The northern Thai province of Chiang Rai is a city that’s fast-growing in popularity amongst tourists from all over the world. With enchanting attractions like the Rong Suea Ten Blue Temple, Singha Park, and Akha Village homestay, a vacation to Chiang Rai will certainly be one steeped in the vast and diverse traditional culture of Thailand. Here’s a list of the top things to do and places to visit that’ll make your Chiang Rai trip a fruitful one.
1. Zipline through a tea plantation
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Take an exhilarating zipline across Singha Park and get a panoramic view of the vast Thai tea plantations that extend into the horizon. Singha Park offers four different zipline adventure courses for those up for an exciting thrill ride and a new way of viewing the lush greenery.
2. Admire majestic murals at the Blue Temple
Stop by the Blue Temple (or Rong Suea Ten) and take in the beauty of this stunning architectural masterpiece. The relatively new temple incorporates Buddhist motifs and imagery in its contemporary mural artwork. As the sun goes down, the mirrors lining the temple’s exterior turns it into a stunning paragon that’s a must-see when you visit Chiang Rai!
3. View the city through the eyes of Thailand’s biggest Guan Yin statue
Driving along the outskirts of the city, you won’t be able to miss this enormous statue of the Buddhist Goddess of Deity. The Huai Pla Kung Temple is a blend of exquisite Chinese and Thai architecture, and a popular pilgrimage site for local Buddhists. Take a lift up 25 storeys in the statue itself and you’ll have an amazing bird’s eye view of the city literally through the eyes of Guan Yin.
4. Feast of delicious local street food
Forget the fancy restaurants and overpriced cafes, the best food in Thailand is from its humble street food stalls! Feast on sumptuous Northern Thai delicacies like Khao Soi rice noodles and Bua Loy Kai, a unique coconut milk dessert with poached eggs and rice balls. The best part? These delicious local street food won’t burn a hole in your pocket!
5. Spend a night with the indigenous Akha Hill Tribe
The mountains of Northern Thailand are home to numerous indigenous hill tribes that migrated south from China more than a century ago. Today, you can pay a visit to some of the rural villages to discover the traditional culture of the ethnic minorities. The Akha Mudhouse Maesalong is a fascinating attraction featuring arguably the most vibrant of the hill tribes. The project offers day tours as well as homestays for visitors to experience what it’s like to live like the Akha people.
6. Shop till you drop at a night market
While most tourists travel to Bangkok to feed their shopaholic needs, Chiang Rai is a shopping haven in itself! Visit the night markets and take your pick from the wide variety of products, ranging from trendy apparels to souvenirs that are hand-crafted by the local hill tribes.