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This small, amiable city is worth getting to know, with its relaxed atmosphere, fine local food and good-value accommodation. This is despite the fact that Chiang Rai Province has such a diversity of attractions that its capital is often overlooked. It’s also the logical base from which to plan excursions to the more remote corners of the province. Founded by Phaya Mengrai in 1262 as part of the Lao–Thai Lanna kingdom, Chiang Rai didn’t become a Siamese territory until 1786.

Chiang Rai weather overview

Chiang Rai has a tropical savanna climate, tempered by the low latitude and moderate elevation, with warm to hot weather all year round. Nighttime conditions during the dry season can be cool though. Chiang Rai has a particularly chronic problem with burning (and resulting haze) in March. The mountain views disappear as the Ping River valley chokes under a dusty haze that can often be a health hazard.

Generally speaking, the weather of northern Thailand is far more temperate than that of central or southern Thailand. Northern Thailand, with its mountainous terrain and location in the Asian interior, brings cooler temperatures and less humidity. However, there is still quite a bit of precipitation during the rainy season and the weather gets very chilly once you head up into the nearby mountains.

Check the below table for the general idea of Chiang Rai weather throughout the year.

Month High/Low (°C) Rain
January 31°/ 14° 1 days
February 33°/ 16° 0 days
March 37°/ 18° 0 days
April 35°/ 21° 7 days
May 37°/ 25° 12 days
June 33°/ 23° 22 days
July 31°/ 23° 27 days
August 30°/ 22° 29 days
September 31°/ 21° 15 days
October 32°/ 20° 15 days
November 31°/ 18° 3 days
December 28°/ 13° 3 days

Best time to go to Chiang Rai

The best time to visit Chiang Rai is from October to February as the weather is much cooler and less humid. The average annual temperature is around 24 ℃, but it can go as high as 36 ℃, and as low as 10-15 ℃, depending on the more warmer or cooler seasons. Winters are an excellent time to trek and go on a cruise.

Although beware of the tourist crowd also it's essential to carry warm clothing. Summers (March-May) see a surge in temperature which can go as high as 36-degrees Celcius while the rainy season (June - September) see the low temperature with 80% of humidity. The months of April to June are the worst months to visit Chiang Rai because it's extremely humid and sightseeing would be very uncomfortable. Indoor activities, museum visits and waterfalls are great places to explore during warm and rainy seasons.

Chiang Rai seasonal weather guide

November to February: This is the ideal time to visit Chiang Mai because the weather is perfect for all kinds of outdoor activities. While it does not get too cold, you should carry a jacket and some light woolens. January is usually considered the best month and sees a high influx of tourists. If you plan a trip in November you will catch the Loi Krathong festivities and in February you will see the Chiang Mai flower festival.

March to May: While summers start setting in from the end of March, tourists still visit Chiang Mai and it's a good time to look for deals on hotels and flights. Even if the temperature during the day is high you can spend the afternoon in the pool and head out after sunset. Temperatures rise up to 40°C between April and May. Carry light cottons, sunglasses and hats to beat the heat.

June to October: The temperature during the rainy season cools down although the humidity rises. While it rains less than southern Thailand, monsoons are still heavy in Chiang Mai as well. So you will have to be prepared with umbrellas, raincoats and study shoes. Not many tourists visit Chiang Mai during the monsoon so if you are looking for a quieter holiday in this ancient town, then this is the time for you.

Chiang Rai current weather & 7-day forecast

CHIANG RAI WEATHER

With a far-reaching history before its 34-year stretch as the second capital of the Lanna Kingdom, Chiang Rai is considered one of the oldest settlements in Thailand. It may be less well known than Chiang Mai as a tourist destination on its own, but what makes Chiang Rai fascinating is its strong association with the Tai ethnic culture – the origins of Lanna people – which can still be seen in the temple and museum architecture around the city area.

Here are top things to do in Chiang Rai:

Chiang Rai Clock Tower

If you have already paid a visit to the White Temple, you will not be surprised to see the twisting and swirling spires on the golden clock tower where Phaholyothin Road and Banpaprakan Road meet. Built in 2008 to honour His Majesty King Bhumibhol Adulyadej, the clock tower bears the signature style of Chalermchai Kositpipat, the artist who conceived and built the White Temple. Every evening, at 19:00, 20:00 and 21:00, the clock tower comes to life in a light-and-sound display. While it’s not exactly a must-see, it still draws quite a gathering of visitors and is an interesting addition to the city’s central landmark.

Location: At the junction of Phaholyothin, Jet Yod and Banpaprakan Roads

Hill-Tribes Museum and Education Centre

If you plan to visit the hill-tribe villages, it’s a good idea to first drop by the museum and get familiarised with their culture. Part of a local NGO group, PDA Chiang Rai, which is the brainchild of former senator Meechai Weera-waithaya and Thailand’s most outspoken advocate for safe sex, the museum aims to build awareness for responsible tourism by educating visitors about Thailand’s ethnic hill-tribe communities and local etiquettes that they should observe when visiting the hill-tribe villages.

Housed inside two exhibit rooms, the first showcases the history, customs and traditions of the seven major tribes inhabiting  the northern highlands of Thailand, namely Karen, Hmong (Meo), Yao, Lisu, Lahu, Lawa and Akha. You can watch a series of video presentations (available in five languages) to learn more about the hill-tribes, before continuing on to the second exhibit of colourful tribal costumes and bamboo as an essential natural material for the ethic hill-tribes.

Opening Hours: 09:00 – 18:00 (Mon – Fri); 10:00 – 18:00 (weekends and public holidays)

Location: 3rd floor PDA Building, on Thanalai Road

King Mengrai the Great Monument

The spiritual heart of Chiang Rai, this life-size monument is dedicated to King Mengrai the Great (r. 1262 - 1311), founder of the Lanna Kingdom. He established the first capital in Chiang Saen (1262), before relocating it to the west bank of the Ping River in Chiang Mai (1296).

Backed by three giant golden tungs (Lanna flags), the King’s monument is the first thing you see when approaching the city from the Highway 1 (Paholyothin Road). Locals usually stop here to pay respect to the city’s founding father before continuing on with their journey. Here is a good place to take a rest or buy some souvenirs from the nearby crafts centre.

Location: Phaholyothin Road

Mae Fah Luang Art & Cultural Park

If you are short on time but would like to get an over-arching introduction to Chiang Rai’s past and immediate history as well as its cultural heritage, then head over to Mae Fah Luang Art & Cultural Park (about 5km west of the city centre). Set in a lovely landscaped lake garden is a cluster of teak structures, constructed in the styles of traditional Lanna and Tai hill-tribes. Learn about the kingdom’s 400-year history, as you browse the museum’s fascinating collection of secular and religious art and artifacts.

Visit the Haw Kham pavilion and learn about animist and Buddhist rituals, which still co-exist in modern-day Lanna culture. Haw Kaew houses a permanent exhibition of teakwood artifacts. The museum’s admission fee, along with sales at the museum’s crafts shop, is used to support the northern ethnic hill-tribes and their crafts.

Opening Hours: 08:30 – 17:30 (Tues – Sun)

Location: About 5km west of town

Oub Kham Museum

If you prefer to delve deeper into Lanna history, art and cultural heritage, the splendid collection at Oub Kham Museum is a must-see. Witness all the different strands that come together, woven into the beautiful tapestry that is the Lanna Kingdom, from royal regalia and costumes to an assortment of rare antiques, pottery, ancient Buddha images, artifacts and tribal costumes. The collections are housed inside five exhibition rooms and a man-made cave. Don’t miss the magnificent centerpiece: the golden throne of Chiang Tung, fashioned from nine pieces of ornately carved teakwood, gilded with gold.

Opening Hours: 08:00 – 17:00 daily

Location: Na Khai Road, about 3km southwest of city centre

The Naval City Pillar

Fusing ancient Khmer and Lanna concepts of the universe and man’s position in relation to them, the Naval City Pillar is a series of carved stone pillars – about 1m high – set atop Jom Thong Hill. The main pillar – set on a marble pedestal and slightly bigger than the rest – is surrounded by 108 satellite pillars which occupy the six-tiered concentric circles that radiate around it, representing the six lower levels of heaven. Together, the entire site has a supernatural air to it. While up here, catch a glimpse of downtown Chiang Rai, the Kok River, or visit Wat Phra That Doi Chom Thong located in the same vicinity.

Location: On Doi Thong, Arj-Amnuay Road

Wat Klang Wieng

This is a must-see temple, for its striking architecture and ornate relief decorations. Located at the epicentre of Chiang Rai City, Wat Klang Wieng houses the original city pillar shrine as well as a spectacular temple complex built in a contemporary Lanna style. 

Built in 1432, the temple boasts ornate grillwork, roof finials and gilded decorations on its vivid red façades – a peculiar colour for temples. It was not always so peculiar looking, however, as the temple underwent extensive renovation after a storm brought down several main structures in 1903, including the main chapel (ubosot) and assembly hall (wiharn). A stupa (chedi) was then added to the temple compound; it rests on a three-tiered octagonal base, guarded on all sides by elephants in full court regalia. On each level, there are small niches housing golden Buddha images or amulets – a typical characteristic of northern-style chedis.

Location: Corner of Rattanaket and Uttarakit Roads, three blocks northeast of the Clock Tower

Wat Phra Kaew

Wat Phra Kaew is the original site where the Emerald Buddha (in Bangkok) was enshrined. It was known by the name of Wat Pa Ya (Bamboo Forest Temple), until one stormy night in 1434, a bolt of lightning struck the principal golden stupa, cracking it and revealing the Emerald Buddha inside. The Buddha was then relocated to Lampang, Chiang Mai, Luang Phra Bang, Vientiane and eventually Wat Phra Kaew (Temple of the Emerald Buddha) in Bangkok. Today, a replica of the Emerald Buddha – carved by a Chinese sculptor from a block of Canadian jade – dressed in full regal attire is housed inside the crimson, Lanna-style pavilion behind the chedi.

Guarded by a pair of serpent deities, the main chapel (ubosot) houses the principal Buddha image, Phra Jao Lan Thong, cast from brass and copper in the beautiful Chiang Saen style.  Believed to be at least 700 years old, Phra Jao Lan Thong was relocated from the temple of the same name in the old town of Chiang Saen. To the left of the main chapel is an exquisite two-storey pavilion constructed in the ancient Lanna style with gilded roof finials. Inside is a museum with permanent exhibitions on Lanna culture and ancient Buddhist relics.

Location: Corner of Trairat and Saeng Kaew Roads, four blocks northwest of the Clock Tower

Wat Phra Singh

With the exception of the elaborately sculpted front gate – which will likely catch your attention and draw you inside – the unassuming façade of Wat Phra Singh belies a fascinating world of Lanna art and a history dating back to the 14th Century. The main viharn (chapel) was used to enshrine the sacred Phra Singh Buddha image, until it relocated to Chiang Mai and was replaced by an exact replica.

Upon taking a closer look, you will see that the viharn itself is adorned with intricate hand-carved details, gilded fretworks, mirror decorations and sculptures of mythical animals. Before stepping inside, have a look at the viharn’s front door. Designed by successful Lanna artist Tawan Duchanee, it tells the story of the four elements – wind, fire, water, earth – through four mythical creatures: the Garuda, lion (singh), naga serpent and elephant.

Location: Singha Klai Road, near Overbrook Hospital, four blocks north of the Clock Tower

Wat Phra That Doi Chom Thong

Set atop a low hill – the highest point in the city centre – Wat Phra That Doi Chom Thong overlooks the entire city area and a scenic panorama of the Kok River. Built in the 10th Century, the temple was founded long before King Mengrai established the new Lanna capital in Chiang Rai. The highlight here is the golden, hexagonal-based chedi (stupa), constructed in the style of ancient Burmese and Lanna. Inside, it houses the Lord Buddha's relics and is an important place of worship for locals. While here, drop by to see the Naval City Pillar, located up a few steps to the left of the temple.

Location: On Doi Thong, Arj-Amnuay Road

Chiang Rai’s dining scene has a good mix of local and international offerings. Apart from typical street-side snacks, such as noodles, rice porridge, congees and the like, you will find an impressive range of European cuisine, from pizzas and English-style fish & chips to hearty Dutch fare, Mediterranean bites and even a Swedish bakery – thanks to its small but active expat community.

Baan Chivit Mai

This lovely café-bakery is part of a charity founded by Swedish missionaries, in an effort to provide vocational training to ethnic hill-tribe children as well as to help support their social welfare (Baan Chivit Mai means ‘Home for New Lives’).

The warmly lit interiors look inviting from the outside. Step in and find a small ceramic corner on your left and, to your right, a cute display counter for cakes, baguettes, cookies and pastries of the day – a delightful place to stop for an espresso and freshly baked cookies.

Natural wood and chequered table cloths add a warm, homey feel to the seating area, which overlooks the main bus terminal and southern entrance of Night Bazaar from the floor-to-ceiling windows. Along with the bakery, Bann Chivit Mai offers a small but tasty Thai and western dishes selection, plus set breakfasts and sandwiches.

Opening Hours: 08:00 - 21:00 (Mon - Sat)
Location: Prasobsuk Road, opposite the bus terminal
Tel: +66 (0)53 712 357
Cuisine: Thai, European, Swedish bakery
Price Range: Affordable

Cabbages & Condoms (C&C)

What strikes you upon entering this homey restaurant is a pair of mannequins decked out in hundreds of vibrantly coloured condoms. Worry not, you are not walking into a freak house but rather a dining establishment founded as a part of PDA Chiang Rai’s social development activities.

Serving a delectable range of northern and central Thai dishes, with a few imaginative names like spicy condom salad and C&C steak to pique your curiosity, the restaurant has loyal fans among local politicians and business owners. Seats are spread over the three partitioned zones.

Enjoy live music – mostly Thai and English songs from the ‘80s – with your lunch and dinner. Profits generated by the restaurant are used to support PDA’s family planning initiatives.

Opening Hours: 10:00 – midnight (live music 12:00 – 14:00 and 19:00 – midnight)
Location: Thanalai Road, first floor of the PDA Chiang Rai building
Cuisine: Northern and central Thai
Price Range: Affordable

Chiang Rai Nam Ngeow

This open-air eatery has a few items on its menu, but each is well executed as well as tasty. The signature dish, rice noodles in spicy northern-style pork broth (Kanom Jeen Nam Ngeow), and the dessert, steamed rice-skin dumplings (Khao Kriep Pak Mo), are not to miss.

You can also try the famous Khao Soy (egg noodles in spicy curry soup) here. The portions are quite small but are well matched with the budget prices. There’s little to the interior décor, and seating is casually arranged behind the noodle station in the front.

Opening Hours: 10:00 – 18:00 (closed Sundays and Mondays)
Location: Singhaklai Road, near King Mengrai’s Monument
Tel: +66 (0)53 745 221
Cuisine: Northern-style noodles
Price Range: Budget

Da Vinci

Set right opposite the Night Bazaar, this Italian pizzeria has a lot more to offer than original wood-fired pizzas. Try the all time favourite beef ravioli with shitake and gorgonzola cheese sauce or fabulous lasagna dishes – both arguably being the best in town.

Other offerings include a range of classic pasta dishes, thin crusted pizzas and an extensive wine collection from the Old and New Worlds. The contemporary-style interiors offer a relaxed ambience, blending a green colour scheme with a nature theme, making it an ideal base to enjoy a delectable dinner before heading over to the Night Bazaar or neighbouring Jet Yod Road for some bar hopping.

Opening Hours: Noon – midnight
Location: Phaholyothin Road, opposite the Night Bazaar
Tel: +66 (0)53 752 535
Cuisine: Italian pasta and pizza
Price Range: Affordable

Lee Ocha

You can tell that this restaurant serves traditional Chinese cuisine by the red lanterns hanging in the front. The owner, not a Chiang Rai native, was a chef in Bangkok, before relocating to Chiang Rai over 30 years ago to open his own restaurant.

Serving a whole range of Chinese fare, from simple rice porridges with side dishes to a full-on Chinese banquet menu, this casual eatery is a favourite among local diners and out-of-town visitors, as it has garnered quite a reputation across town.

Try the signature dishes, including crispy whole chicken, steamed freshwater goby in soy sauce and Chinese-style seafood hotpot.

Opening Hours: 06:00 – 22:00
Location: Banpaprakan Road, immediately west of Clock Tower
Cuisine: Chinese
Price Range: Budget-Affordable

Phu Lae

Brightly lit and easy to spot from the street, this casual eatery is popular among local diners. The interiors are loosely decked out in natural teakwood tones, with splashes of red from the wall and paper lamps.

It serves an eclectic selection of northern, western, central Thai and seafood dishes, from northern-style curries and local beef steaks (pon yang kham) to deep-fried German pork knuckle and herb-infused New Zealand mussels.

The atmosphere is laid-back and informal, with soft music in the background.

Opening Hours: 11:00 – 23:00 daily
Location: Thanalai Road, opposite PDA Chiang Rai
Tel: +66 (0)53 600 500
Cuisine: Northern and central Thai
Price Range: Affordable

Rod Yiem Beef Noodle Soup

Housed inside two typical shop-houses with no interior décor, this busy eatery claims to be ‘the only noodle shop in Chiang Rai that serves top quality beef’ – which is by no means an overstatement.

It has been in business for over three decades, offering a simple menu of rice noodles, beef soup, with options of meat balls, braised beef or beef chunks, as well as rice curry, Chinese-style pork knuckles and homemade pandanus-flavoured ice cream.

If you come at lunchtime, expect to wait a few minutes for a table, but you will soon find that the delightfully tender beef and mouthwatering broth make the wait worthwhile.

Opening Hours: 07:00 – 15:00
Location: Banpaprakan Road, immediately west of Clock Tower
Cuisine: Beef noodle soup
Price Range: Budget

Sabun Nga Kantoke

Combining cultural performances and a culinary experience, kantoke dinner is a must-try for first time visitors to Chiang Rai. Traditionally, Lanna people used kantoke to receive important guests in their homes, during which families would sit on the floor around the low table (toke) and enjoy an assortment of northern side dishes (khan) together with guests.

Today, kantoke has become an important cultural experience for visitors to northern Thailand, with traditional dance performances as an added factor.

Housed inside a converted wooden house, part of Sabun Nga Youth Hostel, Sabun Nga Kantoke offers two sets of kantoke, each featuring eight side dishes to be enjoyed with sticky rice. The atmosphere is informal and down-to-earth – no need to dress up for the experience.

Opening Hours: 17:00 – 23:00 (dinner); 19:00 – 20:00 (performance)
Location: 2nd Floor, Sabun Nga Hotel, on San Kong Noi Road (500 metres from Clock Tower)
Cuisine: Northern Thai
Price Range: Affordable

Salung Kham

Housed inside a lovely country house, this family-run establishment has been in business for almost two decades. With a passion for cooking, the owner – a Chiang Rai native – has created a menu of authentic northern Thai dishes from her grandmother’s secret recipes.

The northern-style sausage (sai aua) here is a must-try, along with green chili paste (nam prik nume) with seasonal vegetables and garlic-fried frogs’ legs. Relaxed and informal, you can choose to sit in the shaded garden or the living room.

Occasionally, you might run into local politicians or visiting dignitaries here, as this is one of the places where the city receives its honourary guests.

Opening Hours: 10:00 – 22:00 daily
Tel: +66 (0)53 717 192
Cuisine: Northern and central Thai
Price Range: Affordable – Pricey
How to get there: Phahol Yothin Road (Highway 1), about 400 metres north of King Mengrai’s Monument

The Old Dutch

Only a few restaurants in the city centre ooze the kind of cosy vibe that instantly draws you inside but The Old Dutch is definitely one of them. From the relaxed, sidewalk café-style seating to the heartwarming European living room-style interiors, this pleasant dining venue makes you feel right at home.

Owned by a Dutch chef with over 18 years’ experience under his belt, the restaurant features nearly 300 items on its menu, which covers just about every major world cuisine. Expect to find traditional European dishes as well as regional specialties, such as Swiss cheese fondue, New Zealand oysters, Mexican tacos, German sausages and even Indonesian curries.

Another highlight here is its extensive drinks list, featuring an assortment of imported European beers (Chimay, Warsteiner, Kwak Dark, and Guinness), whiskeys, spirits and wines.

Location: About 100 metres south of the Clock Tower, on Phaholyothin Road
Tel: +66 (0)53 714 282
Cuisine: European, Thai and seafood
Price Range: Pricey

Staying in Chiang Rai is easy; from budget-friendly to mid-range, from cute and contemporary to luxury and traditional, there’s something for everyone.

Budget options

Hop Inn Chiang Rai Clock Tower 

Add: 413/1 Airport Road Wiang Subdistrict, Mueang Chiang Rai District, 57000 Chiang Rai, Thailand

Located in Chiang Rai, 300 m from Clock Tower Chiang Rai, Hop Inn Chiang Rai Clock Tower provides accommodation with free WiFi and free private parking. The property is around 1.7 km from Statue of King Mengrai, 3.5 km from Central Plaza ChiangRai and 15 km from Wat Rong Khun - The White Temple. The property is 1.2 km from Tourism Authority of Thailand office in Chiang Rai and 11 km from Rajabhat ChiangRai University.

At the hotel, every room comes with a desk, a flat-screen TV and a private bathroom. All units will provide guests with a fridge.

With staff speaking Thai and English, guidance is available at the reception.

Hop Inn Chiang Rai 

Add: 934/28 Phaholyothin Rd., Tumbon Viang, Amphoe Chiang Rai, 57000 Chiang Rai, Thailand

Set in Chiang Rai, less than 1 km from Old Bus Station, Hop Inn Chiang Rai offers accommodation with free WiFi and free private parking. The property is around 2.1 km from Statue of King Mengrai, 2.1 km from Central Plaza ChiangRai and 12 km from Wat Rong Khun - The White Temple. Rooms have a balcony.

At the hotel, every room includes a desk, a flat-screen TV and a private bathroom. The units will provide guests with a fridge.

Speaking Thai and English, staff will be happy to provide guests with practical information on the area at the 24-hour front desk.

Popular points of interest near Hop Inn Chiang Rai include Clock Tower Chiang Rai, Chiang Rai Saturday Night Walking Street and Wat Pra Sing. The nearest airport is Chiang Rai International Airport, 8 km from the accommodation.

Connect Hostel 

Add: 935 Phahonyothin Road, Wiang, Mueng, 57000 Chiang Rai, Thailand

Situated in Chiang Rai, less than 1 km from Old Bus Station, Connect Hostel features accommodation with free bikes, free private parking, a shared lounge and a terrace. The 2-star hostel has air-conditioned rooms with a private bathroom and free WiFi. The accommodation provides a shared kitchen, a tour desk and ticket service for guests.

Guest rooms in the hostel are equipped with a kettle. The shared bathroom is fitted with a shower and free toiletries. The rooms will provide guests with a microwave.

Rinlada House 

Add: No.74, Village No.18, Robweing, Muang, 57000 Chiang Rai, Thailand

Rinlada House is 700 m from the centre of Chiang Rai. It offers rooms with air-conditioning and free Wi-Fi. The property is equipped with a tour desk and laundry service. Motorcycle rental service is available.

The property is 700 m from Saturday Night Market. It is 7 km from Chiang Rai Airport. Featuring a shower, private bathrooms also come with free toiletries.

Rooms come with a flat-screen cable TV, refrigerator and wardrobe. Shower facilities are included in an en suite bathroom.

Local restaurants can be found within a 5-minute drive.

Mid-range options

Blue Lagoon Hotel 

Add: 903/1 moo 4 Phahoyothin Road, wiang, 57000 Chiang Rai, Thailand

400 m from Old Bus Station, Blue Lagoon Hotel is situated in Chiang Rai and provides free WiFi, express check-in and check-out and a tour desk. Each accommodation at the 3-star hotel has pool views, and guests can enjoy access to a sun terrace. The accommodation features a shared lounge, a concierge service and currency exchange for guests.
All rooms are fitted with air conditioning, a flat-screen TV with cable channels, a fridge, a kettle, a shower, a hairdryer and a desk. At the hotel rooms are equipped with a wardrobe and a private bathroom.

American and Asian breakfast options are available each morning at Blue Lagoon Hotel.

The area is popular for cycling, and car hire is available at the accommodation.

Free private parking and a business centre are available, as well as a 24-hour front desk.

Le Terrarium Bed & Sleep Chiang Rai 

Add: 998/2, Satharn Payabarn Road, Maung, 57000 Chiang Rai, Thailand

Boasting a terrace, Le Terrarium Bed & Sleep Chiang Rai is situated in Chiang Rai in the Chiang Rai Province region, 1.1 km from Old Bus Station and 1.1 km from Clock Tower Chiang Rai. Featuring a garden, the 3-star hotel has air-conditioned rooms with free WiFi, each with a private bathroom. Free private parking is available and the hotel also features car hire for guests who want to explore the surrounding area.

At the hotel, each room is fitted with a balcony with a city view. At Le Terrarium Bed & Sleep rooms include a flat-screen TV with cable channels.

Chiangrai Green Park Resort 

Chiangrai Green Park Resort features comfortable rooms with air conditioning and garden views. It boasts a restaurant and free Wi-Fi access, which is available throughout. Other facilities include luggage storage and a 24-hour reception.
Offering on-site parking, Resort Chiangrai Green Park is a 5-minute drive from CentralPlaza Shopping Mall and a 7-minute drive from Night Bazaar. Chiang Rai Airport and local bus terminal are within a 20-minute ride away.

Nestled amidst gardens, each room features a 40-inch flat-screen cable TV and a fridge. Free toiletries and a hairdryer are included in an en suite bathroom.

Guests can enjoy breakfast at the restaurant. Local dining outlets can be found around the property.

Sabai Chiang Rai 

Add: 778/7-8 Singhakrai Road, Wieng, Muang, 57000 Chiang Rai, Thailand

Sabai Chiang Rai is located 1 km from the clock tower and local market. It offers air-conditioned rooms with free Wi-Fi and free public parking. Guests can relax with massage treatments, which can be arranged upon request.

Complimentary tea and coffee are available in the lobby.

The property is 100 m from King Mengrai The Great Monument. It is a 5-minute drive from Night Bazaar and a 15-minute drive from Chiang Rai International Airport.

Rooms feature city view, mosquito net and cable TV. Shower facilities are included in an en suite bathroom.

Local dinning outlets can be found around the property.

Deluxe options

Wiang Inn Hotel 

Add: 893 Phaholyothin Road, Muang District, 57000 Chiang Rai, Thailand 

Located in the heart of Chiang Rai City, the Wiang Inn is a 5-minute walk from the famous night market. It features an outdoor swimming pool and 3 dining options.

Air-conditioned rooms at Wiang Hotel are decorated with northern Thai furnishings. All are equipped with a satellite TV, minibar and telephone.

Guests can relax with a massage, or enjoy a night of karaoke with friends. The hotel offers laundry and dry cleaning services.

Sample Thai, Chinese and European dishes at Wiang Inn Coffee Shop, or sip cocktails at the Lobby Lounge. Room service is also available.

Nak Nakara Hotel 

Add: 661 Uttarakit Road, Muang, 57000 Chiang Rai, Thailand

Nak Nakara Hotel is located within a 12-minute drive from the stunning Wat Rong Khun, the city’s most renowned temple built by a famous Thai painter. The hotel offers modern Lanna style rooms with free Wi-Fi. Massage services and an outdoor pool are available for guests to enjoy.

The hotel is a 2-minute walk to Walking Street and Hill Tribe Museum. It is a 5-minute walk to Po Khun Meng Rai Monument. Night Bazaar and Chiang Rai Bus Terminal are a 5-minute ride away, while Chiang Rai Airport can be reached within a 15-minute ride away.

Decorated with modern Lanna style in vibrant colours, each air-conditioned room comes with a satellite TV, a mosquito net and a refrigerator. An en suite bathroom is equipped with a shower and a hair dryer.

Staff at the 24-hour front desk can offer assistance with car rentals and laundry service. A chargeable shuttle service can be arranged upon request. The hotel offers free private parking.

Le Patta Hotel Chiang Rai 

Add: 610 Phaholyothin Road, T. Wieng. A.Muang, 57000 Chiang Rai, Thailand

Offering outdoor pool and a restaurant, Le Patta is 100 m from Saturday Night Walking Street. It features rooms with free Wi-Fi and a private balcony.

Le Patta is located 200 m from Chiang Rai Old Bus Station, Clock Tower and Night Bazaar. Mae Fah Luang-Chiang Rai Airport is 7 km away. On-site parking is possible.

All rooms are equipped with air conditioning, a flat-screen cable TV and free minibar. An electric kettle and a fridge are included. Featuring shower facilities, an en suite bathroom comes with free toiletries. Some rooms have a DVD player.
Guests can make use of the fitness centre or explore the city and its attractions with help from the tour desk. A laundry service is also available. The property also has a 24-hour security service and CCTV. Guests can enjoy a bicycle rental service on site while staff at the property can help guests arrange one-day trip.

The on-site restaurant offers both Thai and Western favourites.

SOOKNIRUND HOTEL 

Add: 424/1 Bunpakarn Road. Tambon Vieng Amphoe Muang, 57000 Chiang Rai, Thailand

Located in Chiang Rai, 500 m from Clock Tower Chiang Rai, SOOKNIRUND HOTEL provides accommodation with a restaurant, free private parking, a fitness centre and a bar. Featuring a garden, the hotel is close to several noted attractions, around less than 1 km from Chiang Rai Saturday Night Walking Street, a 12-minute walk from Old Bus Station and 1 km from Wat Pra Sing. The accommodation features a 24-hour front desk, airport transfers, luggage storage space and free WiFi.

All units are equipped with air conditioning, a flat-screen TV with satellite channels, a kettle, a shower, a hairdryer and a desk. At the hotel every room is fitted with a private bathroom with free toiletries.

A à la carte breakfast is available

Direct flight from Bangkok

Most people will visit Chiang Rai after they finish their touring in Bangkok.

There are more than 20 flights from Bangkok to Chiang Rai every day. Some of the popular airlines are Thai Airways and Bangkok Airways as well as some budget airlines, such as Thai Lion Air, Thai AirAsia, and Nok Air.

Option 1. Boutique Airlines

The ticket price from Bangkok to Chiang Rai when traveling with Thai Airways is about US$100–200. Please note there is no fee for carry-on baggage up to 7 kilograms and there is no fee for hold baggage up to 20 kilograms. The prices stated by Thai Airways and Bangkok Airways include your baggage allowance and free drinks.

Option 2. Budget Airlines

Flights with Bangkok Airways and Thai AirAsia cost about US$30–60 but you need to pay extra for food and drinks as well as your checked baggage allowance.

Important: Budget airlines normally have a free 7 kilogram carry-on baggage allowance. For any baggage that exceeds this weight and that needs to be checked in, don’t forget to go to the airline’s official website to purchase extra baggage allowance at least 4 hours before departure. This is essential if you don’t want to pay at the check-in counter where the charges will be three times higher than they are online.

Learn more about the best 8 domestic airlines in Thailand you should choose from and discover each of their pros and cons, including the baggage allowance details. Read all you need to know about domestic flights in Thailand.

Don Mueang Airport (DMK) and Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK) in Bangkok

You need to pay attention to the two different airports in Bangkok — Don Mueang (the old airport) and Suvarnabhumi (the new airport). If transferring between the airports, please make sure you have enough time to go to the other airport.

For your information, if taking a taxi from Don Mueang to Suvarnabhumi you will need more than one hour. However, if Asia Highlights will arrange your itinerary, they will do so meticulously, so that you won’t have to worry about times.

From Bangkok you will arrive at Mae Fah Luang Chiang Rai International Airport (IATA airport code: CEI). This International Airport is located 8 km from the city center. You can reach downtown Chiang Rai in about 30 minutes by car.

You could take a taxi for about US$ 7 or, if you book with us, we will arrange a private car to send you to the hotel. The Asia Highlights tour guide will pick you up at the exit door of Mae Fah Luang arrival hall and will bring a sign with your name on it.

By road from Chiang Mai

By private transfer: Getting into Chiang Rai from Chiang Mai can be done in about three hours by car. Asia Highlights will provide a comfortable private car, along with a professional friendly tour guide and driver to pick you up in Chiang Mai and take you to your hotel in Chiang Rai. This is the most comfortable way.

By public bus (not recommended): You can also use a bus from Chiang Mai. However, we would not recommend this, since there have been a fewreports of bus crashes in the last few years and it's uncomfortable at all.

TOUR PACKAGES INCLUDING "Chiang Rai"

Fantastic Thailand Fantastic Thailand

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Fantastic Thailand
Family / 9 days / fr. $1,080

Explore the wonderful land of smiles in style with a variety of marvelous cultural experiences. Start off with a visit to the floating market in the countryside followed by a cruise on the River of... More

Thailand Family Jungle & Island Adventure Thailand Family Jungle & Island Adventure

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Thailand Family Jungle & Island Adventure
Family / 18 days / fr. $2,340

Thailand has long been a highly popular destination for families, understandably given its friendly, welcoming reputation coupled with fascinating culture and fantastic food. This three-week trip i... More

Amazing Thailand Amazing Thailand

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Amazing Thailand
Must-see / 14 days / fr. $1,820

Thailand offers many of the quintessential Southeast travel experiences such as spectacular scenery, rich culture & history, friendly population, and cuisine as rich in color and appearance as... More

Thailand Boutique Experience Thailand Boutique Experience

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Thailand Boutique Experience
Unseen / 16 days / fr. $2,080

Venture away from the beaten path to discover a more authentic side of Thailand. Discover timeless traditions and historic monuments in Sukhothai and Lopburi, then head north to explore spectacular... More

Thailand Northern Loop Thailand Northern Loop

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Thailand Northern Loop
Unseen / 12 days / fr. $1,560

Hit the road for a journey through Thailand’s north, a region of spectacular natural landscapes and intriguing cultures. Take a boat trip along the Golden Triangle and go caving near Pai. Mee... More

Perfect Thai Honeymoon Perfect Thai Honeymoon

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Perfect Thai Honeymoon
Honeymoon / 14 days / fr. $1,960

Explore the wonderful land of smiles in style with a variety of marvelous cultural experiences. Start off with a visit to the floating market in the countryside followed by a cruise on the River of... More

Thailand Honeymoon Package Thailand Honeymoon Package

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Thailand Honeymoon Package
Honeymoon / 11 days / fr. $1,650

Get immersed in Thai culture on this 11-day trip consisting of many activities that excite the senses. Get up close and personal with elephants, go through Bangkok’s canals, witness the morni... More

Luxurious Thailand Luxurious Thailand

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Luxurious Thailand
Luxury / 18 days / fr. $5,400

Embark on this Luxurious Thailand 18-day trip covering the country’s most iconic spots and natural wonders. See revered temples and monasteries in Chiang Rai and Chiang Mai like Wat Srisuphan... More

Cycling Northern Thailand Cycling Northern Thailand

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Cycling Northern Thailand
Cycling / 16 days / fr. $2,080

Escape the bustling city of Chiang Mai and discover the beautiful countryside of Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai. Bike uphill on some challenging roads and take in the stunning scenery of Mae Tang and Ch... More

Hills to Coast Thailand Explorer Hills to Coast Thailand Explorer

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Hills to Coast Thailand Explorer
Trek & Hike / 21 days / fr. $2,730

From the mountains to the sea, take the family on an adventurous holiday in Thailand covering multiple sports such as hiking, biking and kayaking. Begin at historically rich Kanchanaburi, hike the... More

Following the Mighty Mekong Following the Mighty Mekong

- Asia -

Following the Mighty Mekong
Cruise / 29 days / fr. $4,350

See why the Mekong River is known as Asia’s lifeblood with this epic adventure. Trace the mighty River as it meanders through big cities and countryside towns through five countries. From the... More

Beautiful Thailand Beautiful Thailand

- Thailand -

Beautiful Thailand
Trek & Hike / 16 days / fr. $2,080

Start and end in Bangkok! With the Adventure tour Beautiful Thailand, you have a 15 days tour package taking you through Bangkok, Thailand and 5 other destinations in Thailand. Beautiful Thailand i... More

Treasures of Thailand Treasures of Thailand

- Thailand -

Treasures of Thailand
Luxury / 14 days / fr. $4,200

Take a round tour of Thailand from bustling Bangkok to the north and back covering all the iconic sites with a special touch of luxury. Be pampered with door to door transfers and special access to... More

OTHER PLACES TO VISIT IN Thailand
Bangkok
Bangkok

Chiang Mai
Chiang Mai

Phuket
Phuket

Hua Hin
Hua Hin

Koh Samui
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Thailand BLOG ARTICLES

As some of you may have seen in the news, Thailand is gearing up for a ‘soft reopening’ to vaccinated travellers a month from now on July 1.

It is official, sort of. After months of kicking sand around debating if it will really happen, the Centre for Economic Situation Administration (CESA) has officially approved the Phuket Sandbox plan, an important step forward. The announcement, made late this afternoon, June, 4th, appears to answer the often-posed question if the sandbox plan would ever happen after the much more intense and deadly third wave of Covid-19 swept through Thailand.
Then, the island will be opening Phuket International Airport to foreign travellers as proposed by the Tourism Authority of Thailand.

The trial will be the first of its kind in the country, and if successful, may be rolled out across other parts of Thailand. The Thailand Authority of Tourism (TAT) has already earmarked Krabi, Pattaya, Bangkok, Buriram, Cha-am, Koh Samui, Phang-nga and Hua Hin as possible destinations to try out the scheme.

Each model will be slightly different, depending on geography, and international visitors will still have to get a visa in advance and fill out some paperwork (see details below). Nevertheless, this will come as promising news to those travellers desperate to visit Thailand!

If the Phuket Sandbox Scheme goes ahead, from June to September 2021, Thailand is expecting to receive up to 129,000 international visitors – will you be one of them? In this article, we’ll attempt to answer all of the questions you might have about the Phuket Sandbox and more!

Disclaimer – Information regarding the Phuket Sandbox Program is changing literally every day and is dependent on the COVID-19 situation across Thailand. While we update this article regularly to the best of our ability, we cannot be held responsible for any errors or omissions.

Learn more about our travel guide for Phuket island here

...more

Also known as the Nine Emperor Gods Festival or the Kin Jay Festival, the Phuket Vegetarian Festival is an annual event celebrated primarily by the Chinese community in Thailand and throughout Southeast Asia.

Running for nine days, the vegetarian festival in Phuket is considered by many to be the most extreme and bizarre of festivals in Thailand. The Phuket Vegetarian Festival could be Thailand's answer to the Tamil festival of Thaipusam celebrated in neighboring Malaysia. Devotees not only adopt a special diet for the holiday, a select few participants prove their devotion by practicing self-mutilation.

Some of the feats performed include piercing cheeks with swords, walking on nails or hot coals, and climbing ladders made of knife blades! Most participants miraculously heal up without needing stitches or medical care.

WARNING! The content and the images are not recommended for the faint of heart! Consider before continuing.

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Buddhist Lent Day (Thailand Wan Khao Phansa, Laos Boun Khao Phansa) is the start of the three-month period during the rainy season when monks are required to remain in a particular place such as a monastery or temple grounds. Here, they will meditate, pray, study, and teach other young monks. In the past, monks were not even allowed to leave the temple, but today, most monks just refrain from traveling during this period. You will still see them out during the day.

It is said that monks started remaining immobile in a temple during this time because they wanted to avoid killing insects and harming farmland. Apparently, traveling monks were crossing through fields, thus destroying the crops of villagers and farmers. After catching wind of this, Buddha decided that in order to avoid damaging crops, hurting insects, or harming themselves during the rainy season, monks should remain in their temples during these three months.

Tired of reading, listen to our podcast below:

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The Hmong New Year celebration is a cultural tradition that takes place annually in select areas where large Hmong communities exist and in a modified form where smaller communities come together. During the New Year's celebration, Hmong dress in traditional clothing and enjoy Hmong traditional foods, dance, music, bull fights, and other forms of entertainment. Hmong New Year celebrations have Hmong ethnic traditions and culture and may also serve to educate those who have an interest in Hmong tradition. Hmong New Year celebrations frequently occur in November and December (traditionally at the end of the harvest season when all work is done), serving as a Thanksgiving holiday for the Hmong people.

...more

Thailand never fails to amaze its thousands of visitors with the most vibrant festivals that are sure to delight them by offering glimpses into the heritage and traditions of the country. Each month offers an exciting opportunity to be a part of these festivals. From kids to adults and old-aged people, locals have the time of their lives during these festivities. Considered to be one of the best ways to relish a memorable time in what is already known as an incredible country, these festivals in Thailand are the most popular ones to be a part of.

...more

Magha Puja (also written as Makha Bucha Day) is the third most important Buddhist festival, celebrated on the full moon day of the third lunar month in Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, Sri Lanka and on the full moon day of Tabaung in Myanmar. It celebrates a gathering that was held between the Buddha and 1,250 of his first disciples, which, according to tradition, preceded the custom of periodic recitation of discipline by monks.

On the day, Buddhists celebrate the creation of an ideal and exemplary community, which is why it is sometimes called Saṅgha Day, the Saṅgha referring to the Buddhist community, and for some Buddhist schools this is specifically the monastic community. In Thailand, the Pāli term Māgha-pūraṇamī is also used for the celebration, meaning 'to honor on the full moon of the third lunar month'.

Finally, some authors referred to the day as the Buddhist All Saints Day. 

In pre-modern times, Magha Puja has been celebrated by some Southeast Asian communities. But it became widely popular in the modern period, when it was instituted in Thailand by King Rama IV in the mid-19th century. From Thailand, it spread to other South and Southeast Asian countries. Presently, it is a public holiday in some of these countries.

It is an occasion when Buddhists go to the temple to perform merit-making activities, such as alms giving, meditation and listening to teachings. It has been proposed in Thailand as a more spiritual alternative to the celebration of Valentine's Day.

...more
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Cambodia
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There's a magic about this charming yet confounding kingdom that casts a spell on visitors. In Cambodia, ancient and modern worlds collide to create an authentic adventure.
Myanmar
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