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Updated by Joanna James on Mar 29, 2020
Headline for 5 Things to do in Chiang Rai with family - The hidden gems of Thailand
Joanna James Joanna James
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5 Things to do in Chiang Rai with family - The hidden gems of Thailand

Thailand may be one of the most visited places in the world, however, most tourists tend to flock to the popular places but there are quite a few amazing places most people don't even know about.


Chiang Rai Clock Tower

Situated near the most of the best Chiang Rai hotels including the highly acclaimed Anantara Golden Triangle – the Chiang Rai Clock Tower is one place you really need to visit at night when you're visiting. The nearby vicinity is decorated spectacularly - it is a true feast for the eyes. There are quite a few nice cafes with ethical and vegetarian menus nearby that are worth a visit. There is also a monument to the first king of Lanna; Mengrai who is known for making Chiang Rai his capital.


The White Temple

Wat Rong Khun is privately owned by the artist who created it; Chalermchai Kositpipat. The monument is abstract and aesthetically very pleasing and a wonderful place to spend an evening to just wander around and take in the calm and serene atmosphere of the temple. It is not allowed to take photographs inside the temple. To be honest however the interior of the temple is quite bland compared to other Thai temples and since there is an entry fee you might want to consider if you really want to go in, however.


The Night Market and Night Bazaar

This market is only open on Saturday but is one of the most fun places to visit in Chiang Rai. The market is frequented by locals and tourists alike and you can expect quite a big crowd. You can discover a wide variety of street food piled high on tables. The smells and vibe are just amazing. You can also find hill tribe crafts, little trinkets and winter clothes for sale here. It is definitely worth a visit. The night bazaar isn't that popular with foreigners but if you love food its one place you need to go to – there is a giant food court with every imaginable staple in Thai cuisine. A dish you should look out for is the pork balls wrapped in fried noodles served with peanut sauce – it's delicious.


The Blue Temple

The blue temple is quite the opposite of the white temple and is extremely stunning on the inside compared to the exterior. There is no entrance fee and photography is allowed. However you might have to wait in line to get a decent shot – the temple is always packed. With the high numbers of visitors and the crowds, tourists often forget it is a temple – but don't let the amazing colours lead you astray, be respectful and enjoy the wondrous Wat Tong Seua Ten


The Big Buddha

Guan Yin at Wat Huay Pla Kang is a quite new complex of lady Buddha statues. The site itself is quite amazing and awe-inspiring though there is hardly any information about it online. The setting is calm and serene and quite unique in comparison to other temples found Thailand. The complex clearly has a lot of Chinese Mahayana influence in comparison to the Theravada aesthetic found elsewhere in the country.