a short but steep staircase flanked by dragons. A stupa at the top houses the cremated remains of the founder of Chiang Rai, King Phraya Mengrai. The temple also features carved woodwork, including the detailed doors and tall pillars near the entrance.


Wat Phra That Chom Thong

The Golden Stupa at Wat Phra That Chom Thong in Chiang Rai, Thailand

Wat Phra That Chom Thong (also spelled Wat Phra That Jom Thong) was built in the year 940. The golden Lanna-style stupa is one of the oldest holy relic ubosots.


Navel City Pillar of Chiang Rai

The Navel City Pillar of Chiang Rai, Thailand

On the grounds of Wat Phra That Chom Thong are the 108 pillars arranged as the Navel City Pillar of Chiang Rai. Locals pay their respects here by sprinkling water on the foundation.


Wat Phra Singh 

Statue at Wat Phra Singh in Chiang Rai, Thailand

Built in 1385, Wat Phra Singh is one of the oldest temples in Chiang Rai. At one time, it housed an important Phra Singh image, which now resides at the Wat Phra Singh temple in Chiang Mai.


Wat Ming Muang

Statue at Wat Ming Muang entrance in Chiang Rai, Thailand

Partially under construction during our visit (which it appears to have been for quite some time), we were dazzled by the ornate and colorful design of Wat Ming Muang. The temple, which is about 700-years-old, is also a memorial to Queen Chommuang, mother of King Mengrai the Great.


Tips for Visiting Chiang Rai Temples

When visiting temples in Thailand, it is essential to dress appropriately. We recommend that you always carry something to cover your shoulders and legs with while touring Chiang Rai. 

Note that not all temples have information in English. However, we found that there was enough info translated to piece together the history. Of course, Google Translate helps a lot, too!

Cost: All of the temples in Chiang Rai are free to visit.

Getting There: Visitors can create their own Chiang Rai tour of temples with this map that provides a convenient walking route. Alternatively, join a local for a guided temple tour!

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More Things To Do Chiang Rai

Chilis dry in bowls on motorcycles in Chiang Rai, Thailand

We have outlined our top tips for the best Chiang Rai attractions, but there are a few more regional sights that fellow travelers might want to see during their trip!


Other Chiang Rai Waterfalls

The waterfalls in Northern Thailand are phenomenal. In addition to Khun Korn, the top falls in the region are Pong Phrabat and Huai Mae Sai Waterfall.


Mae Fah Luang Garden and Doi Tung Royal Village

The Doi Tung Royal Village (once the summer residence of the Thai royal family) and the Mae Fah Luang Gardens are a beautiful sight located just north of the city. Tickets are required and visitors can combine multiple sights on a single ticket. 


Doi Mae Salong

A Chinese settlement, Doi Mae Salong sits close to the Myanmar border. The village is known for their Oolong Tea, temples and monuments. 


Organized Tours from Chiang Rai

While there is plenty to do in Chiang Rai, the city is also a great starting point to explore more of Northern Thailand. Joining organized day trips from Chiang Rai is a popular choice and we are sharing a few of the best below – but you can find even more Chiang Rai Tours on Viator


Private Golden Triangle Chiang Rai Tour

Travelers staying in Chiang Rai can embark on a private tour of the Golden Triangle. The full day adventure delves deep into the history and culture of Northern Thailand. Participants visit a Hilltribe Village, the Opium Museum and ancient cities while taking in the beauty of the region. Find out more!


Chiang Rai Highlights Tour

Participants join a professional guide for a day of sightseeing in Chiang Rai that takes in the White Temple, Blue Temple, Black House, Tea Plantation and a Hilltribe Village. It’s a long day, but the tour is packed with attractions and is affordable, too. Check prices!


Chiang Rai Cooking Class

Cooking classes in Chiang Rai are an excellent opportunity for visitors to learn about the flavors of the iconic Northern Thailand cuisine. Spend the morning at the local market with your guide and then work with the chef to create a superb meal. Get the details!


What To Eat in Chiang Rai: Northern Thai Cuisine

Best Khao Soi in city at Khao Soi Khun Yai in Chiang Mai, Thailand

The cuisine in Thailand varies from region to region – and Chiang Rai food is spectacular! The Northern Thailand fare is heavily influenced by neighboring Myanmar (Burma) and Laos. Sticky Rice (also called Glutinous Rice) is more popular than steamed Jasmine rice. Furthermore, while many restaurants serve Pad Thai for tourists, the dish is not one of Northern Thailand’s traditional meals.


Khao Soi 

For a taste of typical Northern Thai Cuisine, order a bowl of Khao Soi. The spicy meal is a combination of boiled noodles and thinly sliced meat in a curry broth. It is topped with crispy, fried noodles, which add excellent texture! Typically, the dish is served with a side of pickled cabbage, diced onion and half a lime.

Our favorite place for Khao Soi was at Khao Soi Phor Jai (also spelled Pho Chai) – but don’t look for a sign in English, because there isn’t one. The service is straight-forward, the menu is limited and each meal only costs about 40 baht ($1.25 USD). 


Northern Thailand Hot Pot

Hot Pot is a traditional, entertaining and interactive way to eat dinner. As previously mentioned, it is the featured menu item at the daily Chiang Rai Night Market. What makes Hot Pot fun is that you get to cook the food. While a clay pot of herb-infused broth is heated over a bucket of burning embers, you add noodles, egg, meat, vegetables and fresh herbs to the pot. Let it simmer until it’s ready to eat!


Finding Chiang Rai Local Eats

While Kris would have been content eating nothing but Khao Soi, I was inclined to sample a variety of cuisine. At lunchtime, we often followed the locals into non-descript family restaurants. We would walk out with plastic bags of soup-to-go or dine inside on basic meals of Northern Thailand spicy sausage and rice.


Chiang Rai Map

Use Google Map for an interactive version of our Chiang Rai Tourist Attractions Map below. Want a paper map? Most hotels offer a free Chiang Rai tourist map – so ask at your accommodations!

Map of Chiang Rai Things To Do by JetSettingFools.com


Travel Tips for Chiang Rai, Thailand

An ornate Buddha sculpture at the White Temple in Chiang Rai, Thailand

Now that you know what to do in Chiang Rai, Thailand, we want to share a few travel tips for planning your trip!


Where To Stay in Chiang Rai

Na-Rak-O Resort in Chiang Rai, Thailand

The best place to stay in Chiang Rai is in the heart of the city, where attractions are just steps away and tours, songthaews and buses are readily available. There are several Chiang Rai hotels in the city center – and we are sharing our top picks. Before starting your search use our Money-Saving Hotel Tips!


Na-Rak-O Resort 

During our visit to Chiang Rai, we stayed at Na-Rak-O Resort – and while not a resort – we absolutely loved it! The economical buy stylish hotel features an included cook-yourself breakfast and a fantastic owner. The hotel is centrally located, putting attractions within easy walking distance. Check rates and availability for your stay!


Baan Jaru 

Located in the touristic center, Baan Jaru has a fantastic location, but may come with some noise. The property gets rave reviews for the affordable prices, phenomenal cooked breakfast and impeccably clean rooms. Read fellow traveler reviews!


Le Patta Hotel

A modern boutique hotel with a sparkling pool right in the city center, Le Patta is a gem! Although it is a bit more expensive than our other recommendations, travelers love the balcony rooms, made-to-order breakfasts and friendly staff. Check availability!


Chiang Rai Hostels

Budget travelers looking for inexpensive dorm beds should check availability at one of the top-rated hostels in Chiang Rai – like Connect Hostel and Mercy Hostel


Getting to Chiang Rai

Chiang Rai can be reached by plane, car or bus. To travel from Bangkok to Chiang Rai, we think it is best to fly. Search for flight deals to Chiang Rai on Skyscanner – and use our Tips for Booking Flights for Cheap

To get from Chiang Mai to Chiang Rai, we recommend using the Green Bus. Tickets are inexpensive and can be booked in advance. 

Travelers continuing their trip from Chiang Mai to other parts of Southeast Asia might want to consider taking an exceptional journey via slow boat on the Mekong River. We detail the experience in our article, Chiang Rai to Luang Prabang by Boat.


What To Pack for Chiang Rai

Monk looks out window in temple in Chiang Rai, Thailand

Okay, it finally time to talk about what to pack for Thailand. Grab your FREE Packing Checklist and let’s get started!


Durable Shoes

Choose which shoes to bring is always a conundrum! Read our reviews for the Best Travel Shoes to make sure you pack the right shoes for your trip!


Travel Camera

The sights and scenery of Thailand are spectacular and we suggest upgraded to an actual camera to properly capture it. We use a Canon Rebel with a 18-133mm lens, which comes with fun accessories and is one of the best-priced cameras for travelers.


Backpack and Day Pack

When traveling through Southeast Asia, we carry backpacks over suitcases. A small pack is also necessary for long days of sightseeing. We share our top picks for the Best Day Packs to help you find the right one for their trip.


Thailand Trip Essentials

Of course, don’t forget must-have items – like sunscreen and mosquito repellent (both are expensive in Thailand!). You may also want sunglasses, a wide-brimmed hat and a travel umbrella. A good guidebook can also be helpful both before and during your trip.


Travel Insurance for Thailand

Trip insurance can help when things go wrong – like lost luggage or illness abroad. If you haven’t already obtained coverage, consider traveling protected with World Nomads.


Trip Planner for your SE Asia Itinerary

As you begin making plans and reservations, be sure to stay on top of the details. Our Travel Planner Printables will help to keep your Thailand trip organized! 

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Thailand Travel Guides

The ornate bridge at the White Temple in Chiang Rai, Thailand

Visiting more Thailand destinations? Fantastic! We have traveled in SE Asia extensively and you can use our detailed guides and honest advice to plan your perfect trip.


Start planning your trip to Thailand! Search for the lowest airfares, the best accommodations and fun things to do…then start packing!  Want more travel advice? Head over to our Travel Planning Page for tips on traveling – and for country-specific information, take a look at our Travel Guides Page!


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14 Things To Do in Chiang Rai, Thailand by JetSetting Fools

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