Top Things To… Do In Chiang Rai

Chiang Rai, whilst 2 hours away on a local bus, from Chiang Saen was only 37 Baht each way, so it’s a cheap place to visit, even for a day trip. The bus is meant to run hourly, but actually only tends to leave Chiang Rai when it is full, so this does make the timetable a little unreliable. Accommodation when you get there, can be found fairly inexpensively, and we stayed in a 4 bed dorm for 99 Baht each which is as cheap as chips, and the beds were very comfortable too! Here are some things we did in Chiang Rai which we would recommend to others:

1) Rent a Moped (150-200 Baht)

Much cheaper than getting tuk tuks everywhere, allows for more freedom and adventure (if you call getting lost on the way to the cinema and almost missing the film an adventure), and is much cooler than walking in the stifling heat of the day.

Riding our moped around the clock tower
Riding our moped around the clock tower

2) The Night Bazaar

We were there on a Saturday, which hosts a much larger market than usual, and it was pretty awesome. Our favourite part was the huge food court, which showed football on the big screen, and had all sorts of delicious feasts available. The Sushi in particular is great value for money, and very yummy (5 Baht for a piece of Sushi – that’s 10p!!). It’s also a good place to get a massage (100-200 Baht depending on how long, and what type of massage you go for).

Busy food stall section
Busy food stall section
Perfecting my chopstick technique (I’m surprised Craig got me in this photo with the football on behind me)

3) Wat Rong Khun AKA The White Temple

Now we are not massive temple lovers, as far as temple lovers go, and have already started to find them all a bit samey to be totally honest, however, this place was on a whole new level. No more explanation is needed, just take a look at the photos. It’s also quite an easy temple name to remember…I just think (What’s wrong hun) 🙂

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Obligatory temple selfie

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We have been watching a lot of The Walking Dead lately and this reminded me of it :)
We have been watching a lot of The Walking Dead lately and this reminded me of it 🙂
The toilet block!! Fancy eh?
The toilet block!! Fancy eh?
The steeple at the very back which is bent over like the top of a witches hat, is like that due to an earthquake that happened in the area quite recently
The steeple at the very back which is bent over like the top of a witches hat, is like that due to an earthquake that happened in the area quite recently.

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4) Go for a quiet drink

Jet Yod Road in Chiang Rai is the main and really the only place where we found any bars/pubs. It is not a place for a crazy night out, but we certainly enjoyed a few drinks and a couple of intense games of Jenga and Connect 4.

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5) Visit Lion Hill Cave AKA The Buddha Images Cave

To our regret we didn’t actually visit here, but two of our friends did, and they have highly recommended it (and donated photographs – Thanks Micayla!). Apparently to get there you go down a dirt track with yellow ribbons dotted along on the trees, it looks like a bit of a dump on the way in, but don’t let that dissuade you. On the west side is an intricate and vast cave with a huge Buddha statue inside and as you go further East there is a Cavern with three chambers which looks pretty immense. There are some beautiful trekking routes around here, along the river and further back through some jungle, so don’t do what we did, and miss out on this if you do visit Chiang Rai.

Courtesy of Micayla McDaniels
Courtesy of Micayla McDaniels
Courtesy of Micayla McDaniels
Courtesy of Micayla McDaniels

The city of Chiang Rai has a certain type of character which Craig and I both enjoyed soaking up and we soon realised that more than one night and two days, could and should be spent here.

We hope that our experiences will be useful for you and if you can think of anything else then please comment or reply and let us both know. Either below or on the left.

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