Chiang Rai City

Despite being 740 years old, Chiang Rai has much less of its history in evidence than Chiang Mai. You can see most of what the city itself has to offer in a single day. The main sights are a handful of temples along the city's northern side. We've listed the sights on the map page as a sort of walking tour, so you can start at the first one and move on to the next. The city is well signed for tourists. Look for wooden signs with gold letters point the way to the main sights of the city.

The ordination hall of Wat Phra Kaeo with the gilded pagoda behind The ordination hall of Wat Phra Kaeo with the gilded pagoda behind

There are a couple of sights just outside the main town area that you may wish to visit. South of town is what may well be the most popular attraction in town these days: the 'White Temple' of Wat Rong Khun. North of town is the less well know but equally fascinating 'Black House' (Baandam) of Thai national artist Thawan Duchanee.

The main chapel at Wat Phra Singh The main chapel at Wat Phra Singh

You can take it with you.
Wish you could have this information with you when you visit Chiang Rai? Now you can. Check out our ebook guides.

You can book a variety of sightseeing day trips out of Chiang Rai in advance through Viator. By booking in advance through Viator, you'll be sure to get the tours you want, and you won't be surprised at the cost.

When to Go

The ideal time to visit Chiang Rai is during the cool dry season from December to February. The nights can be downright cold at this time of the year, and the days will be pleasantly warm. Of course, this is when everyone else wants to go to Chiang Rai, so hotel rates are usually higher at this time. Personally, I prefer the tail end of the rainy season, in October or November, when things are still very lush and green, and the main tourist hoard has yet to arrive. See the Chiang Rai weather page for current conditions and historical charts.