BY Guinness Bear

Top 10 Chiang Rai Holiday Attractions in Northern Thailand

Most people visiting Thailand for a holiday tend to visit the more trodden paths of Phuket, Bangkok, Pattaya, and Koh Samui. However, Chiang Rai is one of the most intriguing places in Thailand to visit in the northeast πŸ§”πŸ₯‡

Many people see Chiang Mai as the most popular holiday destination in the northeast. But if you want to push it to its limits, we would suggest you partake in a Chiang Rai Holiday. ‘The northernmost of Thailand, the border of three countries, the land of Lanna kingdom, and home of Doi Tung Pagoda’ is Chiang Rai’s provincial motto.

There are a number of tourist destinations nestled among the mountainous terrains. The region has a cool climate and friendly yet unique culture. Chiang Rai is an ideal place for visitors to experience the beauty of nature and the culture of the region. Here are some of the most popular places πŸ… of interest for your Chiang Rai holiday to ensure you visit the most awe-inspiring places in northern Thailand πŸ§” 

 

#10 - Wat Rong Khun (Temple)

The Wat Rong Khun was designed by the notable Thai painter-turned-architect, Chalermchai Kositpipat. He dedicated this temple to the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej πŸ§” Wat Rong Khun has now become one of the must-see places when enjoying a Chiang Rai holiday.

More well-known among foreigners as the White Temple, Wat Rong Khun is an unconventional Buddhist temple in Chiang Rai. The main building is painted in white to symbolize Buddha’s purity, covered in mirrored mosaics, beautifully sparkling in the sun. The whole compound with nearby ponds full of colorful carp looks so picturesque, like heaven-on-earth πŸ₯‡

Due to its dedication to the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej, it ranked tenth πŸ§” on my list of top 10 Chiang Rai holiday attractions.

Directions:

You will find that Wat Rong Khun is located at 772 km. on Phaholyothin Road. Parking spaces are available at the entrance of the temple. 

 

#9 - Wat Rong Suea Ten (Blue Temple)

The Wat Rong Suea Ten, also known as Blue Temple, is one of the recent monuments constructed in Chiang Rai. However, the Wat Rong Suea Ten has been built over the ruins of an ancient Temple abandoned over a century ago πŸ§” This Temple is dedicated to Tigers that once roamed around these areas and jumped over the river. Thus, Suea Ten means "Dancing Tiger." Wat Rong Suea Ten has magnificent designs on its facade, roofs, and walls. The contrast is created by golden-blue colors that you couldn't take your eyes off.

However, the most noteworthy sight in the temple is the statue of the white Buddha. Although this Temple was recently constructed, it doesn't receive many tourists, which makes the surroundings calm for you. Therefore, you can have a peaceful tour of Wat Rong Suea Ten πŸ₯‡

Directions:

Wat Rong Suea Ten is a few km outside Chiang Rai. From the King Mengrai Monument, take road No. 1 to get out of the city, cross the river Kok. You will have a sign indicating the Temple on the left less than 1 kilometer after passing the river.

 

#8 - Singha Park Chiang Rai

Singha Park was formerly known as Boon Rawd Farm and is a popular destination in Chiang Rai. The golden Singha statue, Singha Park’s landmark, elegantly stands in the midst of the lush green hill, perfect for photos πŸ§” Opposite the statue, you will find the center decorated with flowers where food and beverages, including Singha’s products, are for sale. You could book the touring car to show you around, but make sure you book in advance during the busy times of the year.

A tour guide will take you around and pull you over at certain points for taking photos. Inside the park, there are a lot of interesting sites. These include a tea plantation, paddy field, monkey apple farm, big ponds, and Bhubirom Restaurant that features a beautiful 360-degree viewpoint overlooking the tea plantations along the hills πŸ…

Directions:

Singha Park is located at 99 Moo 1, Denha – Dongmada Road, Mae Kon, Muang Chiang Rai, Chiang Rai 57000. Drive through Wat Rong Khun for another 6 km, and then turn right at the T-junction. Drive for another 2 km and you’ll see the entrance sign on the left-hand side. 

 

#7 - Phu Chi Fa

Phu Chi Fa is located in the National Forest Reserve of Pa Mae Ing and Pa Mae Ngao πŸ… It is a cliff that provides stunning views of the island, beaches, and mountains in the surroundings. The peaks around Phu Chi Fa are 1200 to 1600m above sea level. The path that leads to this viewpoint has mangroves and lush greenery and will keep you amazed throughout your hike. The best time to visit Phu Chi Fa is between November and January when every flower blossoms πŸ§”

Directions:

When you leave Chiang Rai southbound on Route 1 (Phahonyothin Road). Take the turn off for Road 1020, leading you south and then east. Then take a left to 1021. Follow the 1021 – you will begin to see signs for Phu Chi Fa and take a left turnoff for 1155 before reaching the town of Ngao, and a little ahead is Phu Chi Fa forest park.

 

#6 - Museum of Field Marshal Por. Piboonsongkram

Formerly built as a guesthouse for Field Marshal Por. Piboonsongkram, during his position as the prime minister, when he was on duty in Chiang Rai. This Swiss cottage-inspired house has now become the military museum-cum-learning center featuring war and military history. The museum has been divided into 4 different zones. Along the ground floor, you will find the history of the Chiang Rai military and the history of WWII arms. On the second at the foyer, it displays an exhibition in homage to King Bhumibol Adulyadej πŸ₯‡

On the top floor at the left end is the former room of Field Marshal Por. Piboonsongkram, exhibiting his history and glorious biography. The center room on the east side shows the history of Chiang Rai and The Greater East Asia War. On the top floor at the right end, you can find the history of the Thai people. The surroundings are shady and evergreen, featuring English botanical gardens at the front. There’s a little coffee shop for visitors πŸ§” 

Directions:

The Museum of Field Marshal Por. Piboonsongkram is located in the Doi Chomtong community, Vieng, Muang Chiang Rai, Chiang Rai. The entrance is in front of Mengrai Military Camp. 

 

#5 - Wat Huay Pla Kang

Like the other religious monuments, the Wat Huay Pla Kang is built on spectacular architecture reflecting Chinese styling. Wat Huay Pla Kang is also known as the 9 Tier Temple due to its 9 story Pagoda. When you visit Wat Huay Pla Kang, the scintillating views will take your breath away πŸ§”

Because it is built atop a mountain in Muang County, the lush green views surround this place. The massive Guan Yin Statue is admirable, and one of the astounding masterpieces can be explored from the inside. You can climb the inside of the statue by an elevator, reach the forehead, and look out through the openings πŸ…

Directions:

Wat Huay Pla Kang is located about eight kilometers north of the center of Chiang Rai town in the Ban Huay Pla Kung area of Muang district, Chiang Rai.

 

#4 - King Rama IX Footprint Pavilion

When you want to visit the most popular places during your Chiang Rai holiday, this is a unique point of interest. This one and only pavilion displaying HM King Bhumibol Adulyadej’s footprint πŸ§” is located at the Doi Yot, Mengrai Military Camp. This pavilion is also the place where people can learn about the history of the battle between the Royal Thai Army and the communists at Doi Yao – Doi Pha Mon, Amphoe Khun Tan.

On February 27, 1982, His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej together with HM Queen Sirikit and the Royal Family visited the local people and his army at the Phraya Pipat base on Doi Yao πŸ… On that auspicious occasion, His Majesty King Bhumibol gave his footprint stamp on the plaster as morale for his people. 

The footprint is installed at the Pavilion in front of the Chiangrai Military Camp and at the hall on Doi Yot. Parking spaces are available, overlooking the beautiful views of Chiang Rai town. This place is very special because it has the footprint of one of the Greatest Kings in Thailand’s history which places it at number four on my list πŸ§”

Directions:
Rop Wiang Sub-district, Mueang Chiang Rai District, Chiang Rai 57000, Thailand.

 

#3 - Hot Springs Pong Phrabat

After taking a break from Temple visits and sightseeing in Chiang Rai, you can spend some quiet and relaxing time at the Hot Springs of Pong Phrabat. It's a place not to be missed, and you can enjoy some time away from the city in the middle of nature πŸ§” 

If you are here with your family, you can enjoy the top-class facilities at Pong Phrabat Hot springs, such as private rooms, hot baths, and bathrooms. In addition, you can make your day trip even more exciting by visiting the Pong Phrabat waterfalls close to the hot springs πŸ₯‡ The facility charges THB 20 per person for the pool.

Directions:

Take Highway No. 1 to North-East (towards the Golden triangle) to the village of Ban Du and turn left here. After 2 and a half kilometers to see the fork, Hot Springs.

 

#2 - Chui Fong Tea Plantation

Not only regarded as one of the leading entrepreneurs in the tea farm industry but Chui Fong Tea Plantation is also set as the shooting scene in a popular TV soap opera πŸ… Chui Fong Tea Farm is managed under the corporation of Chui Fong Tea CO., LTD. This is one of the biggest tea producers and exporters in Chiang Rai shipping to various countries, mainly to Europe, the USA, Taiwan, and Japan.

A number of tea farms have been beautifully planted along and up the mountain ridges, making the whole area picturesque. It’s just a little flaw that visitors are not allowed to visit the tea manufacturing plant. However, there’s a little tea shop selling hot & cold drinks from various kinds of tea, together with a wide range of desserts πŸ§”

One should not miss to order something and sit by the balcony. Make sure you watch the beautiful tea farms below as the site is located 1,200 meters above sea level, with an area of over 600-rai. 

Directions:

Chui Fong Tea Plantation is located in Baan Phraya Prai, Therdtai, Mae Fah Luang District, Chiang Rai (sharing the same entrance to Doi Mae Salong). 

 

#1 - Doi Tung Mountain

Doi Tung was once notorious for the big land of deforestation for opium farms. That was before the late Her Royal Highness Srinakarindra, Princess Mother of Thailand, turned the whole land into a usable plantation for the benefit of highland locals πŸ§” She named it the Doi Tung Development Royal Project.

Nowadays, Doi Tung is a popular destination for both Thai and foreigners on a Chiang Rai holiday. Mainly because of beautiful scenery with many interesting sites including the 10-rai Doi Tung Palace (Phra Tamnak Doi tung), the royal villa, situated on the slopes of the adjacent Pa Kluay Reservoir. Here you will find a wide variety of orchards that have been planted from places such as Sylvia, Petunia, Begonia, roses, and Datura. At the center of the gardens, you will also find the statue of ‘Continuity’ designed by notable artist Mesiem Yipinsoi. One of the most popular attractions is the Phra That Doi Tung Holy Relic. This is an old religious site atop the mountain. 

Mount Doi Tung takes first place on this list because with the blessings and efforts of the late Her Royal Highness Srinakarindra, Princess Mother of Thailand this place transformed and is one of the most visited places in Chiang Rai πŸ†

Directions:

Doi Tung is west of Hwy 1 between Mae Chan and Mae Sai.

 

In terms of stunning natural beauty, there are not many places in Thailand that can match a Chiang Rai holiday. If you want to learn more about the historic roots of the Lanna empire and the local Buddhist culture, a visit to Chiang Rai is essential πŸ§”

So keep enjoying the stunningly beautiful Chiang Rai until I am back with you with another top 10 places to spend your holidays in Thailand.

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Written by
Guinness Bear

Guinness Bear EN

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