Nightlife in Chiang Rai

Nightlife in Chiang Rai

By Chris QuanUpdated Nov. 17, 2021

Chiang Rai’s nightlife is much quieter than what you would find in big cities like Bangkok or even a smaller one like Chiang Mai. However, there are some things you can do at night in Chiang Rai. One of the first places new arrivals look for is the Night Bazaar, next to the bus station. Attending a local cultural show is also a main attraction in Chiang Rai.

If you are looking for a romantic evening with your partner, then Chiang Rai nightlife has a couple of places that might interest you. If you are looking for a relaxing escape with your family, you will find some perfect options too. We are listing some activities here that you can do at night in Chiang Rai

Quick Facts

  • Chiang Rai’s nightlife isn’t overrun by backpackers, elephant pants and face paint. On Jetyod Road, there is a string of cafés and bars with a mix of expats and locals.
  • The food vendors at the Night Market are plentiful, offering every Thai delicacy imaginable.
  • Chiang Rai boasts plenty of multi-cuisine restaurants, but the true Thai flavor you will get from food cooked at the local street stalls that come alive at night.
  • The clock tower and the bus station are in the area you will want to visit at night.
  •  If you’re in a more adventurous mood, you can also try camping with elephants.
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1. Chiang Rai Night Bazaar

Chiang Rai's night market is conveniently near the center of town, a short walk from the bus station. Besides having semi-permanent shops, one area is devoted to individual sellers who spread out their wares on the ground.

There is a food court, offering a variety of traditional Northern dishes and there is also a beer garden. It is recommended to try the northern Thai food, like spicy sausages and chili dips with sticky rice. Don’t worry about the cleanliness, the Thai government have had a project called ‘Clean Food Good Taste’ to ensure the good sanitation of restaurants and street vendors.

This market is a good place to shop for Thai souvenirs. The things that are sold are similar to those at Chiang Mai Night Bazaar, but the choice is much reduced. Hill-tribe handicrafts, pirated DVDs, T-shirts, carved soap candles and so on can be found there. The prices are fairly low, but further negotiation is recommended.

The stalls open every night from 6 – 11pm. It is quieter on the weekends because most people go to the Saturday and Sunday Walking Streets. Besides buying some souvenirs and eating dinner or desserts at the night market, you should also walk over to see the clock tower, as it comes to life at night.

2. Traditional Theater and Dance Shows

Beautiful and exotic Thailand has an innumerable collection of tourist attractions; one of them are cultural festivals. One of the famous festivals that are held in Chiang Rai is Phu Chi Fah Dok Sieo Festival.

This festival is celebrated from 13th - 15th February every year and provides a wonderful sight for anyone who visits it. There is a lot of pink and white blossom of the Dok Sieo (Bauhinia) to be seen at Phu Chi Fah, which is truly a sight to behold. During the festival, there are performances from hill-tribes such as the Hmong, Akha and Yao. You can witness activities like a hill-tribe beauty pageant, an archery show, a hill-tribe top spinning show, Hmong ball games and local product sales.

The other event that you can find is an Elephant Polo Tournament. Anantara Golden Triangle Resort holds King’s Cup Elephant Polo Tournament on the grounds of the resort every March. Ten teams from different countries participate in the competition.

Along with the polo tournament, there is also an elephant parade, elephant painting, local performances, folk games as well as local product sales. The proceeds from the event is donated to the National Elephant Institute to help provide medical care, sustenance, employment and a mobile elephant clinic.

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3. Camp Experience in Chiang Rai

Surrounded by the natural beauty of northern Thailand's rugged hill country, the Anantara's Golden Triangle Resort is a luxury nature retreat, set amid 160 acres of lush tropical jungles, overlooking the winding Mekong River and the border to Myanmar and Laos.

A visit to the onsite Elephant Camp is an unforgettable experience. It offers mahout training courses, elephant interaction and other conservation activities. This activity is perfect for families with children or couples on honeymoon.

The camp is in Chiang Saen, about an hour's drive from the Chiang Rai airport. The camp offers private airport transfers. You can take part in a fun, educational and interactive experience that commences with a presentation about elephant biology, conservation, and the research conducted on site into elephant behavior.

Experience an exciting elephant ride with your loved ones and watch the sunset during the ride, sauntering along forest trails at a serene and relaxing pace with Mekong river views. After riding the elephant, enjoy a dinner with your family. You can choose from a collection of fine dining menus or you can fine-tune your own with your very own chef.

4. Cafés in Chiang Rai

Start your day with a good cup of coffee or tea in a local café, or it can be a perfect spot to end your day after a long time in a crowd. There are many cafés in Chiang Rai that provide good quality food and beverages. Here are some of our handpicked cafés that are worth a try.

Cat 'n' A Cup Cat Café

Cat ‘n’ A Cup is a cat café located right in the center of town. It is a great place where you can enjoy a hot drink or a tasty snack as you pat some gorgeous little cats! This gorgeous cat café offers breakfast, lunch, dinner and a huge selection of delicious cakes and outstanding coffees.

No entry fee is charged; simply purchase a drink or some food and then you can come into the ‘cat zone’, to sit amongst some new furry friends. This café is perfect for families with children and couples who like cats or just want to experience a café atmosphere like no other.

Opening Hours: Daily from 11am – 10.30pm

Location: 596/7 Phaholyothin Road, Chiang Rai, Thailand

Doi Chaang Coffee Shop

Doi Chaang is a well-established coffee shop with locations all over Thailand. Serving a delicious selection of coffees, shakes and pastries, this coffee shop is a popular go-to for many a happy customer.

Doi Chaang Coffee is named after a rural village in the hills of north-eastern Thailand. In the village, they are producing some of the world’s finest coffee, and if you are a coffee lover, we highly recommend to try their coffee.

Opening Hours: Daily 8am – 8pm

Location: Thanalai, Tambon Wiang, Amphoe Mueang Chiang Rai, 57000, Thailand

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5. Relax in Massage Parlors in Chiang Rai

Chiang Rai is much smaller than Chiang Mai and you can even say it is a one-street town. Right after you finish wandering around Chiang Rai’s night market, you are immediately facing the town’s main street. The street is packed with restaurants and massage parlors of various styles to suit various budgets.

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