Chiang Rai is a small delightful city located to the North of Chiang Mai. It might only be a mountain that separates the two cities, but the difference is huge. Almost no travelers, a very laid-back atmosphere, slow mornings, quiet nights, and unspoiled nature surrounds the whole city. Discover the incredible things to do in Chiang Rai!
Situated within the Golden Triangle (the region of Thailand bordering Myanmar and Laos), Chiang Rai was once known as a hub for the opium trade. Today, however, with its night-markets, temples, hill-tribe villages, tea-plantations and museums, it offers an exciting range of day trips departing from Chiang Mai.
Most visitors are lured to Chiang Rai by the spectacular Wat Rong Khun, commonly known to foreigners as the White Temple. Carved with painstaking attention to detail, the pure white ornate facade and path leading to the entrance are deeply symbolic of desire, greed, suffering and the heavenly. It’s a religious complex unique even to Thailand.
Just 30 minutes from the White Temple you can find its darker and twisted sibling, the Baan Dam Museum, commonly known as the Black House or the Black Temple — except it’s not a religious attraction at all, but the unique creation of a national artist, Thawan Duchanee. Part art studio, part museum, part home, Baan Dam is an eclectic mix of traditional northern Thai buildings interspersed with some outlandish modern designs.
On the other hand, there are the many hill tribes that call northern Thailand “home”, but the most popular one is the “Long Neck Village”. The women in this tribe start wearing brass rings around their neck from a very young age, which eventually ends up distorting their collarbones, thus giving them the long neck that they are so famed for. You can visit them as an optional choice in our tours.
With many Buddhist sites, nature and Lanna culture, Chiang Rai is a paradise for those who want to find some peace and discover new things. Once you come to this land, you will surely love its cultural quintessence and its interesting surprises!