We are all aware of Thailand’s wonderful beaches and islands. But we should not ignore the culture and heritage that it has to offer. Chiang Rai is North of Thailand and one of the most beautiful dramatic scenery that exists in Thailand filled with culture and history. 1 hour plane ride from Bangkok, here are the top 10 things to do in Chiang Rai.
Travel Junkie Diary
Visit opium Museum
An experience you will never forget! Learn about the origins and history of the opium poppy, the medical and ritual use of opium in ancient civilisations, its spread throughout the world, the Opium Wars and their impact on China, the century of legal opium use in Thailand, the role of opium and other narcotics in modern medicine, and international efforts to control narcotics. Vivid and thought provoking presentations of the effects of drug abuse and case studies help visitors to understand the severity of addiction and choices available to fight the temptation of drugs.
Visit the elephant orphanage at Tented Camps
There is nothing more rewarding (at least for us) that helping others in need. Especially if those ‘others’ are beautiful creatures such as elephants. The elephant orphanage in Chiang Rai is run by an incredible man named John Roberts. Learn everything about these beautiful animals while they are free, unchained, bathe them, feed them and even learn how to communicate with them! Stay at Four Seasons Tented Camps, or make sure you visit the foundation, click here to learn more.
Take a historical tour around the Golden Triangle by boat
One of the most beautiful serene and historic place you will ever have the chance to do is a long tail boat trip through Ruak & Mekhong Rivers where Laos, Thailand and Myanmar meet. You will learn everything there is to know about what took place right there and why they call it, the golden triangle.
Learn about the Ancient Town of Chiang Rai
Northern Thailand is filled with history and culture. It is one of the greatest places in Asia where you will find the ancient world.It is believed that ancestors of northern Thai people migrated from China through Burma and Laos some 5,000 years ago, and the first organised city state in this region was founded at modern-day Chiang Saen along the Mekong River. These nomadic people brought with them the traditions and beliefs of China, Burma and Laos, ultimately wedding them into the distinct culture that thrives in Chiang Rai today. Take a Tuk Tuk around the city, it will teach you so much there is to know about Thailand and the neighboring countries.
Visit the temples
Make sure you visit the temples the ancient city of Chiang Rai. To name a few: Wat Rong Khun (The White Temple) , Wat Phra Kaew, Wat Phra Sing, Wat Pra Sat, Wat Phra That Doi Khao Kwai.
Visit the old market
Everything you need to buy for food is available at this fresh local market. Some parts is not for the faint of hearts but if you are a real foodie and love to explore the typical household thai cuisine, then make sure to stop by here.
Visit Wat Pa Sak Temple
One of the most wonderful and historical monuments in Thailand and is set in a teak forest (or at least set within trees). 300 trees were initially planted when this temple containing Buddha’s relics was built in 1295 (other records say 1319). The impressive chedi is considered to be the prototype of Lanna chedi’s and has been influenced by Sukhothai, Pagan and Hariphunchai architectural styles.
Take a tour around Wat Prathat Chadi Luang
A place of worship from 1931 and the architecture of the Lanna Kingdom all around the 13th century ancient city of Chiang Sean and is one of the oldest settlements in the kingdom.
Take a cycling tour
What better way to city a city than on foot or cycle? Take a cycle tour around the Chiang Saen and take in all the beautiful scenery there is uphill.
Chiang Rai has a lot of mountains and hilltribe villages of all major groups, there are many areas good for trekking, e.g. Doi Tung, Doi Mae Salong, Doi Pa Tang and the banks along the Mae Kok River. Many travel agencies and hotels offer trekking packages with experienced guides. Trekking alone or with unauthorized tour guide is not recommended, even though you have a route map. Make sure you do not visit in the humid and hot season though!