Chiang Rai Province has such a diversity of attractions that its capital is often overlooked. This small delightful city is worth getting to know, however, with its relaxed atmosphere, good-value accommodation and great local food. It's also the logical base from which to plan excursions to the more remote corners of the province.
Here is how you will spend your time
Day 1: Arrival At Chiang Mai And Transfer To Chiang Rai
Drive from Chiang Mai by car, minibus or coach to Fang and Thaton. Along the way, visit the Hmong hill tribe village of Huay Luek. Upon arrival in Thaton, which is a small village just a few kilometers away from the Burmese border, lunch at Mae Kok River Village. Depart by traditional long-tail boats for a three-hour journey down the Kok River, passing tiny hill tribe villages, bamboo huts and jungle. Further down the river, after passing a few rapids, visit a Lahu hill tribe village. Arrive in Chiang Rai in the early evening and check-in at the hotel. Dinner and overnight at the hotel.
Day 2: Departure
Breakfast at the hotel. Depart from Chiang Rai to Baan Kiu Kaan near Chiang Khong to visit a White Hmong Village. Continue to Chiang Saen, the former capital of the first Thai Kingdom, situated directly on the Mekong river at the border between Thailand and Laos. Visit Wat Phra Dhat Jom Kitti by climbing up 383 steps to the top of the hill. Also visit Wat Chedi Luang and the small museum nearby. Lunch at a local restaurant. Continue to the Golden Triangle, where the borders of Thailand, Myanmar and Laos convene. Short boat trip along the Mekong River in the Golden Triangle area.
Option 1: Transfer to Chiang Rai airport for a flight to your next destination or to a hotel of your choice in Chiang Rai or the Golden Triangle.
Option 2: Transfer to Chiang Mai airport for a flight to your next destination or to a hotel of your choice in Chiang Mai city. Note: airfare, accommodation in Chiang Rai / Golden Triangle or Chiang Mai on day 2 are not included.