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Chiang Rai weekend experience
Enjoy an outstanding vacation by adding some of the most intriguing locations to visit in Chiang Rai to your bucket list, to add to your memories a great Chiang Rai weekend experience.
I can suggest to you how to have the best Chiang Rai weekend experience, whether you’re a nature lover, a culture vulture, or an adventurer. Chiang Rai is full of tourist spots with a broad range of attractions to brighten up your days.
From waterfalls to flower gardens and lovely temples to museums offbeat, there’s no shortage of interesting trips to look forward to when you’re staying with your loved ones in Chiang Rai.
Tourist spots in Chiang Rai are a great visit for all sorts of tourists and it doesn’t matter whether you’re backpacking, visiting with friends or traveling with a family.
Some well-known locations that are usually recommended to visit in Chiang Rai are Wat Rong Khun, Dio Mae Salong, Phu Chi Fah, Wat Phra Kaew, etc.
These locations give the ideal escape from your tedious routine and allow you to take away some of your life’s most memorable experiences.
Chiang Rai sightseeing
Wat Rong Khun (The White Temple)
One of the most recognizable temples in Thailand is Wat Rong Khun, better known as the “White Temple.” The White Temple, which is located outside the town, draws a big amount of tourists, both Thai and foreign visitors, making it become one of the most visited attractions in Chiang Rai.
Wat Rong Khun is a distinctive temple that stands out by the white color and the use of glassware in the plaster that sparkles in the sun. The white color indicates the Buddha’s purity, whereas the glass symbolizes the wisdom of the Buddha and Dhamma.
How to get to Wat Rong Khun Chiang Rai
The Wat Rong Khun is situated about 15 kilometers southwest of Chiang Rai city just off Highway 1 (Phahonyothin Road). A private taxi is the most pleasant way to get there. It lasts about 20 minutes to travel from town, the price is from 250-300 Baht. Most hotels in Chiang Rai can assist you with the booking.
Opening Hours for a site visit
The White Temple opens daily from 8 am until 6 pm. On weekends and the Thai National Holidays, many tourists both Thai people and foreigners head to this temple. Thus, it could be crowded.
Before entering a temple building, please take off your shoes. It is not permitted to take pictures in the main building. Most importantly, you are required to dress respectfully, which means no revealing clothes.
The entrance fee at the ticket booth is 50 Baht (around USD1.5).
Doi Mae Salong
No matter which mountain we head to, the pinnacle of it is certainly a place where cool air is anticipated all year round. One of those you’re searching for is Mae Salong Mountain. Among many tourist destinations of Chiang Rai, Doi Mae Salong is one of the most famous locations visited by travelers in winter due to its low temperature.
Once you get to the top of the area, there are plenty of pleasant places for enthusiasts of photography, restaurants and plenty of accommodation.
What to see on Doi Mae Salong, Chiang Rai
The thing that you should never miss when you plan for Doi Mae Salong is to take a visit to tea houses, tea plantations, stewed pork leg tasting with warm steamed buns and Yunnan food. Villagers assemble at a market in the morning to sell agricultural products and snacks that you might not have seen before. Tea leaves and dried or preserved fruits are popular souvenirs.
Doi Mae Salong maintains a distinctive culture and makes the humdrum affairs of life a fantastic escape. Doi Mae Salong’s picturesque mountain has many tribal villages and provides one of the most delicious oolong teas sourced locally there.
How to reach Doi Mae Salong from Chiang Rai
There are 4 ways to get from Chiang Rai to Doi Mae Salong by taxi (25-30 USD), private car (fuel cost 6-10 USD) or Public Boat (12-15 USD. You will have to travel for the destination for 73 km far, and it may take 1 hour long to be on the road. However, if you don’t want to waste much time to travel, taking a taxi is the best choice.
Doi Mae Salong Opening Hours for a site visit
The place is open from 8 am-5 pm.
Doi Mae Salong Entrance Fee
you will probably not find it expensive for the cost to enter Doi Mae Salong while it is only 30 Baht.
Where can I stay near Doi Mae Salong?
Accommodation is not a challenge that you have to face in this tourist area. You will have plenty of options to choose if you want to spend the night at Doi Mae Salong. The services are awesome, the restaurants with good food choices are what I believe you are seeking. Here the list of some beautiful accommodation in Doi Mae Salong:
- Shin Sane Guest House
- Wang Put Tan Boutique Hotel
- Phumektawan Resort
- Akha Mud House Mae Salong
- Udee Home
- HillTop Home
- Baan Ruam Cha
- Ling Fu En
- Hongfu Boutique Resort Doi Mae Salong
- My Place Mae Salong
Phu Chi Fah (Have sightseeing above the clouds)
If you’re bored with having sightseeing on the ground, why don’t you replace it by having sightseeing above the clouds? Sightseeing above the clouds will be more exciting and amazing than ever.
Actually, Phu Chi Fah is an area of the mountains and a national park in Chiang Rai. It is approximately 1,628 meters above sea level and millions of square meters in size. Its peak points straight to the sky, sticking through the clouds.
The word “Phu” in English means “mountain,” “chi” means “point,” and “fah” means “sky.”
It is an awesome place. I can say it is one of the most beautiful and scenic places in Thailand. The way to this place is blessed with beautiful scenery and nature.
The path even though small and took only 20 minutes to reach the peak. The entire hiking path and the peak are surrounded by breathtaking views and scenery. You can also see the neighboring country Laos from the top.
How to reach Phu Chi Fah from Chiang Rai
You could reach Phu Chi Fah by motorbike or local bus from Chiang Rai. If you want to visit Phu Chi Fa, Chiang Rai is the best starting. Once in Chiang Rai, you can hire a driver from one of the many tour agencies or hire a motorbike if you’re feeling adventurous! And if you want to be more private, let’s get package trip which cost around 3,000 baht (about $100 USD) and you can decide whether to stop at tourist sites along the road from Chiang Rai to Phu Chi Fah.
Opening Hours for a site visit
Open from 8 AM to 5 PM. Post this, the area gets dark and risky to travel through.
Where to stay in Phu Chi Fah area
Small and large resorts are scattered all along the mountain and most of its approach roads but there are plenty of principal concentrations of accommodation such as:
- Pathang Hill: It is a gorgeous place; incredibly cooperative, English speaking owners, and they are very happy to welcome guests so Pathang Hill gets the priority in the list of visitors. The price is around 400-1,200 Baht.
- Luk Phu Chee Fah: it has a row of superb, spanking new bungalows with vertiginous balconies, cable TV, fridge, Wi-Fi and coffee, and tea making facilities. The price could be from 1,500-3,000 Baht.
- Chill Chill Guesthouse: Pathang Hill should have a more than adequate second choice, and indeed Chill Chill is right across the road. The price is 500-1,800 Baht.
- Home Chiang Dao: It is a part of a collection of resorts set at the foot of the northerly road leading up to Phu Chee Fah viewpoint. The price is 500-1,000 Baht.
- Khum Dok Seeow Resort: It is right in the thickness of the action above Rom Fah Thai village, where vividly painted resort by resort is piled up on top of each other. The price ranged from 300-1,500 Baht.
Wat Huai Pla Kung
Often erroneously referred to as Chiang Rai’s Big Buddha for his large white statue, which in fact represents the goddess of Mercy, Wat Huay Pla Kung is a very latest temple.
It is 6 kilometers away from the town of Chiang Rai and has rapidly become a must-see location for any visit here.
The site features an exciting architectural design that combines Thai and Chinese architecture.
Offering the most amazing views of the landscape is known and enables you to enjoy some quiet moments by watching Buddhist traditions and just enjoying the serenity of the background.
The temple is one of Chiang Rai’s most distinctive tourist spots and a fantastic place for a spiritual retreat.
Cost and Opening Hours for a site visit
Open for tourists to visit from 8 AM to 5 PM. There will be no admission fee, however, you will have to pay for an entrance fee for going inside the statue 40 Baht/person.
How to get to Wat Huai Pla Kung
From the town, there is no public transport to this temple. A tuk-tuk, private car, or one of the tiny blue cars circulating in Chiang Rai will need to be hired.
Expected Manner to enter Wat Huai Pla Kung
There are some important rules that may be applied to most of the temples in Thailand. You may have to be careful with these significant notes before heading to Wat Huai Pla Kung:
- Dress properly (knees and shoulders should be covered)
- Take off your shoes when entering the buildings
- Be quiet Don’t hug or kiss
- Don’t point your feet to Buddha’s image
- And don’t smoke even in the surrounded area.
The Golden Triangle (center of the world’s drug trafficking)
The notorious Golden Triangle, once the center of heroin manufacturing and trade in South East Asia, lies north-east of Chiang Rai near Chiang Saen. The Golden Triangle is actually passed that period. Now the region is quiet and peaceful with villages, ancient temples, and markets dotted with a hill tribe.
For its lovely landscapes, the Golden Triangle is renowned. The three neighboring nations (Thailand, Laos, and Myanmar), the Mekong River and the hilly landscape with its tiny villages and hilltop temples will be seen from the perspective. It is also marked by the local people’s name Sop Ruak. It is the Lanna Culture’s pillar and gets off point for many visitors who want to discover Burma’s markets, Phra That Doi Pu Khao on the hill and Opium Hall.
Location, opening hours & entrance fees for Opium Hall
The museum is situated a short distance from the river near the Anantara Golden Triangle hotel. It opens daily from 8.30 a.m. to 4.30 p.m. except for Mondays. The entrance fee is 200 Baht/ person. To be noticed that you are not permitted to take photographs inside the building.
How to get to the golden triangle from Chiang Rai
Most foreign visitors to the Golden Triangle come from Chiang Rai on an arranged trip. Alternatively, rent a vehicle by hotel or local travel agent with a driver.
It takes a little longer to get to the Golden Triangle using public transport.
First, take a bus from Chiang Rai to Mae Sai which takes about 90 minutes. Then take the blue Songthaew from Mae Sai to the Golden Triangle, a 45 minutes trip. But be aware that you have to check the timetable to make sure you don’t miss the last bus back to Mae Sai.
Singha Park (Boon Rawd Farm), Chiang Rai
Boon Rawd Brewery, the producer of Singha Beer, belongs to Singha Park but there is no chance that tourists will find a brewery or an inexhaustible supply of Thai beer. Alternatively, the scenic park in the countryside of Chiang Rai is a family-friendly attraction, making it an enjoyable way to spend a morning or afternoon.
Singha Park is full of fun spots like the tiny zoo, zipline, farm, vegetable and fruit garden. It’s a tourist site where you can spend your day and end up with full of fun. Moreover, it’s a place where you can expect an adventure with your loved ones.
Getting around Singha Park
The Singha Park employees promote tourists to ride bicycles or electric trams if you wish to explore the landscaped grounds.
Using Bicycles at Singha Park
Singha Park’s bike routes are outstanding and are open to the use of your personal bicycle. If you want to rent a set of wheels, a tandem will cost you 150 Baht, a mountain bike is 100 Baht and an infant bicycle is 50 Baht.
Prices are per hour, including using a bicycle helmet. You may need 1-2 hours in order to explore places in this park.
Using Trams at Singha Park
An electric tram takes tourists to different areas of the park with some of the highlights stopping at the fruit orchards, tea plantations and the petting zoo.
The tram’s cost is 50 Baht for adults and 25 Baht for kids but includes two vouchers that can be exchanged for water bottles at the refreshment stations along the way. Trams run from 10 am to 5 pm every half hour.
Special event at Singha Park, Chiang Rai
Singha Park is staging a number of music concerts throughout the year with some large name Thai bands pulling in the local crowds.
In February, the park also hosts an annual balloon festival and several cycling activities throughout the year.
Singha Park Entrance Fee and Opening Hours for a site visit
Singha Park’s main part is open every day from 9 am to 6 pm, although restaurants are open until later. The entrance fee to the park is free and visitors are charged extra based on how much they want to see or do when they are there.
Best time to visit Singha Park
The park is open year-round, but in the cool season is best flourished starting from mid-November to the end of January. Haze and smog can diminish some of the views between mid-February and the beginning of April.
How to reach to Singha Park, Chiang Rai
Singha Park is situated about 12 km southeast of downtown Chiang Rai. There is no public transport available to reach Singha Park from Chiang Rai. However, at the moment, your own transport is the simplest way to get to Singha Park. In downtown Chiang Rai, cars and motorcycles can be rented daily. Another way if you’re fit is to hire a bike and go out directly to Singha Park.
Wat Phra Kaew (Temple of the Emerald Buddha)
The Wat Phra Kaew Temple, also called the Emerald Buddha, is one of Chiang Rai’s main tourist attractions. It houses the minutely sculpted statue of the Emerald Buddha and it is decorated nicely to keep every visitor enthusiastic.
By visiting Wat Phra Kaew, one can look forward to collecting a peaceful day and admire the striking craftsmanship and architecture of this lovely temple when they are on vacation with their loved ones in Chiang Rai.
How to get to Wat Phra Kaew
The temple is located about 800 meters south of the Mae Kok River at the junction of Sang Kaew road and Trairat highway in the western portion of Chiang Rai. You can get there by tuk-tuk or samlor (a three-wheeled rickshaw) from anywhere in the city center or hire a bicycle and ride there on your own.
Wat Phra Kaew Opening Hours
The temple grounds are open daily from 7 am to 6 pm.
Wat Phra Kaew Entrance Fee
The entrance is free. Donations are extremely valued for the temple’s maintenance.
Mae Fah Luang Art and Cultural Park
Mae Fah Luang Art and Cultural Park is home to the biggest collection of Lanna Kingdom folk art and teak artifacts in the region.
It has been acknowledged as a distinctive tourist destination in northern Thailand and has won the 2006 Thailand Tourism Award as an exceptional tourist destination in the Arts and Culture category.
Mae Fah Luang Art & Culture Park provided some ethnic minority groups with schooling. Today, as it no longer an educational base, it has become a museum.
The Golden Pavilion (Haw Kham) comprising Lord Buddha’s complex woodwork from the early 17th century and the Haw Kham Noi Pavilion comprising an enviable collection of timeless wall paintings.
How to reach Mae Fah Luang, Chiang Rai
The location is about 7 km far from the downtown center. You can go there by taxi, Tuk-Tuk, motorbikes or bicycles.
Mae Fah Luang Opening Hours for a site visit
8:30 am to 4:30 pm on all days of the week except Mondays.
Mae Fah Luang Entrance Fee
The entrance fee is 100-200 Baht.
Pu Kaeng Waterfall
It is an intriguing and lovely medium-sized waterfall with streams flowing through a cliff.
The waterfall was created by blending calcareous with water deposition, generating stalagmites, stalactites, and caves in the region. With 9 levels of waterfalls, Pu Kaeng is one of Thailand’s most lovely natural spots to visit.
It is a calcareous waterfall with a 9-level height, a 900-meter distance. The forest is abundant throughout the year, with plenty of water.
At the waterfall and in the National Park, there are many plants along the footpaths.
Enjoy nature by walking through the forest or sit with your loved ones by the waterfall. It is a great place to generate some marvelous memories.
How to reach Pu Kaeng Waterfall
You can rent a motorbike, taxi, or take a bus to reach Pu Kaeng Waterfall. You will have to travel along the Chiang Rai-Phayao route for 58 kilometers to arrive at Ban Pu Kaeng. At kilometer 77, take a right turn and proceed on for another 9 kilometers, then you will arrive at the spot.
Entrance fee and Opening Hours for a site visit
You can enjoy the nature in Pu Kaeng Waterfall for free of charge. The park is open daily from 9:00 am-4: 30 pm.
Chiang Rai’s Night Market
If you are seeking for a spot where you can see Thai culture at its fullest form, the night market or the night bazaar is the right place for you. The place is located next to the bus station, right on the Prasopsuk Phaholyothin road.
This night bazaar is where you can shop at decent rates for exclusive handicrafts made of wood, scarves, bags, jewelry and many sorts of souvenirs that represent the lifestyle of Lanna and other hill tribal communities.
Saturate your hunger with amazing grilled meals along with a multitude of beers after you got exhausted from shopping. Do not forget to attempt the genuine Thai massages of professionals, performances of folk music and other cultural shows that are presented here.
Opening Hours for Chiang Rai Night Market
It is open in the evenings from 6:30 pm and goes on until 11:00 pm.
How to go to Chiang Rai
It is very simple to get to Chiang Rai. If you are a person who enjoys spend long hours along the street and enjoy the different sightseeing from the capital city of Thailand to the very northern part of the country, taking a bus is a great choice.
However, if you do not want to waste much time on your traveling, taking a flight and spend most of your time at tourist sites in Chiang Rai is what I recommend.
To reach Chiang Rai by flight
Chiang Rai’s Mae Fah Luang Airport, which is located 10 kilometers south of the town center, runs both international and domestic operations. This makes a flight to Chiang Rai a convenient way to go. Chiang Rai is connected to and from Singapore, Hongkong, Bangkok and other airports through Mae Fah Luang airport. A direct flight from Bangkok to Chiang Rai is very cheap with Air Asia.
To reach Chiang Rai by bus
Bangkok also has regular buses to go to Chiang Rai. While Chiang Rai is an accessible 3 hours bus ride from Chiang Mai (about 130 baht).