2017 CHIANG RAI TRAVEL GUIDE | ITINERARY, BUDGET HOTELS, TOURIST ATTRACTIONS

2017 CHIANG RAI TRAVEL GUIDE | ITINERARY, BUDGET HOTELS, TOURIST ATTRACTIONS

CHIANG RAI TRAVEL GUIDE | ITINERARY, BUDGET HOTELS, TOURIST ATTRACTIONS

CHIANG RAI: BEAUTY IN SIMPLICITY

 Often overlooked by tourists for its rather simplistic appearance, the city of Chiang Rai is often described as an idyllic town of the province which bears the same name. For the locals, this city is known to be located at the northern-most region of Thailand and thus borders near the country’s neighboring regions.

But with a history that was centuries in the making, Chiang Rai has developed a culture that is part of Thailand yet distinct on its own. Not only does the city considered a melting pot of ethnic minorities in the country, the influence of a previous civilization in the region has remained relatively intact.

Typically, this stark contrast from the rest of the Thai culture is seen on the natives of Chiang Rai’s way of living such as the music, art, and cooking, apart from the more tangible aspect such as their architecture.

Historically-speaking, the city of Chiang Rai has had previously enjoyed it status symbol as a capital city since 1262 at a time when the Mengrai Dynasty were still rulers of the land.

While it did lose its position as a capital city, the metro has remained a bustling place for commerce, catering for the people surrounding the Golden Triangle border region as shared by Thailand, Laos, and Myanmar. For this, the province of which the city is located is regarded as a “service city” to its neighboring provinces.

As of latest census, the city is a home to not more than 200,000 people. Despite the rather little population, its urban setting is a host to a number of reputable universities and civic facilities.

If you are not familiar with the overall region of Thailand, you can easily mistake Chiang Rai for its sister city, Chiang Mai. What may seem to be an interchangeable urban name are actually distinct from one another.

For one, Chiang Rai is nestled at the northern-most part of the country whereas Chiang Mai is located at the lower tail-end of Chiang Rai. Hence, the two provinces are easily described as “sister cities” of Thailand.

However, it is not only in their locations which make one separate from the other. When it comes to the landscape, the two are significantly different as well, with Chiang Rai regarded as mountainous by terrain.

Another difference between these two sister cities is the ostensive contrast in the ethnic composition each region holds and, as such, the prevailing subculture in their respective places. As an area which borders Thailand’s closest neighboring countries, Chiang Rai is a common refuge to Myanmar exiles, typically the Karen tribesmen.

In terms of food, another noteworthy aspect of being in Chiang Rai is that its foods have more spice in them and is subsequently spicier than the ones from further south.

But, while the foods in Chiang Rai are spicy indeed, the nightlife in the city is not as lively as Chiang Mai’s. There is not much variety to be found and all of them are concentrated in one location in the city: around the so-called Clock Tower.

CHIANG RAI TOURIST ATTRACTIONS | 1 DAY CHIANG RAI TOUR ITINERARY, HOW TO GET THERE 

Here’s my suggested itinerary if you are visiting ChiangRai just for a day. I had visited these places during my recent visit and these places were really beautiful and worth your time.

CHIANG RAI TRAVEL GUIDE | ITINERARY, BUDGET HOTELS, TOURIST ATTRACTIONS

Doi Tung Royal Villa

MORNING

DOI TUNG ROYAL VILLA AND MAE FAH LUAN GARDENS

Doi Tung is a mountain in Chiang Rai, Thailand. Here you will find The Doi Tung Royal Villa. Her Royal Highness Princess Mother Srinagarindra called the villa “home at Doi Tung”. The house was built with Princess Mother’s private funds. In fact, she considered it her first real home in Thailand.

Read my review of the Doi Tung Royal Villa and Mae Fah Luan Gardens

Just below the Doi Tung Royal Villa, you will find the Mae Fah Luang Gardens. The botanical park is beautifully curated and filled with many flowering and ornamental plants, perfect for a photo op.

HOW TO GET TO DOI TUNG ROYAL VILLA

Doi Tung Royal Villa is found at Amphoe Mae Fah Luang. You can start your trip from Chiang Rai city, by taking Highway no.1 (Chiangrai-Mae Saai Route). The trip takes at approximately 45 kilometers before reaching 870-871 kilometer stone. You can see a turn-left sign, which indicates 17 kilometers to Doi Tung Royal Villa. You can try two-row seated bus up to Doi Tung, please contact Doi Tung Travel Company Tel. 0 5366 7422, Doi Tung Lodge Tel. 0 5376 7067. It is the purple minibus which starts their operation from 7 a.m. The bus leaves every 20 minutes.

If you don’t want to be troubled by taking the public transportation. It would be best to use some application like UBER.

LUNCH

Take your lunch with the complex of Doi Tung Royal Villa. The place has numerous restaurants and cafes offering various cuisines including of course authentic Thai Dishes.

AFTERNOON

CHIANG RAI TRAVEL GUIDE | ITINERARY, BUDGET HOTELS, TOURIST ATTRACTIONS

Surprisingly, you will find this golden structure with the White Temple Complex.And you know what is this for?…a toilet, a golden toilet at Wat Rong Khun

WAT RONG KHUN

The iconic Wat Rong Khun is popularly known as “the White Temple” is one of the must-visit temple in Chiang Rai. It is said that no temple in the entire Thailand looks like the Wat Rong Khun as it stands out because of the white color and the sparkling mirrors in the plaster.

Read my review of the Wat Rong Khun

How to get to the Wat Rong Khun

Located just off Highway 1 (Phahonyothin Road), the Wat Rong Khun is approximately 15 kilometers South West of Chiang Rai town. The most convenient way to get there is by private air-conditioned taxi. You can use UBER to get there. The ride from town would take approximately 20 minutes. Most Hotels in Chiang Rai can also help you to find a car to bring you to the place.

If you would like to use the public transport, there is a bus station near the night bazaar in the center of Chiang Rai town. The travel to the temple is approximately 30 minutes.

Address: San Sai, Mueang Chiang Rai District, Chiang Rai 57000, Thailand
Phone: +66 53 673 579

CHIANG RAI TRAVEL GUIDE | ITINERARY, BUDGET HOTELS, TOURIST ATTRACTIONS

BAAN DAM MUSEUM (BLACK MUSEUM) 

After completing the White Museum, try to visit the Baan Dam Museum also known as the Black Museum. This iconic bizarre temple in Chiang Rai is quite unique as the entire complex is dotted with several houses structures in black.

The Baan Dam’s entire look with decors of animal bones and skulls adorning each room make this Duchanee’s estate the complete opposite of the White Temple.

HOW TO GET TO BAAN DAM MUSEUM

It is quite tricky to go to Baan Dam Museum. Of course, it would be best to take a taxi or using your UBER application.

If you would like to take the public bus transport from Chiang Rai, just ask for the terminal going to the place. Ask at the counter for the black house / black temple, or the Bandaam Museum, and they’ll tell you on what bus to take. The moment you are in the bus, inform the driver where you are heading. The bus will drop you off on the highway, with a 500m walk down a local road to your destination.

Read my review of the Baan Dam Museum

Address:
Baan Dam Black House Museum
Address: 33313 Tambon Nang Lae, Amphoe Mueang Chiang Rai, Chang Wat Chiang Rai 57100, Thailand
Hours: 9AM–5PM

CHIANG RAI TRAVEL GUIDE | ITINERARY, BUDGET HOTELS, TOURIST ATTRACTIONS

EVENING

GOLDEN CLOCK TOWER

The clock tower in Chiang is a famous landmark as it is always referred to as “the guide” when referring to a distance when you ask for a place.

The iconic Golden Clock Tower was built in 2008 to honor His Majesty, King Bhumibhol Adulyadej.

It would be best to see the tower at 7 pm, 8 pm, and 9 pm every day, for 10 minutes each time, the clock tower turns into a masterpiece as changes its color with the play of the sound.

Chiang Rai Clock Tower
Address: Moo 3, Pa Or Don Chai Maeung, Chiang Rai, Thailand

CHIANG RAI TRAVEL GUIDE | ITINERARY, BUDGET HOTELS, TOURIST ATTRACTIONS

NIGHT BAZAAR

Just a few meters from the Golden Tower, you will find the Chiang Rai Night Bazaar. The place offers a wide array of street food, crafts, and other souvenir items. If you are a tourist you can try having your dinner at this place. Entertainments are also available at the place.

OTHER THINGS TO DO IN CHIANG RAI

FIRE MASSAGE

SINGHA PARK

CHIANG RAI TRAVEL GUIDE | ITINERARY, BUDGET HOTELS, TOURIST ATTRACTIONS

LIST OF BUDGET HOTELS IN CHIANG RAI

To get the best deal click on any of this hotels and it will bring you to the booking site.

Mercy Hostel Recently Renovated
1005/22 Jedyod Rd., T.vieng A.Muang, City Center, Chiang Rai, Thailand, 57000
CLICK HERE TO BOOK  A ROOM  

Connect Hostel
935 Phahonyothin Road, City Center, Chiang Rai, Thailand, 57000
CLICK HERE TO BOOK  A ROOM  

Hi Chiangrai Hotel
902/3 Phahonyothin Road, Wiang, Mueang, City Center, Chiang Rai, Thailand, 57000
CLICK HERE TO BOOK  A ROOM

Chiang Rai Hotel
519 Suksathit Road, T. Wieng, City Center, Chiang Rai, Thailand, 57000
CLICK HERE TO BOOK  A ROOM  

De Hug Hotel and Residence
196/4 Moo16, Sridonchai Rd., (Ratchayotha Rd.), Denha Junction, Tambol Robwieng, City Center, Chiang Rai, Thailand, 57000
CLICK HERE TO BOOK  A ROOM

B2 Chiang Rai
393/38-40 BunpaKan Road, T.Wiang, A.Muang, City Center, Chiang Rai, Thailand, 57000
CLICK HERE TO BOOK  A ROOM

Hop Inn Chiang Rai
934/28 Phaholyothin Rd., Tumbon Viang, Amphoe Chiang Rai, City Center, Chiang Rai, Thailand, 57000
CLICK HERE TO BOOK  A ROOM

Morning Dew Lodge Recently Renovated
85 Ban Prakan Road, Mueng, City Center, Chiang Rai, Thailand, 57000
CLICK HERE TO BOOK  A ROOM

SOOK cafe and hostel
869/20 Paholyothin, Mueang, City Center, Chiang Rai, Thailand, 57000
CLICK HERE TO BOOK  A ROOM

Chiangrai Clock Tower Hostel
4 Floors, 519 Suk Sathit Road, City Center, Chiang Rai, Thailand, 57000
CLICK HERE TO BOOK  A ROOM

Lemme Chok Dee Guesthouse
869/138, Jed Yod Road, Mueang, City Center, Chiang Rai, Thailand, 57000
CLICK HERE TO BOOK  A ROOM

Baan Baramee
28/18 San Panard rd. Soi 2/2 T.Robwieng A.Muang, City Center, Chiang Rai, Thailand, 57000
CLICK HERE TO BOOK  A ROOM

B2 Night Bazaar Chiang Rai
30 Moo 17, San Krok Chang Soi 4, Rob Wiang, City Center, Chiang Rai, Thailand, 57000
CLICK HERE TO BOOK  A ROOM

Happynest Hostel
931 Phaholyotin Road, T. Wiang, A. Muang , City Center, Chiang Rai, Thailand, 57000
CLICK HERE TO BOOK  A ROOM

Chiang Rai Greenpark Resort
181 M.11 18 Mithuna Rd. , Tambol Robwiang, Muang , Chiangrai, City Center, Chiang Rai, Thailand, 57000
CLICK HERE TO BOOK  A ROOM

The Palm Garden Hotel
375/1 Pho Khun Road, Soi 8, T. Robvieng, Muang District, City Center, Chiang Rai, Thailand, 57000
CLICK HERE TO BOOK  A ROOM

A Residence
625 Utarakit Road, A. Muang, City Center, Chiang Rai, Thailand, 57000
CLICK HERE TO BOOK  A ROOM

 

 

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jojo vito

I am an entrepreneur, management consultant and artist who loves to travel and share my experiences with others. If you want your place to be featured, for partnerships and sponsorships, etc. – email me at jovito_intraspec@yahoo.com

My Blogs: www.thehappytrip.com ;  www.toponmylist.com ; www.intraspectraining.wordpress.com www.jojovito.com 

Default Comments (5)

5 Comments:

  1. Amazing!!! I will surely visit the White Temple, It’s not the usual temple in Thailand.

  2. Yay, another amazing post-Happy Trip. Just starting my travel blog because I was inspired reading all your posts. Hope you won’t mind if I’ll ask you some tips on my first out of the country trip next year 🙂

  3. Reading this post reminded me of your post last year about the fire massage. I think that was in Chiang Rai, right?

  4. Searching on what to see near Chiang Mai and found this post. Thank you so much. I think Chiang Rai offers a different flavor 🙂

  5. The White Temple is really on my bucket list. Hope to get a good plane fare deal next year so that I can see also in actual what you have posted.

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