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Chiang Rai Thailand

Chiang Rai (เชียงราย) is the capital of Chiang Rai province, in Northern Thailand. The town has a population of around 62,000 and is the main commercial centre serving the Golden Triangle border region of Thailand, Myanmar and Laos. It is an excellent base for exploring the region.


  • Gate of Siam - on the border with Laos - you stand high up on a mountain and Laos is in front of you and the mighty Mekong River
  • Wat Santhaat
  • Wat Phra Kaeo - this beautiful Buddhist temple on Trairat Road right in town is famous for having housed, in the 14th century, the Emerald Buddha, one of the most famous Buddha images in Thailand (it is now housed in Bangkok)
  • Wat Thoeng Sao Hin
  • Princess Mother Hall and Doi Mae Salong - about 70km north-west of Chiang Rai. A beautiful road from Mae Chan, sometimes quite steep. The view from the temple and Princess Mother Hall is fantastic. In Mae Salong there is a museum for KMT and you can learn what happened after they got kicked out of China by Mao Tse Tung, going to Burma, kicked out from there and then into Thailand where they helped the Thai government to fight the Communists for many years.
  • Doi Tung Royal Villa - final residence of the Princess Mother (mother of the King of Thailand), located at kilometre 12 on highway 1149, to the west of highway 1. This magnificent villa was built on the mountain overlooking the surrounding hills and valleys in a unique mix of Swiss and Lanna architectural styles. Adjacent to the villa is the Mae Fah Luang Garden, a large beautiful flower-filled garden, and a memorial hall commemorating the Princess Mother.
  • Wat Doi Tung - very important temple for the Buddhists and with probably the most fantastic view of all temples in Thailand
  • Doi Tung Zoo
  • Phucheefah - great sunset view


  • Organize a trekking tour to the hill-tribes
  • Visit Mae Sai and the Golden Triangle
  • Visit Buffalo Horn Hill and Khun Kon Waterfall (Nam Tok Khun Kon)

Rent a motorbike and go to the temple on Buffalo Horn Hill to have a splendid overview over Chiang Rai by following the old road to Chiang Mai, called Thanon Ratchayotha. Just about when you'll cross the city borders you'll notice a long curve in the road to the right. From this point watch for a hill in the distance at the lefthand side. That's where you want to go! Take a left turn at the next big Soi (Nongpoung soi 3). Take the first turn right after the lake and turn left. The entrance to the small road up is here: look for temple flags. You will be treated with the most beautiful view over Chiang Rai. Especially around sunset! The restaurant at the small lake serves nice fish and gourmet frogs.

Another way to find Buffalo Horn Hill (Wat Phra That Doi Khao Khwai) is to go Thanon Sanam Bin south to the Old Airport, turn right onto Thanon Pracha Santi follow this one and you see the hill in front of you.

Take the same old road to Chiang Mai for about 15 km and turn right at the white sign 'Kun Korn Waterfall'. The pitoresque road meanders up for 11 km. Walk the last kilometer to the waterfall itself through fantastic jungle. Impressive.!! You might need a swimsuit and/or dry clothes... prepare to get wet.

  • Visit Wat Rong Kuhn also known as 'the white temple'

It is quite a long drive on 'super-highway' A1, direction Chiang Mai, to find these beautiful grounds with a white temple. The building of the temple was started in 1998. The grounds are situated on the righthand side coming from Chiang Rai. Take the exit called 'Khun Kon Waterfall' (big green sign). The architect is artist Chalermchai Kositpipat. He is famous for his religious paintings, but I believe his mud-castle-like architecture stands out and is definitely worth a visit. From here you could also go to 'Khun Kon Waterfall'. Continue the road and turn left at the end of it. From there you are on the 'old road to Chiang Mai' (see above). You should look for the white sign to go to the right.

  • Play and practise golf at The Old Airport. Here you have a very good Driving Ranch and also a 9-hole golfcourse. You can find one of the best teachers in golf here, Barry Finch. And when you are hungry there is a hamburger restaurant.
  • Golf in Chiang Rai There are two highclass golfcourses outside Chiang Rai. Santiburi is one of Thailands 5 best courses and you can find Santiburi 10 km east of town.

Waterford Valley is as good as Santiburi. You find Waterford Valley 35 km northeast of town. There is a hotel if you want to stay over. In town we have two 9-hole courses. The Army Course that you find close to Mae Fa Luang Bridge and The Old Airport course that you find, yes, at the old airport. The Old Airport course you can play without a caddie. At the other courses you must have one.


All List of Chiang Rai Hotels

Popular Destinations in Thailand

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Koh Chang Koh Tao
Koh Phangan


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