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Updated by Joanna James on Aug 22, 2019
Headline for Things to Do in Chiang Rai - Explore like never before
Joanna James Joanna James
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Things to Do in Chiang Rai - Explore like never before

Being the 2nd capital of the well-known Lanna Kingdom, Chiang Rai is an ancient city that is home to the people groups of Tai ethnic culture. This culture is reflected in every part of the city, old and new.


Wat Rong Khun

Found about 5 km away from the downtown area of Chiang Rai this temple was created by the painter and visual craftsman Chalermchai Kositpipat. Taking advantage of his vivid imagination, the artist has made a shining blend of amazing components that portray the virtue of Buddhist lessons. Once you enter the prayer hall you will find various statues of Buddha that appear to float on Lotus flowers. This artistic image is further enhanced by golden wall paintings that act as backdrops to the statues. This temple is definitely a must visit though it's quite a trek from most Chiang Saen hotels which means you can make a day trip out of it, especially if you are staying at a place like Anantara Golden Triangle Elephant Camp & Resort.


Chiang Rai Clock Tower

This delightful attraction is located at the midpoint of Banpaprakan Road and Phaholyothin Road. This iconic clock tower is an impression and example of the magnificent art scene at Wat Rong Khun. This twirling clock tower imitates the styles of Wat Rong's design and was Built in 2009 honouring the majesty king Bhumibhol Adulyadej. If you want to visit and get a complete experience at this clock tower, go there at 9:00 p.m. And you will be able to see the presentation of lights and sound which will definitely prove to be an exciting venture.


The Hill Tribes Museum and Education Center

If you are interested in the history of Chiang Rai and also of the history of the people of the Hill tribes, a visit to this historical centre is a must. The Hill tribe's museum and location centre has the complete story and evolution of the people of the Lanna Kingdom that originated in this part of the world. Right from their social ethics to day-to-day behaviour and how they live their life, you can find all sorts of information here. There are 2 main displays in this museum and the major stories told here are of the history, conventions and traditions of the biggest 7 tribes that used to rule the northern slopes of Thai mountains. The 2nd exhibition Hall includes customized and vividly created bamboo artwork.


King Mengrai the Great Monument

This statue is considered one of the greatest devotions to King Mengrai. Known as King Mengrai the great, he was a popular author in the Lanna Kingdom from the year 1262 to 1311. Many locals are still seen at this monument as they pay their appreciation and respect to this great artist who has brought fame to the city. You can also find a store that sells souvenirs about the author and items that speak of the authentic culture of the city while you visit the great monument.


Mae Fah Luang Art and Culture Park

About 5 km away from the western part of the city you will find a perfect spot for having a lovely picnic and looking at how the daily lives of the people happen around you. This is a nice place to wind down after a day of touring around the city as you relax, take in the sights around you, and people watch while you have a quick snack.