Chiang Rai – A Land Filled With Natural Beauty

Chiang Rai

Chiang Rai, once infamous for being part of the Golden Triangle – three areas that converged and became the opium production capital of the world – is now famous for its abundant natural attractions. Chiang Rai has become a must-visit province for nature lovers who visit Thailand. Visitors flock to this province from Bangkok by plane (approx. 1.15hrs), by bus (approx. 11hrs), or by train + bus (approx. 11hrs).

Chiang Mai is the closest city to Chiang Rai. A trip from the former to the latter takes about three hours. Thus, one can go on a day-trip to check out Chiang Rai and the Golden Triangle. However, there are many things to see and do in Chang Rai, so most tourists choose to stay for at least two nights in the province.


Chiang Rai: Where to Stay

There are many choices when it comes to accommodations in Chiang Rai. The majority of these are close to the tourist attractions and shopping areas of the city. The following hotels offer value-for-money rooms.

1.      Baan Norn Plearn Guesthouse

This hotel has rooms with up-to-date amenities. After booking one of the guesthouse’s secure, clean and comfortable rooms, guests get the following free of charge: breakfast, tea and coffee, use of the kitchen, Wi-Fi, and bicycles.

2.      Tourist Inn

This inn has been serving budget-conscious guests for more than two decades. It offers squeaky-clean air conditioned and fan rooms as well as free access to Wi-Fi. It houses one of the best bakeshops in town.

3.      Akha Hill House

This hotel is away (about 23 kilometers) from the city center. Its location makes the hotel an ideal place for those who want to get away from a busy city life and bask in the beauty of nature instead. It has rooms with breathtaking sights of the mountains, the jungle, and the sunrise. During your stay here, make sure that you visit the hot springs and waterfall nearby.

4,      Suanthip Vana Resort

This is also located away from the city center. It offers a spectacular view of the Chiang Rai mountains. Its rooms range from Deluxe Suites to Villas. Its pavilions are Lanna inspired and adorned with local arts and teakwood. The resort offers laundry, massage, shuttle, parking, and butler services. It has function and conference rooms, a swimming pool, and a sauna. Guests only need to go to the resort’s lobby to access Wi-Fi at no extra cost.

5.      Dusit Island Resort Hotel

This luxury resort has amenities and facilities that are on par with international standards. Their guests get to sleep in spacious rooms and wake up to the scenic sight of Chiang Rai’s mountains and tropical gardens. Dusit Island Resort has four restaurants that serve Chinese, Thai, and Western cuisines. One can easily access natural and cultural attractions from this upmarket resort.


Chiang Rai: Where to Go

Chang Rai is dubbed as a nature lover’s paradise and its main attractions are exploring its mountains and mingling with the different hill tribes.

1.      Namtok Khun Kon Forest

This forest is over 30 kilometers away from the town center. The Khun Kon waterfall is found in this forest. Its 70-meter height (the highest in the province) and scenic environment never fail to impress tourists.

Visitors to this forest should be prepared to walk over hilly terrain for at least 30 minutes. Walking through this forest therefore requires one to be physically fit.

2.      Chiang Rai Beach

Those who are in the mood for a picnic, a long tail boat ride, or a cruise should make a stopover at this beach. It is along the riverbanks of Kok River. Those who are cruising the river can make stops at some of the villages of the tribes.

3.      The International Humanity Foundation Orphanage and Education Centre

Do an act of kindness by visiting and helping out in this orphanage. Tourists who are capable of teaching math, computer, and English classes are welcome here. Don’t have teaching skills? You are still welcome to drop by. Spending time playing with the kids is enough reason for you to visit the orphanage.

4.      Hill Tribe Museum and Education Centre

When tourists make a stop at Chiang Rai museums, they get to know the customs and traditions of ancient Thailand. It is easy to find the Hill Tribe Museum as it is conveniently located in the town center of Chiang Rai. It was primarily established to give visitors a better grasp of the cultures and traditions of the various hill tribes of the province. Included in the museum exhibits are tools for traditional fishing and hunting, equipment for farming, and housing styles (including utensils).

Those who are interested in going on a hill tribe tour are encouraged to sign up at the museum. Proceeds from the tours are used to help museum employees and the tribesmen.

5.      Chiang Rai Night Bazaar

Never leave Chiang Rai without walking around its night market. To get there, all you have to do is head to the center of Chiang Rai’s downtown area at nighttime. This is the best place to find local products that you can take home with you. You can also sample authentic and exotic Chiang Rai delicacies at bargain prices.