Unlike its famous sister town Chiang Mai, this city is short of options when it comes to nightlife and entertainments. Chiang Rai brings in a more relaxing vibe with impressive collections of historical and cultural attractions. It’s a place where tourists mostly come to see remarkable temples, eat amazing foods, and watch music performances. The city tries to boost tourism through the Night Bazaar, Saturday Walking Street, and Jazz Festival. But, that’s not all Chiang Rai can offer. Keep reading to know some other exciting activities that you can do in this provincial town and be ready to fall in love with it! Here are the best touristy things to do in Chiang Rai, Thailand.
There is no better way to admire the breathtaking scenery of Chiang Rai other than driving through the mountain’s terrains. You can choose between a 150cc ATV or 1500cc off-road buggy, depending on your experience. Ride up to 5000 feet (1524 m) above sea level to witness the spectacular rice fields and terraces, weave through the rainforest, and enjoy one of the most unforgettable three-hour sessions in your life!
Chiang Mai ATV and Buggy Riding Experience and Tour
2. Enjoy the nightlife at Cat Bar
Nightlife in Chiang Rai might not be as extravagant as other cities, but Cat Bar remains one of the trendiest among others. With an inviting ambience and friendly staff, the long-standing bar lures tourists with a wide range of alcohol, late night snacks, and a variety of tasty beers. You can also enjoy one of the best jam sessions where guests are welcome to play any musical instruments along with the band. Not really into music? A free pool table is also waiting for you.
Address: Jetyod Rd, Tambon Wiang, Amphoe Mueang Chiang Rai, Chang Wat Chiang Rai 57000, Thailand
Website: Cat Bar
Opening hours: 5pm - 1am (daily)
Up in the mountain peak of Doi Tung, you can learn a bit of royal history by visiting Mae Fah Luang Gardens and Royal Villa. Drive up to 2,000 m (6,562 feet) above sea level and see how the forest area that was once destroyed by the slash-and-burn opium cultivation is now revived, following the King’s Mother initiative. This 45-minute guided tour provides roundtrip transportation to and from your hotel.
Doi Tung & Royal Villa
Duration: 3 hours 30 minutes
Spare a day to drive through the untouched Northern Thai Jungle, kayak in the Mae Ping River, and see the beautiful crystal formations inside the large cavern. Get the amazing scenery of Chiang Dao Mountain as you glide through the river where overhanging trees greet along the way. Enjoy lunch break at a local restaurant in the midst of mysterious sounds echoing from the forest, and complete your day by entering the well-lit cavern.
Chiang Mai: Full-Day Chiang Dao Caving & Jungle Kayaking
Duration: 1 day
5. Have freshly made tea at Choui Fong Tea Farm
Situated about 40 km (24.85 mi) away from Chiang Rai city, the tea plantation is the largest in the area in terms of size. Get a nice, overall view of the farm from the roof of a square building on top of the hill, where a shop is available inside. You can try and buy Chuoi Fong Tea from there. To see the tea-picking activity, come early in the morning when the air feels cooler and there are fewer visitors around.
Choui Fong Tea Farm
Address: 97 Moo 8 Pasang, Maechan, Chiang Rai 57110
Website: Choui Fong Tea Farm
Opening hours: 8:30am - 5:30pm (daily)
Price: no admission fee
6. Freshen up with Singha beers at Singha Park
Owned by Boon Rawd Brewery who produces Singha Beers, the park offers family-friendly attractions to spend a pleasant day. The fertile lands in the Chiang Rai countryside that were used to grow barley for beer productions have been turned into a sustainable tourism project in 2012. A large part of the park has now become fruit orchards and tea plantations where you can walk, bike, or ride the electric tram. There is also a petting zoo for children, fruit and vegetable plantation, and even ziplining and wall climbing for those who welcome more challenges.
Address: Mae Kon, Mueang Chiang Rai District, Chiang Rai 57000
Website: Singha Park
Opening hours: 9am - 5pm (daily)
Price: 65 USD
7. Spot Michael Jackson, Superman, and many more in the paintings at the White Temple (from USD 38.0)
Designed by National Artist Chalermchai Kositpipat, Wat Rong Khun (the White Temple) exudes an eerily beautiful vibe. Admire the blend of cultural and contemporary details of the famous outstretched hands and pop culture icons in all-white structures. In this tour, you will also visit the other two ‘coloured’ temples, the new and relatively undiscovered Blue Temple, and also the home of the National Artist Dr. Thawan Duchanee’s Black House.
Black House, White Temple, and Blue Temple Trip by Oriental Holiday
Duration: 11 Hrs Duration
This three-day cycling tour sounds ambitious, but you won’t regret the choice as you pedal through the enchanting Chiang Saen and learn the history of this Mekong River town. Discover the story behind the ancient drug trade at Opium Museum and experience life in a secluded rural Thai town. Then, ride through the border country where Thailand, Laos, and Myanmar converge in a land named Chiang Khong. Don’t worry about the distance as an air-conditioned van will back up your ride.
3-Day Tour Exploring the Golden Triangle by Bike
Shower yourself with nature and culture on this full-day private trip and see the two historical buildings of White Temple and Black House. Admire the modern art installations as you trek the mountain across two villages guided by a local hill tribe, have lunch at the local NGO foundation to learn about ethnic minorities and stateless people in Thailand, and walk to the nearby waterfall. After a short break, the guide will take you to Baan Apa (Akha hill tribe), where you can observe a spirit gate, spirit well, and a ceremonial swing that is only used thrice a year.
Private Trekking and Local Temple Day Tour in Chiang Rai
In this three-hour workshop, you will get your hands dirty for a good cause. Following a step-by-step guide from an experienced teacher, you can learn how to make cosmetics, including the 24-karat gold leaf soap that you can bring home! The natural ingredients make it safe to use both on your face and body. The workshop also includes tutorials on scented candles and natural lip balm-making.
Learn how to make 24 Karat Gold Soap, Scented Candle & Natural Lip Balm
Be a traveller, not a tourist
Thailand is no doubt a tourist paradise. It’s hard to find a quiet place to enjoy the real culture and nature, away from the boisterous tourism. If you are an experienced traveller who’s tired of all the hype, these options from Chiang Rai can help to refresh your excitements and make you fall in love again with this country!
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