Travel and Leisure

The Best Places to See In Chiang Rai

The best places to see in Chiang Rai according to locals


1. Chiang Rai Clock Tower

You will find the Chiang Rai Clock Tower in the center of the city and although I do not consider it an essential, it is a curiosity to see in Chiang Rai. This clock is made by the Thai artist Chalermchai Kositpipat for the King of Thailand.

At night you can see the show of lights and clock sounds. It is incredibly decorated in gold leaf and the shows are at 7, 8 and 9 pm.

2. Oub Kham Museum

This is one of the museums to see in Chiang Rai where you will find unique artifacts that took place during the Kingdom of Lanna before the Kingdom of Siam (present-day Thailand) dominated northern Thailand.

3. Golden Triangle and Sop Ruak Park (Golden Triangle)

The golden triangle in English or golden triangle is a unique place to see in Chiang Rai because here the borders of three countries converge: Thailand, Laos and Myanmar.

In the area there are several temples that pay homage to this union of borders while respecting the peace and tranquility of the towns.

In this region, you will also find Sop Ruak Park at the exact point where the Ruak and Mekong rivers meet. One of the most beautiful points to see in Chiang Rai is precisely where a statue in gold leaf stands on the exact point where the 3 borders converge.

A little further north you will find Mae Sai city that claims to be the northernmost point or city in all of Thailand.

4. Museum of the Black House

On your tour of the north, you will find several temples to see in Chiang Rai, one of them is the Black Temple or the Black House Museum. This place is quite curious because you will find a complex of 40 black houses.

The purpose of making this place was to pay homage to the art of Bali and Myanmar during the 18th century. This art was characterized by using animal skins and skeletons forming curious and unique patterns.

5. Chiang Rai markets

And that would be from Thailand without going to the night market. The most important night markets to see in Chiang Rai are:

  1. Chiang Saen Market. It is a food market.
  2. Night Bazar. You will find everything.
  3. Local market. You will find mainly crafts.

6. Doi Mae Salong Reserve

The Doi Mae Salong Reserve is the place where a group of nationalist refugees from China live. During the Cultural Revolution in China where there was a civil war between the communists and the nationalists, the latter ended up losing the war, forcing the nationalists to flee to other countries. In the case of Thailand, they came to the Doi Mae Salong reserve and began to develop their lives here.

This place has Chinese overtones and has thrived quite a bit. Some of the most interesting places to see in Chiang Rai and in this reserve are:

  1. Visit Mount Doi Mae Salong and climb up to Phra Chedi Boromathat temple.
  2. Tour the museum of the Chinese martyrs.
  3. Visit the museum of General Tuan Shin who was the leader of the opium trade and the nationalist troops who fought against the communist regime of China.
  4. Tea and flower plantations.
  5. Visit the Mae Salong market.

7. Singha Park

Going to Singha Park is a place that you will love if you are a fan of beer. Basically Singha is one of the most famous beer brands in Thailand and its logo is a golden lion. This park is dedicated to say golden lion where you can see a giant statue of him and have a beer tasting.


8. Phu Chi Fa

Mount Phu Chi Fa is a fairly common place to see in Chiang Rai among locals; however, few foreigners know him. Here you can see some of the most incredible sunrise in all of Thailand and it is advisable to visit the place if you have plenty of time to travel around the country and you like outdoor activities.

It is easy to get to the mountain, if you rent by car; it is 95 km from downtown Chiang Rai and will cost you around 100 BHT. If you go by public transport, it will be cheaper; however, due to the few frequencies per day, you will have to spend the night here.

9. Most important temples of Chiang Rai

Finally, we come to the most important and most iconic thing to see in Chiang Rai MORE TEMPLES!!!!

That is why I think it is important to know the differences between Buddhism, its aspects, Hinduism, Confucianism, Taoism, Tibetan Buddhism and others, because, in this way, you can better differentiate the temples and appreciate them, otherwise, they will all seem the same to you.

The most important temples to see in Chiang Rai are:

  1. White Temple – Wat Rong Khun. The White Temple is the most famous temple to see in Chiang Rai and represents heaven and hell in an exquisitely neat and elegant construction.
  2. Blue Temple– This temple is new and it was opened in 2016, it looks a lot like the white temple because one of the workers who worked there participated in the construction of the blue temple.
  3. Huay Pla Kang Temple– In this temple you will find the Big Buddha of Chiang Rai that is located next to an incredible pagoda that is surprisingly illuminated at night.
  4. Wat Phra Kaew– This is one of the most important temples in Thailand because the emerald Buddha that today is in the Imperial Palace in Bangkok was discovered here.

Here are the list of Top 10 Reasons to Visit Thailand you should explore before planning your Thailand tour.

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