Chiang Rai, located in the northern mountains of Thailand, is a more relaxed town than its sister town Chiang Mai. Its location in the mountains makes this small rural city have a very pleasant atmosphere that attracts travelers and many outdoor fans.
Chiang Rai offers natural beauty, authentic feel, friendly people, and a place to relax while enjoying its collection of temples and art, as well as experiencing its night entertainment, and of course, a great variety of street food!
- Chiang Rai is a city located in the mountains, so the surrounding atmosphere is fresh, and the average temperature is 24.6oC. Its dry season from October to February is the best period to visit this city.
- The very famous White Temple (Wat Rong Khun) is definitely one of the most well-known temples in Chiang Rai.
- The Black Temple (Baan Dam Museum) is a collection of 40 unique wooden buildings of various shapes and sizes.
- You can gain insight into Mekong's tribal communities by visiting the Hill Tribe Museum.
- Saturday night in Chiang Rai is the best time to visit the night market to taste authentic local and popular Thai food. Also, don't forget to see the splendid Clock Tower, one of the remarkable city landmarks in Thailand.
- A famous village Doi Mae Salong has an interesting history: When the Chinese Nationalist Army refused to surrender to the Chinese Communists in 1949, it escaped to Burma through this mountainous area.
- The Golden Triangle is the intersection of three countries: Myanmar, Laos and Thailand.
Seeing Bangkok with ease
In Bangkok, our tour guide, Ying, was wonderful. She navigated all the sights with ease, gave us interesting tidbits on Thai culture and history, helped us pick the right food at all the restaurants, and was just a pleasure to be around. We had a great time, and it was so nice to not have to worry about any of the details.More
Diane Elkins, Nov 2023
Thailand -insights, no stress and amazing team
My husband and my Thailand trip was fantastic, stress-free and educational thanks to the amazing team coordinated by Albee at Asia Highlights. The whole team was incredibly accessible, responsive, sensitive to our needs and lovely to work with. End-to-end, the trip was truly remarkable and the knowledgeable and dynamic tour guides and drivers made it especially memorable!More
AndrewsFamily, Oct 2023
Informative & Thorough / Thanks Sharon!
Sharon the advisor that helped me was so thorough & informative and explained the details of the tour including questions about visas and what is included vs what is not included in the tour packages. I would recommend them to explain tour packages that would fit the schedule of your pending travels.More
Chris, Sep 2023
Easy, fast responses
I worked directly with Monica in Asia Highlights. She was incredibly helpful and answered all of my questions quickly. Working with her made the whole process easy and we are so excited for our trip!More
Diana B, Sep 2023
Stress free Thailand
Alisa has organised our 14 day Thailand holiday for 2024 for my family & I. She has been very accommodating & super quick with all of our requests & we cannot wait for a stress free holiday! Thank you Alisa!More
Alana Mitchell, Sep 2023
Family Trip to Thailand-Cambodia
All of our guides were very nice and knowledgeable, but we have a special mention to our guide in Cambodia, Chan, he was very kind with us and it was very amusing. He went the extra mile for us. We really enjoyed our holidays!More
José Antonio Carrillo de la Pl, Sep 2023
Asia Highlights and Sharon
Asia Highlights, specifically Sharon, has been wonderfully helpful as we get ready for a 2024 excursion to Thailand. We are beyond excited, and much of that has to do with the personalized attention that we have experienced with Sharon. She has been extremely responsive, obliging, and focused as she helped us design a tailor made itinerary. All of our questions have been addressed, our needs have been met, and the path has now been set for a very exciting trip.... thanks to Sharon.More
Marcy Hoenig, Sep 2023
I was planning a trip to Thailand to…
I was planning a trip to Thailand to especially see the Lantern Festival this year for our birthdays!! It’s been on our bucket list, but we were completely lost on how to go about planning for our trip. We’ve never really booked tours before but Alisa was extremely helpful, knowledgeable, flexible and efficient in providing all the information we needed to make our decision on the best tours and tickets to purchase. Thank you so much!!More
https://www.trustpilot.com/reviews/64d9a5a4657e4b39f768a21e, Aug 2023
I would definitely recommend Asia…
All of our guides were wonderful (Mr. Bank - Bangkok and Ms. Kai in Phuket & Khao Sok plus antoher guide who assisted in Koh Samui). Sharon took care of tours, private drivers, flights and hotels within Thailand and our trip went off without a hitch. The hotels were great and the transportation always arrived on time and with a clean,More
Guinevere Provance, Aug 2023
WOW! I’ve traveled Asia some & I must say Sharon & Asia Highlights made this trip so much more enjoyable and easyMore
Stephen Hollis, Aug 2023
Alisa has has been great to work with
Alisa with Asia Highlights has has been great to work with. Very friendly and responsive.More
Ana Rausch, Aug 2023
Using Sharon right now to book our…
Using Sharon right now to book our upcoming trip to Thailand. She has booked everything that we asked for. Has answered all of my inquiries, which has been many! Looking forward to having a great girls trip in ThailandMore
Tracy, Aug 2023
Thailand, Singapore, Bali
In Thailand, Tanny and Nori(Suparp), were both incredible! They were both fun, funny, and full of knowledge and made sure we got the full experience. They went the extra mile and always made sure we had cold bottled water and towels to cleanse our hands. In Singapore, Nicole was an absolute gem. She was so kind and knowledgeable and guided us in the right direction to make our day as enjoyable as possible. She helped us choose a top notch local lunch and coffee spot in China Town and taught us so much about the country! In Bali, Emon was an absolute joy. He was very knowledgeable and kind and absolutely made sure we were feeling comfortable and was willing to be flexible with us. He was fun to converse with and made our time traveling between destinations so enjoyable! I cannot recommend Asia Highlights enough! Accommodations, travel arrangements and guided tours were all a breeze.More
Cassi Thunker, Jul 2023
Very supportive ! I have received eticket for Sky Lattern Festival very fastMore
Chi?n Nguy?n Ng?c, Jul 2023
My experience in Chang Mai with Asia Highlights
I greatly enjoyed my experience with Asia Highlights for a trip I booked to Thailand.All of my interests were catered too. My guide in Chang Mai Gemma was excellent.I truly felt the soul of Thailand culture and Buddhism.More
Richard, Jul 2023
A pleasure to plan with
Well, this has been a painless and pleasurable process to find such a wonderful company. I had specific dates and places to be and Sharon worked with me diligently to refine the schedule and costs to suit my travel needs and budget. She informed me of a special tour on the dates I am to be in Thailand and I added that to my previous plans.More
Chris Williams, Jul 2023
Large multi-generational holiday in Thailand
The holiday was wonderful. Our guides, Mr Monchai (Bangkok), and Ms Tipagorn (Tippy) (Chiang Mai) were exceptional. Travelling in a large multigenerational group with many children requires patience and our guides truly understood that. Mr Monchai and Ms Tippy shared their extensive knowledge of the many wonderful places we visited, and were flexible to take us to additional places along the way based on discussions. While everyday was busy, having them greet us with patience and a smile truly made this a memorable holiday. The hotels we stayed at were equally wonderful and went above and beyond to celebrate not only my parents 50th anniversary but also celebrate 2 milestone birthdays that occurred. We will cherish this holiday for many years to come. We hope to use Asia Highlights again.More
CL, Jul 2023
I never used a travel agent in my life
I never used a travel agent in my life, but Sharon for Asia Highlights did a phenomenal job helping planning and coordination a family vacation. The best part of working with Sharon was that she maintained an open line of communication and provided answers to my question well within 12-24 hours. Additionally, Sharon was flexible and customized our vacation to my families needs. Overall great experience.More
Antione Barry, Jul 2023
Great company to plan a trip to Southeast Asia!
Sharon Haung has been wonderful to work with! Very patient and accommodating. Responds immediately given time change and is prepared, prompt, and professional.More
Debi Hinerfeld, Jul 2023
We took a 15 days trip (10 days Vietnam and 5 days Thailand …
It was an amazing experience the guides and drivers were there awaiting for us at each airoport for a transfer to the hotels also on time for all the tours all the guides were so lovely , very experienced and spoke very good English , one of the days on tour in Thailand I lost my phone in a temple in Bangkok mr chai went out of his way in a middle of thousands of visitors and managed to find an bring it back to me I found that amazing , also while on a trip I contacted Jason li out tour organizer few time via whatup and he replied and helped on the spot I recommend asiahilights 150% The quality of the service hotels the guides the drivers outstanding From start to finish ABSOLUTELY BRILLIANT ????More
SIMO el ghobar, Jun 2023
1. The White Temple (Wat Rong Khun)
Wat Rong Khun, or The White Temple, is a modern, uniquely beautiful, white Buddhist temple.
With an entry fee that is only around US$ 2, you can enjoy the artistic details of the building as well as the brilliant idea behind the construction of this building.
As we walk across the entrance bridge, which represents the passage of life, before reaching the Buddha statue, we will see a 'pond' of sculptured hands reaching out, that symbolize unrestrained desire.
After crossing the bridge we will enter the "Gate of Heaven" which is guarded by two unique creatures. Then, when you arrive at the center building called "Ubosot", you will be amazed by the all-white building.
Inside the temple you will see murals depicting demon faces, all kinds of evil works in this world, interspersed with many superhero pictures and western idols. All of this makes this temple became a unique temple in Thailand.
Location: Wat Rong Khun is located 3 hours from Chiang Mai. You can hire a car if you bring your family or take the comfortable green bus from Chiang Mai for around US$ 9.5.
Travel essentials: It is good to arrive before 8 a.m., because at around 10 a.m. this place will be inundated by tourists. Besides, at around 9 a.m. you can see the sunshine hit many surfaces of the building which is covered with mirrored glass; this makes it glimmer beautifully. Please make sure you put your sunglasses on to enjoy this view.
2. The Black Temple (Baan Dam Museum)
Baan Dam Museum is a museum that consists of 40 wooden buildings created by Thai national artist, Thawan Duchanee.
These buildings are all in black and often being regarded as the 'mate' of The White Temple, though it is not a temple.
You can see an elephant skeleton, snake skin table runners, giant crocodile skin painted black, and thousands of animal skulls, bones, skins, teeth, and taxidermy in this museum.
Everything in Baan Dam Museum is black or has a dark aura, and one of the buildings is decorated with animal remains.
Location: Baan Dam Museum is located about 10 km outside the city center, and there are many transportation options for you to get there.
Travel essentials: Baan Dam Museum opens from 09:00 to 17:00, but they close for lunch from 12:00 until 13:00. The entrance ticket costs around US$ 2.6, and there are many food options around the entrance, like coffee shops, restaurants and souvenir stores.
3. Hill Tribe Museum
The Hill Tribe Museum is a museum and education center that has been open for 18 years. This museum provides a wealth of cultural information as well as authentic displays of the hill tribes of Thailand.
In this museum you can see typical clothing, equipment, and other traditional objects, for example bamboo tools for weaving. There are not only things to, see, but you can also listen to the information about issues that surround those tribes directly from hill tribe people who have been brought to the museum to support their village back home.
There are many volunteers that work in the museum to educate the tribal people on how to cope with the things that threaten their rural life.
Location: It is located around 12 km from Baan Dam Museum. You can reach this place by car in about 30 mins.
Opening hours: 24 hours
Location: Chak Phet Road
Travel Essentials: This museum and cultural education center is a good place to see before taking a hill-tribe trek. The Hill Tribe Museum is open from 08:30 until 18:00. The entrance fee is around US$ 1.6.
4. Clock Tower
The Clock Tower with its golden design, evening light and music, makes pretty Chiang Rai even prettier. This city timepiece is designed by the same person who designed The White Temple, so the architecture is quite similar.
Location: The Clock Tower stands steadfastly in the middle of a traffic junction in the city. You cannot miss it.
Travel essentials: You can visit The Clock Tower at 7, 8, or 9 in the evening to enjoy its splendid light and sound, as the clock chimes.
Enjoying coffee in one of the coffee shops around the Clock Tower while seeing the color change from gold to pink to green, and hearing the buzz of the people, tuk-tuks and motorbikes, makes for a special experience in Chiang Rai.
5. Night Bazaar
Want to have an evening outing to explore the city on your own? Just venture out to Chiang Rai Night Bazaar. It is a nice place to spend your evening with so many outdoor food courts that offer authentic local and popular Thai food, such as Tom Yum Goong (Spicy Shrimp Soup), Som Tum (Spicy Green Papaya Salad).
Not only foods, you can also find traditional souvenirs, like scarfs, antiques, silks and shirts. The combination with Thai traditional dancing and music makes the Night Bazaar even more enjoyable.
Location: The Night Bazaar is located near the bus terminal and city area, so it is easy to get there.
Travel essentials: The Night Bazaar is open every day but active from around 18:00. However, you can go to the food court and have some food for dinner first, because the shops will only be preparing to open at 18:00.
6. Doi Mae Salong
Doi Mae Salong is a hillside village that was settled by the Chinese 93rd Division who moved from Burma to reside on Thai territory in 1961. This village is famous for its serene landscape and pleasant atmosphere.
We can do hiking or trekking while enjoying the scenery of the terraced hillsides and the tea, coffee and fruit tree plantations. Besides, we can also experience the local tribe culture as well as enjoy delicious native Chinese dishes.
Location: Doi Mae Salong is located only 6 km from the border to Burma (Myanmar).
Travel essentials: The beauty of this place reaches its maximum in December and January, when all sakura blossoms and creates picturesque scenery.
7. Golden Triangle
A breathtaking history and a real heritage of century-long cultural and traditional border of three countries form this Golden Triangle. This area was once a major producer of opium, but today it is peaceful, with brilliant views from the hills behind the hall of opium.
The Chiang Rai Golden Triangle is growing rapidly as a tourist spot. It offers travelers a great feeling on seeing how two rivers and three rivers meet in one spot.
Shopping at a bustling border market and meeting local tribe villagers will complete your journey experience in this place.
Location: It is about a 45 mins drive from Chiang Rai city.
Travel essentials: Bring your passport because you might want to do a short visit to Laos or Myanmar. Also, it is good to ensure that the sun is shining to enjoy your trip better.
Visit Chiang Rai with Asia Highlights
Asia Highlights will help you make your trip itinerary by selecting the places that suit you best. Get ready for an unforgettable experience in this wonderful city of Chiang Rai. Please contact us for further information.
Why Travel with Asia Highlights (98.8% positive customer reviews among 10,000+)
- Unique experiences tailored to your interests: Enjoy a premium trip that goes beyond the typical tourist attractions.
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- Experienced and knowledgeable guides: Your guides will be local and love to work for travelers' smiles.
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