Northern Thailand has many wonderful places to explore with its vast tropical jungle feel, endless hikes and chill cities worth visiting such as Chiang Mai, Pai and Chiang Rai.
Chiang Rai is roughly a two hour bus ride from Chiang Mai and I went to visit this local Northern Thai town with Busabout Asia as its one of their stops along there Mini Thai & Laos adventure route.
Chiang Rai was on my must visit list due to its white temple, happy to be able to include this as one of the stops along the route.
Chiang Rai, white temple, Wat Rong Khun.
One of the most popular attractions in Chiang Rai is the famous white temple called Wat Rong Khun which can be found here on the outskirts of the city. It’s a little bit out from the main city center, which makes it a perfect half day stop off, then you can head back to the night market and stay in Chiang Rai for the night.
How the White temple of Wat Rong Khun ended up in Chiang Rai is a great story, a local artist called Chalermchai Kositpipat who was born in the city wanted to commission an attraction from his own pocket, this out there crazy but fun artist wanted to build a whole temple completely only using one color, that’s how the white temple was born.
You will find images of Chalermchai Kositpipat Surrounding the whole complex, his very proud of himself and rightly so! You can explore his art pieces even further in his very own visitor centre. After all he did fund the whole place and bring people to his home town of Chiang Rai, I would put a cardboard cut out of myself at the entrance too.
Wat Rong Khun, the white temple in Chiang Rai after my visit, become my favorite Wat I’ve visited so far in Thailand, its just fun, some what quirky to explore and I enjoyed that the place was somewhat pop art. Your find staues from Transformers and all sorts surrounding the White temple.
Rumour has it that once the white temple is completed he has a whole portfolio of other colour Wats he wishes to construct. I look forward to returning to Chiang Rai at some point and seeing all the different colour wats that Chalermchai Kositpipat has been able to pull off.
Khamthana Colonial Hotel is where I stayed for the night
If you Happen to be in the North of Thialand on your way to Laos, Chiang Rai makes a great one day stop off if you happen to be going along that way any way the whilte temple alone is worth atleast a visit and they have a decent nightmarket to grap some great Thai Street food.
I decided to make a day out of Chiang Rai as it has atleast a full days worth of stuff todo so we checked into a hotel for the one night and broke up the trip from Chiang Mai, which was a short 2 hour drive away. The main reason for this was we could arrive at the Lao, friendship bridge boarder early in the morning to pass the boarder point more smoothly, its about a further 2 hours drive to the friendship bridge so Chiang Rai makes a perfect middle point to break up the 4 hour journey from chiang Rai.
We stayed at Khamthana colonial hotel, Chaing Rai which was perfect for our group as we could split a room between two and splurge out a little, we wanted to make the boarder run go smoothly and the added bonus of a pool and short Tuk Tuk ride away to the city centre of Chiang Rai was an added bonus.
Chiang Rai has fantastic night market ot explore with great Thai food
If you have decided to stay in Chiang Rai for the night, you have to make a visit to the Chiang Rai night market which makes for a perfect evening activity. Lots of great affordable Thai street food spots to choose from, a fun market to walk around and a bar area with fun free entertainment to check out after you have eaten.
as a group the Street food area was great fun with a group of friends from the busabout Asia tour, we all went off to select our own dishes and come back with a fun variety of local Thai food to try. I grabbed a fruit shake and some deep fried fish and rice, the whole set come to 100 Thai Baht which was great value for money and its always awesome to try local Thai food its just so tasty, you can never go wrong.
We finished off the night by watching a Lady Boy show with some ice cream, which was a fun way to end the evening before heading back to our hotel in a Tuk Tuk to call it an early night,
A video of my Busabout Asia day trip to Chiang Rai
I’ve put together this video of my visit to Chiang Rai with my Busabout Asia tour group for you to enjoy too! enjoy the watch:
Thank you for visiting my blog and reading my post about my day trip to Chiang Rai, a day visit is totally worth it and I hope you found my trip itinarery useful, Have a wonderful trip to Chiang Rai! Feel free to post below in the comment section if you had a great time or you want to add something else to do in Chiang Rai, thank you: