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Updated by Joanna James on Jun 23, 2019
Headline for Top 10 Attractions in Chiang Rai - Ten Must-Visit Tourist Highlights in Chiang Rai
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Top 10 Attractions in Chiang Rai - Ten Must-Visit Tourist Highlights in Chiang Rai

As one of Thailand's most breathtaking holiday hotspots, Chiang Rai is a cultural and recreational hub for the masses. Here are 10 of the area's main points of interest.

1

Doi Mae Salong

As one of the highest summits in all of Chiang Rai, Doi Mae Salong is a captivating lookout point perched 1,800 meters above sea level. Ideal for catching a glorious sunset or a memorable sunrise, the lush, natural surroundings of this peak make it a hiking enthusiast's dream destination. The Santi Khiri village is also within the precincts and makes for a perfect detour while you are there.

2

Golden Triangle

Perhaps the most famous of all cultural attractions in Chiang Rai, no trip to Thailand's hill capital would be complete without a tour of this iconic landmark. As the border between three nations including Laos, Myanmar and Thailand, the location is also known as the heart of poppy growing activities in the country.

3

Phu Chi Fah

Occupying pride of place inside the Pa Mae Ing and Pa Mae Ngao National Forest Reserve, the best time to visit this breathtaking natural wonder is during the months between November and January. Picture perfect at sunrise most tourists spend the night in nearby Ban Rom Fa Thong to catch the mesmerizing sunrise off this hilly observation hub.

4

Doi Thung and the Mae Fah Luang Garden

As the home of the Doi Tung Palace or Pra Tamnak Doi Tung, all visitors exploring Chiang Rai should take the time to visit Doi Thung and the Mae Fah Luang Garden. Other highlights include the Phra That Doi Tung Holy Relic while the Muser tribal village and the Akha tribal village are other points of interest to experience in the area. The royal household dubbed Phra Tamnak Doi Tung and its extensive landscaped gardens are also nearby.

5

Golden Horse Temple

Known as Wat Tham Pa Acha Thong in the local dialect, the Golden Horse Temple is another unique attraction in Chiang Rai. What's unusual about this temple is that unlike traditional monks who travel on foot to collect alms, those residing in this sacred space travel on horseback to the nearby villages. The head abbot is a former cavalryman; hence the use of horses to conduct daily temple rituals and monk practices.

6

Chiang Khong

Travellers who are in search of a quiet peace of paradise to themselves during a getaway in Chiang Rai should visit this area where one can forget the world at large and enjoy quiet walks along the Mekong River banks and spend some time relaxing in the local restaurants and pubs.

7

Uposatha Hall

This former chapel or "Vihara" dates back to 1890 and displays classic Chiang Saen architectural leanings in its appearance. Given a much-needed facelift in 2001, some of the main attractions at Phra Uposatha include its intricately carved doors.

8

Wat Rong Khun

The White Temple as it is also known is hard to miss when travelling around Chiang Rai. Built on the site of an ancient temple, the spiritual epicentre is the brainchild of local artist Ajarn Chalermchai Kositpipat who has used his art and ingenuity to portray human suffering and the edicts of Buddhism in this iconic temple.

9

Haad Chiang Rai

Those based in a Chiang Rai Resort the likes of the Anantara Golden Triangle Elephant Camp & Resort or similar accommodation hub in the area should not miss the chance to spend an afternoon in Haad Chiang Rai. With swimming, dining and recreational facilities, this sandy beach fringed by a limestone mountain is a must-visit hotspot for all.

10

Oub Kham Museum

Celebrating Thai heritage with extensive collections of art pieces as well as examples of the country's Lanna period, a visit to this illustrious institution is a treat for all culture buffs exploring Chiang Rai.