The map below shows most of the sights of Chiang Rai city, and below it you'll find the sights listed in an order that allows for a sort of walking tour of the city, from top to bottom.
Move your mouse over the icons to see the labels. Click on a sight for more information.
Base map image © OpenStreetMap contributors, CC BY-SA
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- Doi Tong
- At the northwest corner of town is a small hill called Doi Tong. Its home to the oldest Thai temple in town as well as the new City Pillar and a Chinese shrine.
- Wat Ngam Muang
- If you leave the top of Doi Tong by the road running behind the City Pillar, then continue on back towards town being sure to always take the high road, you'll come to the long Naga Stairway leading to Wat Ngam Muang. Within this temple, the ashes of Chiang Rai's founder King Mengrai, were once enshrined.
- Wat Phra Kaeo
- From Wat Ngam Muang, take the road downhill on your right and take the first left. Left again at the next intersection and you'll soon find yourself in front of Wat Phra Kaeo, the temple of the Emerald Buddha.
- Main Market
- If you turn right on exiting Wat Phra Kaeo and then left at the first intersection, you'll soon find yourself walking through the city's main market area.
- Wat Phra Singh
- You can take some time to look around or turn left at the first intersection. Wat Phra Singh will be on your right. This temple was once home to a revered Buddha image, which is now in Chiang Mai.
- Wat Klang Wiang
- Exit Wat Phra Singh through the gate at the opposite end from which you entered, directly in front of the ubosot. Turn left and walk to the next main road, then turn right. The local Tourism Authority of Thailand office is on the opposite side of the road, if you'd like to collect more information. Turn right past the police station. Wat Klang Wiang will be on the corner of the next block. Its not in most tourist guides but we think its worth a look.
- Old Jail
- Exit Wat Klang Wiang by the entrance in front of the wiharn, next to the old City Pillar, and turn right. Turn left at the next intersection. About another block down is the old city jail, which has been turned into a park. There are some interesting old cell-blocks here, which it looks like they're keeping, and a new museum building is almost complete.
- Hill Tribe Museum
- Across the street from the old jail is the Population and Community Development Association's (PDA) building, which houses the Hill Tribe Museum and Handicrafts Shop on the third floor. The museum is open every day and costs 50 Baht (1.30 USD) to enter. On the ground floor is a branch of the popular Cabbages & Condoms restaurant chain, also run by the PDA.
- Mengrai Monument
- About another block further on from the Hill Tribe museum is the city's main monument to its founder, King Mengrai. It's mostly of interest to see how many people come to pay homage and make offerings.
The above sights can be seen in one long day of sightseeing. If you still have energy, you can grab a tuk-tuk or pedi-cab to Wat Jedyod, another interesting, although not ancient, temple. In the evening, you can take in the city's Night Bazaar.