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How to Spend 3 Days in Chiang Rai

How to Spend 3 Days in Chiang Rai

Chiang Rai is ideally situated for discovering Thailand’s Golden Triangle, so three days in the city give you ample time to immerse yourself in local culture and cuisine, and explore the northern highlands. Here’s how. 

Day 1: Temples and Thai Culture

The compact center of Chiang Rai is easy to explore on foot, but some of the city’s most-photographed landmarks lie just a short tuk-tuk ride away. Joining a temple tour ensures that you don’t waste time getting lost and reveals local history and heritage that you may otherwise miss. Tours typically cover the White Temple (Wat Rong Khun), made entirely of snow-white stone; the Blue Temple (Wat Rong Sear Tean); the ancient temples of Wat Phra Keow and Wat Phra Singh; and the Hill Tribe Museum, where you can learn more about the region’s indigenous villages.

In the evening, soak up the atmosphere at the Chiang Rai Night Market. Browse stalls for traditional handicrafts and souvenirs, and choose from a delicious array of Thai street food—take a food tour to guarantee the best bites. Look out for regional specialties such asKhao Soi (a coconut based curry).

Day 2: Journey to the Golden Triangle

As Thailand’s northernmost city, Chiang Rai serves as the gateway to the Golden Triangle, the highland region where the borders of Myanmar, Laos, and Thailand intersect. Day trips from Chiang Rai let you skip the stress of hiring a car and transport you between dispersed attractions in air-conditioned comfort. 

Most tours make a stop in Chiang Saen village, where you’ll find the ruins of one of Thailand’s ancient kingdoms, and the Hall of Opium, a museum dedicated to the region’s notorious opium trade. Excursions tend to include a cruise along the Mekong River, to the meeting point of the three countries, while some even offer the chance to cross the border to visit Tachileik in Myanmar or Huay Xai in Laos.

Day 3: Highland Views and Hill Tribes

While travelers short on time often combine a tour of the Golden Circle with a visit to one of Thailand’s hill tribe settlements, it’s well worth setting aside an entire day to explore the remote villages. Choose a tour that visits a number of villages, so that you can learn about the cultures and traditions of the Akha, Hmong, Lisu, and Karen people. A guided trek through the valleys or lunch with a local family adds an extra level of cultural immersion. 

If you’d prefer to spend your final day closer to the city, take a cycling tour of the countryside or visit the Singha Park, where activities include ziplining, nature trails, and tea plantation tours. Spend your last night in Chiang Rai admiring the city’s illuminated temples and landmarks on an evening tuk-tuk tour, and then enjoy a Thai dinner show, which combines regional cuisine with live music and folk dance performances.

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12 Tours and Activities | All Chiang Rai Tours

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1 Day Trip White Temple - Tea Plantation - Longneck - Cruise to Laos Market

1 Day Trip White Temple - Tea Plantation - Longneck - Cruise to Laos Market

star-4
0830-0900  pick up from your hotel to visit White temple, tea plantation, longneck village and cruise at Maekhong River.
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  • 9 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
US$101.27
Price varies by group size
From
US$101.27
Price varies by group size

Private Tour: A Glimpse of Myanmar and the Golden Triangle Trip from Chiang Rai

Private Tour: A Glimpse of Myanmar and the Golden Triangle Trip from Chiang Rai

star-4.5
This private excursion to the Golden Triangle lets you cross the Thai border into Myanmar for a glimpse of local Burmese culture in the town of Tachileik, where you’ll see a replica of Yangon’s Shwedagon Pagoda. Enjoy a 'tuk tuk' ride, eat a local lunch, and visit a hill tribe village and bustling market before returning to northern Thailand to view the Hall of Opium. Round-trip hotel transport by private vehicle is included on this full-day tour from Chiang Rai.
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  • 9 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
US$173.01
Price varies by group size
From
US$173.01
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

The Highlights of Chiang Rai and the Akha Experience

The Highlights of Chiang Rai and the Akha Experience

star-4.5
Explore Chiang Rai on a full-day private tour with a professional guide. Visit Mae Fah Luang Art and Cultural Park to see temple artifacts, botanical gardens, and traditional teakwood houses; admire artifacts from the Thai royal family at Oub Kham Museum; and marvel at the truly unique temple-as-art-exhibit of Wat Rong Khun, also known as the White Temple. Enhance your experience of northern Thailand's rich culture as you sample authentic northern Thai dishes at a local restaurant and browse the vendors at the central market.
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  • 9 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
US$161.28
Price varies by group size
From
US$161.28
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

White Temple, Longneck and Doi Tung Palace

White Temple, Longneck and Doi Tung Palace

star-4.5
There are so many fantastic sights to see in the region of Chiang Rai. If you have a short time or really want to pack it all in, this tour gets you access to the highlights. Your English speaking guide provides round trip hotel transportation, lunch, and water, so you can relax between stops. Visit the famous White Temple, the beautiful garden at Doi Tung, and the longneck hilltribe village.
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  • 6 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
US$101.27
Price varies by group size
From
US$101.27
Price varies by group size

Chiang Rai Airport Shared Arrival Transfer

Chiang Rai Airport Shared Arrival Transfer

star-4
Make your arrival in Chiang Rai hassle-free with a shared vehicle ground transfer from Chiang Rai International Airport to your centrally located Chiang Rai hotel. Book ahead for this 24/7 service.
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  • 1 hour
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
US$16.46
From
US$16.46
Taking safety measures

Half-Day Temples and City Private Tour of Chiang Rai

Half-Day Temples and City Private Tour of Chiang Rai

star-1.5
Visit the temples of Chiang Rai on this 4-hour tour. You'll see historical sites such as Wat Phra Singh and ornate architecture like Wat Rong Khun, plus visit Oub Kham Museum to learn about the Lanna kingdom. When booking, select the tour option that matches your circumstances as either a solo or group traveler and for pickup in the city or the Golden Triangle.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
US$97.90
From
US$97.90

Half Day Cycling Tour to the White temple

Half Day Cycling Tour to the White temple

star-5
Focus on the lush landscape during this bike tour through Chiang Rai with a guide in the lead. You won't have to worry about directions, just pedal along and soak up the views of quaint villages and small farms along both paved and dirt roads. Finish up at the White Temple (Wat Rong Khun); you'll learn about its religious significance and history from your guide.
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  • 4 to 5 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
US$48.95
From
US$48.95
Taking safety measures

Private Full-Day Tour to Chiang Saen, the Golden Triangle, and Hill Tribes of Mae Sai from Chiang Rai

Private Full-Day Tour to Chiang Saen, the Golden Triangle, and Hill Tribes of Mae Sai from Chiang Rai

See cultural and historical sights of the Chiang Rai region of Thailand on this private day tour to Chiang Saen, the former capital city; the Golden Triangle, where Thailand, Laos, and Myanmar meet; and Mae Sai, home to hill tribe villages. Enjoy traveling with a private guide. Lunch is included.
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  • 8 hours
From
US$136.72
From
US$136.72

Mae Sai and Mae Salong Day Trip from Chiang Rai

Mae Sai and Mae Salong Day Trip from Chiang Rai

star-1
Experience the stunning scenery and fascinating hill tribes of Thailand’s Golden Triangle during this full-day private excursion. Enjoy an up-close encounter with the residents of Akha, Lisu, and Yao hill tribe villages and stop at the northern-most point on the Thai-Myanmar border.
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  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
US$99.49
Price varies by group size
From
US$99.49
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Full Day A World of Many Cultures

Full Day A World of Many Cultures

Immerse yourself in the culture of Chiang Rai's local hill tribes on this full-day tour with a guide. You'll get to visit settlements and villages that you may not find on your own; your guide will act as intermediary and provide commentary allowing you to learn about the particular cultures and traditions of each group. Round-trip transportation from Chiang Rai makes for a convenient door-to-door experience.
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  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
US$106.93
Price varies by group size
From
US$106.93
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Full Day Cycling Amazing Chiangrai countryside and the White temple

Full Day Cycling Amazing Chiangrai countryside and the White temple

star-5
Explore Chiang Rai’s countryside on a bike tour. The guide will lead you through villages, rice field, small farms on paved roads and dirt. The bicycle tour will visit Wat Rong Khun, tea plantation, big Buddha and local market.
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  • 8 to 9 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
US$62.45
From
US$62.45
Taking safety measures

Chiang Rai Night Tour by TUK TUK

Chiang Rai Night Tour by TUK TUK

Don’t get disoriented by the crowds and excitement when exploring Chiang Rai at night. Instead, follow a guide around the city after dark and enjoy a personalized experience on this small-group tour. Ramble around some of Chiang Rai’s busy markets and try your luck at haggling for jewelry, clothes, and souvenirs at the Chiang Rai Night Bazaar. Navigate the city streets and see its sights at sunset in an iconic tuk-tuk.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
US$67.52
From
US$67.52
Taking safety measures


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