Wat Rongg Khun
One of the most popular draws when it comes to temples, and an obligatory stop off for anyone on an organised journey through Chiang Rai to Laos, is the White Temple or Wat Rong Khun.
It’s one of Thailand’s most beautiful temples, and a striking work of art. A modern temple, the construction started in 1998, and it’s one of the city’s highlights. Remember, as with all temples, to cover up appropriately and to behave respectfully at all times. The white and silver carvings make the temple appear to glitter on a sunny day and it’s set in lovely small gardens.
Other temples and churches that are popular with visitors to the area include the Black Temple, which is a series of around 40 small black houses built in the Thai style of architecture and containing collections of paintings, sculptures and even more unusual art like animal horns and other trinkets from around the world.
Other temples to visit in Chiang Rai
There is also a Tao Buddhist temple - Munniti Chiang Rai - which is considered to be a fairly unusual sight.
If you want to visit some temples with famous histories, try Wat Phra Kaeo, which is known for having housed the emerald Buddha in the 1300s - one of the most famous Buddha images in the country.
Wat Phra That Doi Chom Thong is also well known, primarily as the location of an extremely old holy relic which is said to have been there since before the city was established around it.
Museums in Chiang Rai
If you want a break from temples, there are a lot to admire in Thailand after all, there are also some good museums that are worth visiting. These include the Chiang Rai cultural centre, Hill tribe museum and education centre and the Cultural Hall museum, amongst many others.
A little further out of the city, the Oub Khan Museum has an interesting collection of items, many taken from the royal courts – from old fabrics to gold and silver regalia, including the golden throne. It’s worth a visit, and also features other bits of interest from countries nearby such as Myanmar, Laos, China and even Vietnam.
Relaxing on the banks of the Kok River
Finally, the Kok river is a popular spot, especially on warm sunny days to relax and enjoy the local scenery. There’s also a forest park with a very beautiful waterfall and some lovely nature walks to enjoy, if you have the time this is well worth a visit and you can expect to see some really nice landscapes.
Choui Fong tea plantation
For those who have even more time to explore the local area, you might want to consider taking a trip to the Choui Fong tea plantation, which is another very scenic and popular spot. It’s the largest plantation in the region and well known for the high quality of tea that it produces. It does take a couple of hours to reach the tea plantation from Chiang Rai so be sure to allow plenty of time for your visit so you don’t miss anything.