Chiang Rai is a city located in the northernmost of Thailand, Chiang Rai also serves as the main commercial hub of the Golden Triangle, which contains the borders of Thailand, Laos and Myanmar. It is bordered by the Shan State of Myanmar to the north, Bokeo Province of Laos to the east, Phayao to the south, Lampang to the southwest, and Chiang Mai to the west. Chiang Rai is one of the hottest tourism spots in Thailand, where it has innumerable attractions, visitors with any interest will find a suitable place to keep entertain themselves in Thailand. Chiang Rai is mainly famous for its Valuable Museums, Plenty of Wats, Markets, Festivals and some of the eco-tourism destinations.
Museums: Mae Fah Luang Art & Cultural Park or Rai Mae Fah Luang are important architectural buildings of Chiang Rai Province. Ho Kham, the park’s museum at here, houses one of Thailand’s biggest collections of Lanna artefacts, this is a teak building it contains ancient wood-carved candle holders, an ancient wooden Buddha image of the Lanna period, it also houses the so-called Wiang Ta mural paintings from Wat Pa Wiang Ta in Phrae and lot more interesting facts can be discoverd from this museum where each has it own history. There are many plants can be found in the park area which are of fragrant varieties and rare species. Oub Kham Museum is another museum in Chiang Rai which contain many very interesting items relating to Thai People and Lanna kingdom. This Museum has many collections of ancient artifacts, buddha images, textiles and many items belonging to Julasak Suriyachai, a descended from an old Lanna royal family. Baandam Museum (Black House) has over 40 black houses created by the Thai artist Thawan Duchanee. Most of the buildings are in black and decorated by woodcut, antler, elephant bones, etc. They consist of wooden houses in either Burmese or Thai style along with the artist’s large collection of animal skins and bones. Hilltribe Museum and Education Center on Thanalai Road is being run by the nonprofit Population & Community Development Association (PDA) which gathers interesting information on six major hilltribes of Thailand: Akha, Lisu, Karen, Muser, Yao, and Hmong. Similarly, Chiang Rai has many museums to tell its history to the visitors.
Wats: Thailand is place for numerous wats, in Chiang Rai there are many famous wats which attracts many passionate tourist in photography. Some of the wats in chiang rai are Munniti Chiang Rai, Wat Phra Kaew, Wat Ming Meuang, Wat Klong Wiang, Wat Phra Sing, Wat Phra That Doi Chom Thong & White Temple or Wat Rong Khun. Among all wats, the White Temple is considered as most popular among tourists.
Markets: Chiang Rai has two main walking street similarly like the one in the Chiang Rai and they are Saturday Walking Street and Sunday Walking Street. Saturday Walking Street is located on the Thanalai Road in the centre of town, it opens up a bit earlier from 5 P.M to midnight 12:30 P.M. Sunday walking street sets up every Sunday evening on Sang Khon Noi, it is also known as Happy Street and it also operates from 5 P.M till midnight but this is bit smaller than the Saturday market in Thanalai Road. You will find plenty of stalls selling handicrafts, clothing, spa products, tribal crafts, food carts, local foods, live folk music, collection of Doi Tung-branded goods and an atmosphere of festivity in these two walking streets. Similar to the Night Bazaar in Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai's Night Bazaar also offers the same like, pirated DVDs, cheap electronic gadgets, many handicrafts products of hill-tribes, fabrics, housewares, clothes, silver jewelry, bed spreads, wallets and fashion accessories, along with T-shirts, sneakers, a range of sculptural art and lot more that makes a place perfect for shopping. Whereas night bazaar is not only an ideal place for shopping and but also great for its dining too, where it offers traditional Thai dishes, north Thai cuisines, various drinks and snacks, beers and verities of fried insects are also available here. Traditional Lanna dance show and Live Thai pop and country singers in Chiang Rai's night bazaar makes the place more exciting place to visit among tourist.
Festival: Visiting Chiang Rai in the right time is more important and these might help you to plan your trip to the right time. Chiang Rai get more attention of tourist during these festive seasons. Chiang Rai ASEAN Flowers Fair is held from the end of December to January every year, the event features Tin Thai Ngam beauty contest, agricultural market, agricultural academic exhibition, gardening contest, ship parade of flowers, winter Flowers Park and many species of orchids garden and orchids and decorated plants contest. Lychee Fair- Chiang Rai is famous for its tasty lychees, to celebrate the harvest of the fruit, a Lychee Fair will be held on May 15-17 or middle of May on every year. During this fair it features sales and exhibitions of lychees, other agricultural products and local handicrafts as well as a Miss Lychee beauty pageant and cultural performances. Blooming Mexican Sunflower Festival is held in November, where Mexican Sunflower fields on the mountain are in the full bloom season. This festival gives people and tourist an opportunity to see the sunflower fields, waterfalls and mists at Doi Hua Mae Kham, Mae Fah Suai District, Chiang Rai. There are also hilltribe performances, tribal sports competitions, tribal food, traditional northern Thai dinner and tea tasting.
Eco-Tourist Spots: Kok River flows through the town of Chiang Rai and is 130 km long which is considered as one of the most scenic attractions in Chiang Rai. Boats, rafts, and trips leave daily from Baan Thathon to the magnificent mountains nearby. Long-tailed boat services are available to carry the tourists up and down the river, who might stop at the Akha or Iko, Karen and Lisu hill tribe villages. Second option of stops is the Buddha cave, a temple within a cavern; an elephant camp can be seen in the north shore. This Kok River is one of the perfect place for tourist to Chiang Rai. Golden Triangle in Amphoe Chiang Saen is another famous tourist spot in Chiang Rai, where the borders of Thailand, Laos, and Myanmar meet in the middle of the Mekong River, this was also considered as one of the world’s best known major producer of opium (but not now). Boat rides are available to enjoy the view upstream of the Golden Triangle and to cruise downstream to Chiang Khong, there are lot can be explored from here. This is not only a tourism spot but it also has a history to tell us. Doi Nang Non is actually means the "Mountain of the Sleeping Lady", this denotes the formation of a lady, reclining on her back, gazing at the sky forever. And there is a interesting story for this lady on why she is reclining there for such a long time? This mountain has a waterfalls (Naam Tok), Caves (Tuhm Luang (Big Cave), Tuhm Ling (Monkey Cave) and Tuhm Liang Pae (Cave of Goats)) and Lakes (Khun Naam Naang Norn) where many tourist like to visit this place. Phu Chi Fa is located at the northeastern end of the Phi Pan Nam Range, a mountain area and national forest park in Thailand. The area is 1,200-1,628m above sea level and November - January is best time to visit this place to enjoy the chill weather. Viewing the sunrise from over Laos and the Mekong is one of beautiful experience a tourist should have if they are in Phu Chi Fa. Tourist can also see Resorts and Villages in the surrounding of this Phu Chi Fa. This is the perfect place for eco-tourists and Photography enthusiastic. Doi Tung is located on Mae Fa Luang District, Doi Tung is a famous tourist spot for both Thai and foreigner because of beautiful scenery. Some of the famous sites like the Doi Tung Palace (Pra Tamnak Doi tung), the Mae Fa Luang Garden and Akha and Muser tribal villages are more popular among the visitors. The nearby Suan Mar Pah Luang is also an interesting attraction featuring beautifully landscaped garden filled with numerous kinds of plants and flowers where tourist will love to visit this place again.
Still, Chiang Rai has plenty of interesting places to gift its tourist like the Choui Fong Tea Plantation, Doi Pha Mon Agricultural Center, Namtok Khun Kon Forest Park, Wana Horse & Ostrich Farm, The Sirindhorn Chinese Language and Culture Centre, Doi Mae Salong and lot more places to visit in Chiang Rai. Chiang Rai is a must in your bucket list, if you plan your travel to Thailand.