Chiang Rai, Thailand’s most northern province, is located approximately 800 km from Bangkok. The border of the province separates Thailand from both Laos and Myanmar forming the infamous “Golden Triangle” which once supplied 80% of the world’s opium. The Maekok River, flowing from Chiang Mai province into the mighty Mekong river is the major river that cuts through the rugged mountainous topography of the region. These mountains with their abundance of flora and fauna are home to many different hill-tribes which have migrated from Southern China, Tibet and Burma such as Akha, Karen, Lahu, Lisu, Yao and Shan. Chiang Rai province offers an off-beat location for trekking, mountain biking and kayaking journeys in the North.
- Admire the incredible work of art that is Chiang Rai’s White Temple (Wat Rong Khun). This is one of the greatest attractions and for good reason; we recommend visiting in the early morning to avoid the crowds.
- The Golden Triangle loop. Travel from Chiang Rai town to Mae Sai and the Myanmar border, then to the infamous Golden Triangle. Continue to Chiang Saen the ancient capital city before returning to Chiang Rai. Best experienced with an organised day trip.
- Spend an evening wandering through Chiang Rai’s Night Bazaar; enjoy some live entertainment and taste local delicacies. For a more local experience, if you happen to be visiting on a weekend, it might be worth visiting the Saturday and Sunday Walking street.
- Explore some of Northern Thailand’s most impressive mountainous landscapes such as Doi Tung, Doi Mae Salong, Phu Chi Fah mountain and Doi Phadang.
- Experience the surrounding areas with hill tribe villages, forest and nature with our Chiang Rai day trek.
There are regular buses with Greenbus Thailand from Chiang Mai Arcade Bus station departing for Chiang Rai every hour during the day. The journey takes approximately 3.5 hours along Highway 118.
Chiang Rai’s International Airport (Mae Fah Luang) is served by various airlines with regular domestic flights between Bangkok and Chiang Rai. International flights have started to operate from China and Hong Kong with multiple arrivals and departures per week.
If you’re interested to explore more than the city centre, it’s best to hire a car or motorbike to get around on your own, or for more convenience, hire a private vehicle with driver. Public transport consists mainly of tuk-tuks to be used mostly in the city.