Chiang Rai is Thailand most northern big city, and the capital city of Chiang Rai province. Chiang Rai town is a bit like Chiang Mai was about 20 years ago, but it is catching up fast! Chiang Rai province is home to mountains, hill-tribe villages, tea plantations, the famous Golden Triangle and a small part of the Mekong River.
How to get to/from Chiang Rai?
- Air : The airport (CEI) is officially called Mae Fah Luang Chiang Rai International Airport and connects Chiang Rai domestic with Bangkok (Don Muang and Suvarnabhumi), Hat Yai, Phuket and international with places like Hong Kong, Chengdu, Kunming and Haikou. Domestic airlines are Air Asia, Nok Air, Thai Smile Airlines, Thai Lion Air and Bangkok Airways.
- Bus : There are busses to/from all major cities in Thailand.
- Road : All major roads to/from Chiang Rai are good & safe to travel. From Chiang Mai you will be in Chiang Rai within 3 to 4 hours.
- Boat : You can take the boat over the Kok River from Thaton
How to get around?
- TukTuk's or Bicycle Samlor for short rides.
- Songtheauw for fixed routes or hire for a trip.
- By bicycle as the city is not big.
- With motorbike to explorer the nearby area.
- There are bicycles and motorbikes for rent.
Where to stay?As Chiang Rai is not big, the choice is simple. Staying in the city centre or just outside in the country side. For just a 1 night stay I would stay in the city centre, but if you are staying a few days I would recommend to stay more upcountry or just out of the city.
Where to eat in town?My favourite is Aye Restaurant serving Dutch & Thai food, but there are many restaurants nearby the famous Night Market.
What to do in town?
- Visit the Night Market nearby the bus-station
- Visit "Wat Rong Khun" (White Temple)
- Watch the Golden Clock Tower in the evening
What to do nearby?
- Visit the Golden Triangle
- Make a boat trip on the Mekong River
- Go to Mae Sai & Tachlitek (Burma) and visit the IndoChina Market
- Visit the mountains of Mae Salong with the famous Chinese tea plantations