Are you ready to spend a whirlwind of a day in Chiang Rai?! Take a look below for our recommendations to make the most of your one day in Chiang Rai. We skidded through this northern city a day before we set off on the slow boat journey to Laos!
Without further ado, here is our Chiang Rai list…
Rent A Bike and Head Out:
- Bicycles are a great way to get around to see the highlights of the city. Nowhere near as crowded as Chiang Mai or Bangkok, it is really easy and comfortable to bike around. We were able to rent our bikes directly through our hostel, Mercy Hostel, for a nominal fee of $1 USD for the day.
Wat Rong Khun (or the White Temple):
- The biggest tourist pull to Chiang Rai is this temple. We know what you’re thinking, “ugh, not another temple…” but this one should be on your “must not miss” list. Unlike any temples you’ve seen throughout Asia, Wat Rong Khun is a contemporary Buddhist temple made entirely of white plaster. Depicting many odd sculptures from depictions of afterlife to modern day entertainment art. It’s unique to say the least and for sure should not be missed when visiting Chiang Rai.
Wat Phra Kaew:
- A peaceful temple nonetheless but nowhere near as impressive as the Emerald Buddha within the Grand Palace. The grounds are nice and the temple also houses a school for monks. I think listening to their lessons was something we enjoyed the most. A short ride from the center of town, it’s a nice way to kill sometime in the afternoon.
- If you love street food, then you’re going to love this place. Right in the middle of town and a short distance from the Clock Tower is the Walking Night Market/Bazaar. Plain and simple, its delicious street food and an enjoyable evening strolling the street. What’s not to like?
Overall, Chiang Rai, like we’ve said, is a much less touristy and significantly less chaotic town than its northern sister city of Chiang Mai. Honestly, its a great place to chill for a day, look into doing a hike or two or just catch up on a good book in a cafe.
Questions or comments?! As always, let us know!
– Lauren & Jesse Stuart (The Stüs)