As the northernmost point of Thailand, Chiang Rai is still quite pristine. With the mild weather and historical landmarks, this place can easily charm any backpackers.
Getting to Chiang Rai
From Vietnam, you can go to Chiang Mai through Vietnam Airline or Bangkok Airways but you have to transit at Bangkok. The ticket price ranges from 124 to 150 USD. The return ticket price from Bangkok to Chiang Mai is about 228 USD. It takes about eight hours if you travel by car.
You can get to Chiang Rai from Chiang Mai by bus. One of the most popular bus is Green Bus, departuring from Arcade Bus Station in the end of Kaeo Narawat street. The ticket price is about 50 baht. You can also choose the more luxury bus (VIP Bus) with the price of 300 baht.
Itinerary in Chiang Rai
The first day: Visit Singha Park
Sinha Park opens freely for visitors. The park has a giraffe farm whre visitirs can feed and play with giraffes.
In the campus, there is a cozy European-style teahouse The park also has a giraffe farm where visitors experience the feeling of eating or playing and stroking.17 Singha’s campus also has a cozy European-style teahouse looking directly at the sunset and is well worth the stop. The hot tea, sweet smell of flowers or cardamom combined with warm space in the sunset will make the visitors more comfortable.
You can have dinner in a romantic atmosphere in Phupirom restaurant with many special Thai diseh such as fried-tea leaf and tom yum. The price of food ranges from 100 to 200 baht and the price of beverages ranges from 65 to 90 baht.
In the evening, you can stay at the Royal Guest House at Doi Tung, about 2 hour driving from Singha. This place just served Thai King and Queen but now it serves touirsts. You can book room on online website.
The second day: Expore Tung Hill and the Golden Triangle
Tung Hill is a large project of the Royal Thai Government initiated by Queen Somdet Phra Srinagarindra Boromarajajonani with the aim of improving people’s lives, creating employment opportunities by exporting local products. From the motel, you can walk the trail to visit the scheduled destinations below.
Royal Thai Villas – this is the residence of Empress Dowager, designed in European style and decorated very simply. It opens to visitors every day. It is equipped with a small kitchen for the Queen or Princess to cook.
In the afternoon. You will visit the Hall of Opium and the Golden Triangle in Chiang Saen, about 90 kilometers from Chiang Rai. In the past, this place was a hot place for drug trafficking because of its prime location, located at the fork of Thailand – Laos – Myanmar border. Today, the site is under tight security and attracts a large number of visitors each day. The Opium Museum is opened for students for the purpose of education.
Then you will come back the Chiang Rai center to explore some unique cafes. One of the most featured one is Chivit Thama Da Coffee House which is designed in European style. It serves both Thai and international cuisine. You should some special desserts here such as cheese cake and mousse. The price of food ranges from 200 to 300 baht.
The third day: Visit the White temple
The White temple (Wat Rong Khun) has a unique architecture designed by an architect. The temple opens from 6:30 a.m to 6 p.m You should wear casually and take your shoes off before getting the temple.
There is a special clock tower in Chiang Rai Center, which is considered as a popular tourist destination. At 7pm, 8pm and 9 pm everyday, the tower is lightened and has music. Don’t miss this place when travelling to Chiang Rai.
The night market in Chiang Rai (near the clock tower) is home to many local products. You can buy handmade souvenirs or furniture and clothes as well. Compared to Chiang Mai, the items here are quite cheap. The sellers here work primarily through the project of Thai Queen.
In the midst of the night market, Chiang Rai is home to a variety of traditional dishes such as tom yum, grilled squid, fruit and salad. Price is affordable, ranging from 10-30 baht (7,000 – 20,000).
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