Chiang Rai (Thai: เชียงราย, pronounced [t͡ɕʰīaŋ.rāːj]; Lanna: ᨩ᩠ᨿᨦᩁᩣ᩠ᨿ, pronounced [tɕiaŋ.haːj] is the northernmost province of Thailand. It is bordered by the Shan State of Myanmar to the north, Bokeo Province of Laos to the east, Phayao to the south, Lampang to the southwest, and Chiang Mai to the west.
Restaurants in Chiang Rai Province
5 based on 231 reviews
One of the last unspoiled Mien Hill Tribe villages where you can see and learn about the Mien culture, visit/swim in the waterfall and tour the village & surrounding countryside in a buggy (included). This is a fun day out for all the family, the ladies will enjoy the culture, the gents; the buggies & kids; the waterfall. Pickup/drop-off from your hotel, full details on our website.
I had very high hopes for this experience given the previous glowing reviews and given the extraordinary price, relative to every other day trip I've seen for Thailand.
Let's start with the positives: We had lots of fun over all. Me and the Missus had never before driven anything like these dune buggy vehicles. We enjoyed the lunch that our host's mother made. (Sing is his name, best that I could understand). The view from his house (“Pavilion at the Top of the World”) was nice, and it would be amazing during the non-hazy months. We had a ball at the water fall in the park - we had the place entirely to ourselves for about an hour. The pool is very deep and Sing's helpers showed us a very easy entry point. Amazing pictures. At the waterfall, Sing’s helpers built a fire and we roasted marshmallows and marshmallow-covered bananas. We were delighted with the bamboo cups that Sing hand made for us on the spot. The booking and e-mail communication was quick and easy.
Now for the Needs Improvement items: The trail dust was killing my eyes. There was only the Missus and I on the tour, so I was either 2nd or 3rd in line, but my eyes really suffered that night at the hotel, and into the next morning. I have prescription sunglasses, so serious wrap-arounds are not an option for me. Provide goggles!
Given the 4+ weeds from the time we booked the tour, we had no recollection of how the day would unfold. Sing needs to provide an overview of the day, preferably printed or by e-mail. You’re on the ATVs twice and can go swimming 3 times, so you need to plan your clothing changes accordingly. If I’d known that we would have a two-hour lunch break I’d probably have brought something to read.
The Missus and I are fit but found the buggies difficult to control – a constant wrestling match. I drove 3 different buggies and the steering on the first was really loose, whereas the 3rd one was far tighter. You’re occasionally driving above steep slopes on deeply rutted roads, so precise steering would be nice.
Contrary to some recent reviews, the overall operation was just not very professional. Maybe Sing was having a bad day. He had to divide his attention between helping retrieve a buggy that we had to leave behind and fixing the house’s water pump motor that burned up. We were at loose ends for a solid hour during the two-hour lunch break. We swam in the infinite horizon pool, but how long can two adults be entertained doing that?
At his house we intermingled with family members who paid us no heed. It seems that school was out at this time, so there were at least a half dozen adolescents milling around. Frankly, it was awkward eating our lunch while the kid next to us couldn’t be bothered to look up from his computer. There were 4 young ladies in the SUV when we got picked up. They did not return my cheerful sawadtee krap, so I figured they were Asian guests who didn’t speak Thai. Actually, they seemed to be family members or friends catching a ride to Sing’s house.
The driver who picked us up at the hotel spoke very little English, and drove more aggressively than any other driver I saw. Worse still, he was constantly dividing his attention to his phone during the evening return trip.
During the ATV outing, we stopped at a farm house to admire the piglets and scratch a dog’s ears. The farmer, with a small boy, looked very uncomfortable and didn’t return my cheerful sawadtee krap. Naturally, we felt awkward as well.
Finally, there was no “village” experience. We drove through the village below Sing’s hill-top Pavilion several times, but there was no stop for any interaction or photos.
I am confident that Sing can deliver a better experience for the next guests.
4.5 based on 263 reviews
Since I did not find any 100% sure information about how to get to Phu Chi Fa, I might as well create it myself, maybe someone finds it usefull.
-any tour operator could take you for a sunrise for around 2000THB, nothing for me though
-its possible to get there on a bike from Chiang Rai, but the last part to the top is a little bit difficult for a non skilled driver
-yes, there is a daily bus, or rather a mini van (13seater) going everyday at 1pm and coming back next day at 9am.
We chose the last option and I think we chose well. The return bus ticket is for 300thb and you cannot miss it in Chiang Rai old bus terminal 1 (the big main one). There two old grumpy men selling the tickets and they have also sign in English. Try to buy the ticket in advance and I mean day before even if the meaner old grumpy guy is telling you that you cant buy it day before. We were told the same thing, so we decided that we come back first thing in the morning and buy it, of course it was already sold out.
The ride is 2,5h to a little village under the viewpoint with a plenty of homestays and restaurants. We opted for a tent in a camping near the crossroad going up to viewpoint. They rent a tent with blankets for 300thb, and its a pretty sweet spot for sunset. Next morning we got up at 4am and wanted to walk to the summit but a car stopped midway and took us there. There are also lots of shuttle buses going up at 5am I think (30thb one way).
Take a light jacket for the sunrise it can get windy.
and yes a review- the experience was totally dope and awesome. Really a must when near Chiang Rai. Its a lot touristy but the majority of the people are Thai or Lao I think.
4.5 based on 348 reviews
The royal residence of HRH the late Princess Mother formerly served as her base of operations to monitor the work progress at the Doi Tung Development Project. It has since been transformed into a symbol of the Princess Mother's commitment to improving the local people's quality of life.
There is great tranquility here, the villa is spacious and tastefully decorated. Of particular note is the ceiling decoration which features the sky at night, which must look beautiful in the evening when fully lit.
From the Terrace it is possible to enjoy some spectacular views of the hills in the distance.
An excellent place to visit.
4.5 based on 5 reviews
White Temple is amazing - built by an artist with his own money and given to the Buddhist in his village, also employing hundreds of locals. Really so much to take in you need to take time to digest everything - each piece of art work is unique and some just fun. We loveld this place.
4.5 based on 266 reviews
Small temple located about 10-15 drive from downtown. Temple is designed by same creator of white temple.
Temple is amazingly beautiful, especially the bluish interior. Temple is not big. I stayed for about 20 min.
Suggest to come early (before 8 am). I came at 7.45 am. It was quiet with chanting monks and few visitors. 5 min later the busload of crowds started arriving. Temple is very popular now.
Can combine with visit to Kuan Yin statue and/or Black House.
4.5 based on 746 reviews
This has to be one of the loveliest buildings I have ever been to-my jaw just dropped throughout the visit. If you are in this area, it doesn't matter if you are not religious, just go to admire the art and the sculptures (but obviously be respectful as others are there to worship).
The Wat Rong Khun "known familiarly as the White temple for obvious reasons" was designed by Chalermchai Kositpipat, a famous Thai visual artist. To date the temple is not finished.The artist built the temple to be a center of learning and meditation and for people to gain benefit from the Buddhist teachings.
From the outside the temple is absolutely stunning and it is accessed by a bridge. In front of this are hundreds of reaching hands which signify desire. You must remove your shoes to enter the temple and unfortunately taking photographs of the inside is not allowed. The walls are absolutely marvellous with murals that depict modern representations of good and evil. We spent ages poring over these spotting contemporary figures like Batman, Spiderman and Elvis, villains and superheroes from movies and comics and even spaceships, but also a thought provoking depiction of the burning twin towers.
Moving away from the temple itself, the grounds contain the most elaborate toilet block ever, and some clay heads hanging from the trees (which the local birds nest in).
There is also a very good art exhibition of the works of Chalermchai Kositpipat, who is obviously a hugely talented man.
I could have spent so much more time here so allow a good amount of time.
4.5 based on 321 reviews
As a famous tourist spot, the Mae Fah Luang Garden generates revenue and creates jobs that make the most of the various skills available in Doi Tung.
THIS is an attraction which anyone visiting the Chiang Rai area should not miss.
We got a glimpse of the Gardens from on high above them when visiting the nearby Royal Villa, but it only hinted at the beauty we later walked down through.
The jewel in the crown is the central floral area complete with a striking sculpture of many children standing on each other's shoulders and reaching for the sky, an amazing sight when silhouetted against a clear blue sky.
There is also a water feature area you can walk out over along wooden boardwalks through floral displays while just past that are orchid Exhibitions, a rock garden, a foliage garden, bromeliads and a maze.
There is also the never to be forgotten Doi Tung Tree Top Walk, an exhilerating experience which saw me strapped into a safety harness which hooked up to a cable before I climbed up towards the tree canopy and then out along narrow netted wooden walkways which bounced and swayed as I made my way out high over huge voids between trees. Not for the faint hearted but tremendous fun and very interesting to get up close to a world which is usually far over my head.
Elsewhere on the site are a number of restaurants all grouped near the entrance area while there are five sets of public toilets on site in case Nature calls in a different way. The ones I used were scrupulously clean and very well looked after.
We spent several hours going round the Gardens and took some lovely photos to remind us of this wonderful place.
Don't miss a chance to visit. It will be one of the highlights of your holiday.
4.5 based on 293 reviews
This place consists of a giant Kuan Yin Statue on the left, a temple resembling the white temple in the middle and a 9 tier Pagoda on the right as we approach from the main entrance. The place is still new as the main hall in the white temple is still under construction. Even though the admission is free, they still provide buggy to transfer people from the car park to the Kuan Yin area. These three structures are beautiful with the mountain at the back drop. We can go up to the 25 floor of the Kuan Yin statue by paying 40 baht. We can walk up to 26 floor for an aerial view of the surroundings. The interior of these two floors are meticulously decorated all in white. From top here, we can have a nice view of the white temple and the 9 tier pagoda. The staircase with dragons on left and right side leading to the Kuan Yin statue on the hill top is still under construction. Similarly, the staircase leading to the white temple has a dragon on each side, giving a spectacular welcoming view. For the 9 tier pagoda, the ground floor has a big wooden Kuan Yin, and we can climb up all the way to the highest tier with different statue of Worship in different tier. I find the visit both pleasing and nice.
4.5 based on 757 reviews
This was the original location of the Emerald Buddha, now housed in Bangkok's Wat Phra Kaeo.
I checked some of negative reviews and it is clear these people are confusing this temple with the one in Bangkok. There is NO admission fee and NO crowds. This is a lovely temple with peaceful surroundings. There's also a nice museum here in one of the buildings. I actually liked this temple more than Wat Rong Khun.
4.5 based on 181 reviews
Mae Fah Luang Art & Cultural Park houses the region's largest collection of folk art and teak artifacts from the Lanna Kingdom. It has been recognized as a unique tourist destination in northern Thailand and has won the Thailand Tourism Award 2006 as an outstanding tourism destination in the category of Arts and Culture.
Stunning and historic exhibition of teak in the main hall and a lovely venture for an annual conference or wedding such is the splendour, scale and sheer peacefulness of the place. We walked around the whole circumference over two hours and were in awe, though this might be because we'd be jostled in previous explorations within Chiang Rai
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