How to spend 1 day in Chiang Rai? Chiang Rai is a rich and authentic city which offers a multitude of possibilities to the passionate of art, culture and even trek! Here are our tips for getting the best out of 1 day in Chiang Rai.

Best time to visit Chiang Rai

Chiang Rai, located in the province of the same name, is a city in northern Thailand. It is the mountainous terrain and low humidity that attract hikers from all over the world.

The low seasons in Chiang Rai commences from March to September, divided into 2 main periods, from March to May and from June to September. While temperatures in the former are quite high, the latter might be heavily affected by rain and storms.

For the aforementioned reasons, we recommend spending 1 day in Chiang Rai between October and March, when the heat is bearable and the rains are rare. It’s a better time for your family trip to Thailand.

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Getting to Chiang Rai

The fastest way to get to Chiang Rai on your trip to Thailand is to travel by plane. Chiang Rai is 8km far from Mae Fah Luang Airport, which served by more than six domestic airlines and many international flights.

Bus is surely the most easiest and economical option to travel to Chiang Rai in 1 day. It will take you 3 hours from Chiang Mai to Chiang Rai. Fortunately, there are many type of bus provided by different companies and tickets can be easily booked online. Meanwhile, we are always there to advise you if needed, do not hesitate to contact our teams.

Things to Do for 1 day in Chiang Rai

Chiang Rai is a true jewel of Northern Thailand. It is believed that the city offers so many cultural and artistic activities that you will never get bored.

Refresh Your Soul at a Buddhist Temple

Wat Rong Khun

The temple is widely recognized as  Wat Rong Khun, as known as White Pagoda. Although there are many other temples that are in white in the city, Wat Rong Khun stands out by its sumptuous features. Generally, the white color echoes the purity of Buddha. The temple is divided into nine buildings and is dazzling by its many sculptures and complex architecture. Let your soul be absorbed and your mind be free by the tranquil atmosphere of this sacred land. However, the symbolism of this place is important for Buddhists, so remember to cover your shoulders and legs when you arrive.

Wat Rong Seur Ten, the Blue Temple

Located a few kilometers on the outskirt, this temple is barely known because it is only recently completed. Its blue interior and the majestic white statue of Buddha will charm you for sure!

Wat Phra Kaew, Chiang Rai

Wat Phra Kaew Temple

Wat Phra Kaew Temple

This oldest temple in the history of Thailand is the place where they discovered the Emerald Buddha. It is also regarded as the most sacred Buddhist temple in Thailand. Hence, Wat Phra Kaew is the must-visit destination on your 1 day in Chiang Rai!

Wat Huai Pla Kung (Big Buddha)

Six kilometers far from Chiang Rai, the nine-story Pagoda and the majestic statue of the goddess of compassion await you for an almost obligatory passage when you come to the city. This tour often combines with that of the Blue Temple, because they both locate on the outskirt.

Wat Phra That Doi Chom Thong

This temple is important for the Thais because they believe that this is where King Mengrai chose for his new Lanna Capital . There is a Chedi or golden pagoda of Stupa located in the center of the temple. The Chedi is the focal point of the temple. It was constructed with a mixture of Bhu-kam (ancient Burma) and Lanna style. It is around 14 meters high, the lotus-petal base, the body, the bell, the top part of the Chedi were decorated with a gold foil.

Wat Phra Singh

This is also one of the oldest temples in Thailand, which is still the home of many Buddhist monks. Its chapel also houses one of Buddha’s footprints, which symbolizes his presence on Earth reminding the need to follow his teaching, to walk in his footsteps.

Stroll in the museums

Baan Dam museum (La Maison Noire)

This is not a temple as some people think, it’s just a set of 40 black houses with special decoration. Indeed, by walking in these houses, you will discover various paintings, sculptures, skins, horns or bones. Despite the constrast in appearances, Baan Dam museum and White Temple are bound by their history. It is absolutely worth to discover this museum during 1 day in Chiang Rai!

Hill Tribe Museum

This museum is a real jewel for those who are curious to discover the culture and way of life of the different ethnic groups of the region. The 6 main communities of the region are revealed by their customs, their way of life and their history. Moreover, the museum is run by a non-profit association, and the funds donated can be used in various projects for the communities.

Have a good time in Singha Park

Colorful Singha Park

Colorful Singha Park

Tea is the star of Singha Park. You can take a walk or cycling between plantations, observe the cultivation and pick some leaves and flowers. This place can be described as an agro-tourism park. Moreover, you will also be able to discover activities such as tree climbing, climbing, or zipline! Perfect for family time during 1 day in Chiang Rai.

Do some shopping spree at Chiang Rai Night Bazaar

The Night Bazaar, or Chiang Rai Night Market may not be as big as the ones in Chiang Mai. However, if you’re looking for inexpensive night-time entertainment and food, you are in the right place.

Opened every evening, especially on weekends, it is the ideal place to find your authentic holiday memories. You will be amazed by many choices among silk clothing, scarves, handicrafts and incense. Still, if you’re not planning on buying anything due to a full backpack, there’s an abundance of Thai snacks and desserts to fill your empty stomach. There are two food courts; the posh one—Centre Point—coming with varnished, wooden furniture and waiting staff wearing northern Thai costumes and another more aimed at locals with aluminum chairs and staff in jeans and T-shirts.

Admire the beauty of the Mae Fah Luang garden

The Mae Fah Luang garden

The stunning Mae Fah Luang garden

The flora of this lush greenery is entirely maintained by local employees who have been trained to learn how to develop a sustainable way of life for every single flower.

The cool weather makes it conducive to growing Western flowers that are typically found outside of Thailand. Roses, dahlias, and tulips were arranged in European-style flower beds. Scattered about the garden were fountains, rock art, wooden structures and a small evergreen maze as well.

Discover the Golden Triangle

The name Golden Triangle comes from the sulfurous past of the region. Gold actually refers to opium, the cultivation and sale of which was widespread a number of years ago in the region.

Chiang Rai Province is actually located at the border of northern Thailand, Laos and Myanmar. So you can spend 1 day in Chiang Rai by going for a walk in a market in Laos, which is just across the river. Be careful though, some boats ask you to pledge your passport for the crossing, do not confide them. You can also visit the Opium Museum to discover more about the history of the Golden Triangle.

Best foods to enjoy for 1 day in Chiang Rai

Khao Soi rice noodles

This dish is flat noodles, which can be accompanied differently according to the region (in Laos for example it is common to serve them in a broth with a pork bolognese and soy paste). The artisanal manufacturing process of these noodles is very impressive as well.

Delicious Khao Soi dish

Delicious Khao Soi dish

Bua Loy Kai

An irresistible dessert! Bua Loi literally translates as “lotus flower”, and consists of small multicolored balls of rice flour which once cooked float on the surface of a warm coconut milk. A poached egg in syrup completes everything, and plunge you into an ocean of sweetness.

Hopefully, our article provides you helpful information about travelling to Chiang Rai. Customize your Thailand tour so that we can help create your unforgettable trip for 1 day in Chiang Rai!

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Bich Ngoc

As a true Vietnamese enthusiast of music, books and coffee, Bich Ngoc loves researching into those typical cultural characteristics of Vietnam as well as exploring further destinations in the country of thousand years of civilization.

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