Bucketlist Destination| CHIANG RAI TRAVEL GUIDE

Chiang Rai is a city in the Northern region of Thailand and is famous for the White Temple. Located 185 kilometres from Chiang Mai and less than 2-hour flight from Phuket making it the perfect location for a day trip. Our visit to Chiang Rai was prompted by the desire to visit the White Temple and the Goddess of Mercy. We hope the Chiang Rai Travel Guide reflects how much we enjoyed our visit to this northern city.

The city of Chiang Rai shares a border with Laos and Myanmar, it is the northernmost large city in Thailand. Whilst the famous Chiang Mai is covered in old temples, the opposite is true of Chiang Rai. Our aim is to share some of the most popular places to explore in the Chiang Rai Travel Guide.


Related Article: Asia Travel


When we were planning our visit to Thailand, the itinerary consisted of Phuket and Krabi. These were the two places we want to spend most of our time and made sure our itinerary reflected that. But as the days got closer to departure, we decided to add Chiang Rai all because of the White Temple.

In this article, our aim is that the Chiang Rai Travel Guide will cover popular things that you can do in the city within 24 hours. We flew from Phuket with Vietjetair.com a Vietnamese airline, flight time was under 2 hours time. Our overnight stay in Chiang Rai included booking the Nakaraj Princess hotel. We were pleasured with the hotel, the location was perfect for most tourist destinations.


WAT RONG KHUN {White Temple}

WAT RONG KHUN aka the White Temple was opened to the public in 1997 and is privately owned art. It is a Buddhist temple that attracts many tourists from all over the world. The White Temple is easy to reach either by public transport, taxi, tuk-tuk or with a tour group. We flew into Chiang Rai and its about 9 kilometres away, we took a taxi which was most convenient option.



Wat Rong Seur Ten AKA Blue Temple is another gorgeous Buddhist Temple in Chiang Rai. The name Wat Rong Seur Ten means House Of The Dancing Tiger, the temple was completed in 2016. This temple is also easy to access via public transport or taxi, we visited the temple straight from the White Temple. The blue colour skim throughout the temple is impressive, the curator is a student of the White Temple creator.



Baandam Museum or Black House named appropriately due to the dark facade and aura it exudes. The Black House Museum was home to the renowned Thai artist, Thawan Duchanee. Whilst Baandam is not a temple, the main attraction is around 40 buildings on the estate. Though the Black House is considered ‘Hell’ by the locals, the artist spent 50 years curating the museum. It is definitely worth the visit when in Chiang Rai.


WAT HUAY PLA KUNG {Big Buddha Goddess of Mercy}

The Goddess of Mercy is often mistaken for a Big Buddha that you will find in Phuket. Though the temple is fairly recent, the Goddess of Mercy has become a must visit in Chiang Rai. The Goddess is a 9-storey pagoda with impressive staircase line with gorgeous dragons. For an unparralled view of city, it is possible to climb up the Goddess for some breathtaking views.

Wat Phra Kaew

Wat Phra Kaew aka the Bamboo Temple of the Jade Buddha is the most famous temple after the White Temple and Black House. It should not be confused with the Temple of the Emerald Buddha in Bangkok, the most sacred temple in Thailand. Wat Phra Kaew is the oldest temple in the city of Chiang Rai and dates back to the 14th century.

Wat Klang Wiang

Wat Klang Wiang dates back to the 15th century and is the one temple with the most ornament decorations. Back in 1903, the temple was badly damaged during a storm and some of its features were added in the 20th century. The temple is opened from 6am and closed at 5pm and anyone can enter for free.

Saturday Night Walking Street Chiang Rai

The Saturday night walking street is located on Thanalai Road every Saturday from 5pm until 10pm. It is a compilation of incredible Thai foods, music and various arts. Because it is located in the centre of town, it is very easy to access from most areas in the city.


Clock Tower Chiang Rai

The Clock Tower is one of the most impressive attraction in the city thanks to its golden structure and unique artistry. Visiting the clock tower which doubles as a roundup about during the day is the best way to appreciate the intricate detail.


Chiang Rai Flower Festival

Every year, the Chiang Rai ASEAN Flower Festival is held two weeks December – January. The festival celebrates the beauty of flowers, the people and cultures found across Southeast Asia. During our visit, we were able to see the gorgeous flowers, remnants of the flower festival.

Our visit to Chiang Rai was a success, everything was supper affordable and the weather perfect. Definitely recommend visiting this region on your next adventure to Thailand. Please let us know if there are other places we should have included in our Chiang Rai Travel Guide.

Chiang Rai
Chiang Rai


  1. March 23, 2019 / 9:12 am

    This place looks amazing!!! <3 I'd love to visit one day – unfortunately I haven't made it to that side of the world yet! x

  2. Suzanne
    March 1, 2019 / 7:35 pm

    These temples are so baffling to me, I would imagine seeing them in real life is quite a different experience! Thanks for this guide.

    • Miranda
      March 3, 2019 / 4:58 am

      It is such an incredible experience, I had never visited a Buddhist temple before and I was in awe.

  3. February 28, 2019 / 8:00 pm

    OH wow this place looks amazing!! Your pictures are stunning – I would love to visit one day.

  4. February 28, 2019 / 4:34 pm

    The White Temple looks so majestic; almost unreal. This place is incredible!

  5. February 28, 2019 / 3:51 am

    this place looks amazing! i’d love to travel here one day. adding to bucket list!

  6. February 28, 2019 / 3:38 am

    Wow these photos this place is absolutely stunning on so many levels! The history is impeccable! I need to add this to my bucket list

  7. February 27, 2019 / 6:06 pm

    Looks an interesting place to visit! the photos are top. The photography seems very skilful.

  8. Chelle Dizon
    February 27, 2019 / 12:21 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing these awesome photos of Thailand. There are so many lovely places to visit. The Clock Tower is so nice!

  9. Rosey
    February 27, 2019 / 11:21 am

    That’s fun that you can go out from 5-10 for street vendors and such. I think those kinds of perks can really make a trip.

  10. Preet
    February 27, 2019 / 8:18 am

    Wow, such a detailed post that would be so helpful to plan a great trip to Thailand. Loving the pictures so much.

  11. Alexandra Cook
    February 27, 2019 / 8:18 am

    So many things to love about Thailand! It’s really beautiful out there. Truly a bucket list material.

  12. February 27, 2019 / 7:51 am

    We’ve only ever been to southern Thailand and never the Northern region. What a fab location and trip report x

    • Miranda
      March 3, 2019 / 4:57 am

      We want to add in a bit of everything during our 2-week girls trip.

  13. Karla
    February 27, 2019 / 5:13 am

    The architecture is incredible. Thanks for this great list.

  14. February 27, 2019 / 4:27 am

    I want to visit the black house. Not only the name, but the description you gave makes it sound alluring. I think I’d be captivated by the sheer grandness of the architecture alone.

    • Miranda
      March 3, 2019 / 4:57 am

      I too was taken in by the grandness of the architects home.

  15. February 27, 2019 / 3:32 am

    What amazing photos!! I love the white! It looks like an amazing place to visit!

  16. February 26, 2019 / 9:30 pm

    I’m so sad I missed seeing Chiang Rai when I was in Thailand. It’s absolutely gorgeous and those temples are just something else. Wonderful photos!

    • Miranda
      March 3, 2019 / 4:56 am

      You missed out on a lovely gem here Lisa, it is gorgeous. For my return, I am also going to visit Chiang Mai.

  17. February 26, 2019 / 8:32 pm

    Chiang Rai looks like such a fascinating and beautiful city with plenty to do. You’ve taken such beautiful photos, I’d love to visit one day.

    • Miranda
      March 3, 2019 / 4:55 am

      Thank you lovely, we had such a lovely time even though it was just a day.

  18. February 26, 2019 / 8:28 pm

    What a beautiful place! The architecture is unbelievable. Hope to see it one day in person too

  19. February 26, 2019 / 4:52 pm

    What an incredible journey! This is truly stunning …great photos!

    • Miranda
      March 3, 2019 / 4:55 am

      I am sure he has mentioned just how gorgeous the country is and though infested with us foreigners it’s amazing.

  20. February 26, 2019 / 2:01 pm

    What a stunning place. I’ve heard such great things about Thailand. I would love to go and experience it for myself one day.

  21. February 26, 2019 / 12:50 pm

    Dang I wish I had more time to explore Chiang Rai. I only saw the White Temple before calling it a day. Looks like I missed out on a lot of things

    • Miranda
      March 3, 2019 / 4:54 am

      Awww, Eli, next time make sure you add in more time. We allocated an entire day just for Chiang Rai so we can see all the places on our list.

  22. February 26, 2019 / 8:19 am

    wow what a beautiful place i hope one day i get the chance to visit. Thanks for sharing, great photod

  23. February 26, 2019 / 2:57 am

    What an amazing place! All the architecture is just so big and majestic. It really is one of the most beautiful places I’ve seen. I would love to go there one day.

  24. February 26, 2019 / 2:15 am

    i am dying to visit thailand. i’ve seen chiang rai in travel posts before and it’s def a neat place i’d love to see!

  25. February 26, 2019 / 2:02 am

    I would love to visit Buddist temple in Asia, one day. They are visually stunning and so spiritual!

  26. February 26, 2019 / 1:58 am

    These photos are so stunning! It almost doesn’t look real; so white and ornate like a movie set! Thank you for sharing; I’ve never seen images like these before-just gorgeous!

    • Miranda
      March 3, 2019 / 4:53 am

      You are most welcome, we absolutely enjoyed Chiang Rai and can not recommend it enough.

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