One Day Itinerary To Chiang Rai, Thailand

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Are you ready to spend a whirlwind of a day in Chiang Rai?! Take a look below yo get our one day itinerary to Chiang Rai, Thailand.

One Day Itinerary To Chiang Rai, Thailand

We skidded our way through the northern Thai city of Chiang in a day. Our plan was to use Chiang Rai as our base before we set off on the slow boat journey to Luang Prabang, Laos

A quick 24 hours in Chiang Rai was just the level of low-key exploring we needed. Without further ado, here is our list of what to see and do Chiang Rai in one day! 

What To See & Do In Chiang Rai, Thailand

1) 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, Chiang Rai is a easy and comfortable city to bike around in.

We were able to rent our bikes directly through our hostel, Mercy Hostel, for a nominal fee of $1 USD for the day. 

2) Explore Wat Rong Khun (The White Temple)

After you have your rented bike, make your way to the biggest tourist pull to Chiang Rai, Wat Rong Kuhn (The White Temple). 

Wat Rong Kuhn is about 13km / 8 miles from the city center of Chiang Rai. Expect the bike ride to take 20-30 minutes. In addition, the cost to visit the temple is 50 baht, a little over $1.50 USD.

Once you arrive at Wat Rong Kuhn, you’ll see that it’s unlike any temples you’ve seen in Asia, Wat Rong Khun is a contemporary Buddhist temple made entirely of white plaster and crazy art and designs. 

Showcasing many odd sculptures from depictions of afterlife to modern day entertainment art, Wat Rong Khun is unique to say the least.

It goes without saying that this temple  should not be missed when visiting Chiang Rai.

White Temple in Chiang Rai, Thailand
White Temple in Chiang Rai, Thailand

3) Visit the Quite Wat Phra Kaew

Wat Phra Kaew is a peaceful temple located within the city limits of Chiang Rai.

The temple is famous throughout Thailand as being the original resting place of the beautiful green Buddha before it was moved to the Grand Palace in Bangkok.

The grounds of Wat Phra Kaew are beautiful and home to a school for monks. In addition, Wat Phra Kaew is one of the oldest and most respected Buddhist temples in all of Chiang Rai.

As you walk the temple grounds, you can listen to the Monks lessons while you admire the many buddha statues that scatter the gardens.

As for the entrance cost, the cost to enter is free.

Wat Phra Kaew in Chiang Rai, Thailand
Wat Phra Kaew in Chiang Rai, Thailand

4) Eat Up At The Night Bazaar

If you love street food, then you’re going to love Chiang Mai’s night bazaar. Located right in the middle of town and a short distance from the Clock Tower is the Walking Night Market/Bazaar.

Plain and simple, street food vendors line the street and serve up delicious food for you to sample. It’s an enjoyable evening and a great way to wrap up your 24 hours in Chiang Rai 🙂

Crushing some food at Chiang Rai's Night Bazaar
Crushing some food at Chiang Rai’s Night Bazaar

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. It’s a perfect city to chill for a day.

Where To Stay In Chiang Rai, Thailand

For The Budget Conscious: Not only is Mercy Hostel affordable, it’s super nice with one amazing vibe. The staff is lovely and super helpful in helping you navigate Chiang Rai but also anything you need for your onward journey.

For The Luxury Inclined:  From a pool to beautiful gardens and lovely rooms, Maryo Resort is a little luxury oasis waiting for you in the northern Thai city of Chiang Rai.

For Something In Between: Bann Tawan Hostel & Spa is a lovely hostel that has it all: a great location, kind staff, clean rooms and great food. What more could you want?!

For more places to stay in Chiang Rai, Thailand, you can check out the latest places and prices here.


Your Travel Guide To Chiang Mai

Five Days in Bangkok

Riding The Mae Hong Son Loop


24 hours in Chiang Rai pin

For more travel tips, guides and awesome travel shots, be sure to poke around our site, follow us on Instagram @wanderingstus and on Facebook. Oh and if you have any questions, let us know in the comment section. We’re happy to answer. Or, just leave us a positive note!

Happy Travels,

– Lauren & Jesse Stuart (The Stüs)

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