Chiang Rai: The Destination for All Seasons
Many people tend to think of Chiang Rai as a winter haven. In fact, the northern province of Chiang Rai is a destination for all seasons. Here is a noteworthy list for a trip that’s good all year round.
Translation: Chusri Ngamprasert
Photos: Courtesy of Tourism Authority of Thailand
Witness the unique beauty of Thai architecture at Wat Rong Khun. Decorated with silver-coloured-glass, you’ll see the fascinating all-white temple as designed by a Thai artist. Take time to see the display of elaborate murals and a separate art gallery with a showcase of fine paintings. The temple and the art gallery are open daily from 8am to 5pm.
If you’re someone who loves the active participation of agro-tourism and adventure travel, add Singha Park to your itinerary. Boasting various floras spanning over 8,000 rai (2,300 acres) of land, Singha Park offers numerous beautiful sceneries and a wide variety of activities. Enjoy farm tours, biking or get up close to the animals from the African continent, such as giraffes, zebras, and Watusi cows.
Venture high up on the mountain of picturesque Doi Tung, where three must-visit places include the royal villa, Phra That Doi Tung and Mae Fah Luang Garden. For the coffee aficionado, Café Doi Tung is the place to test the body and aroma of highland Arabica coffee cultivated in Chiang Rai. Drop by the Doi Tung Lifestyle Shop, with their varieties of products, made by ethnic minorities and people working in the Doi Tung Development Project. These include hand-woven products such as apparel, accessories, and home décor, ceramics and mulberry paper products.
On the cliff of Phu Chi Fa, the spectacular views of the valley and sea of mist at sunrise are mesmerising. Phu Chi Fa Forest Park is about 1,200 – 1,628 meters above sea level, so the weather is mild all year round. During wintertime, visitors and campers flock there to enjoy the winter retreat, the sea of clouds at sunrise and the white beauty of wildflowers (the orchid tree) in full bloom around the peak of Phu Chi Fa. A camping ground is available – in town and very close to the summit.
Chiang Rai’s wealth of scenery is endless. From the vantage point of Sop Ruak, at the confluence of the Ruak And the Mekong Rivers, you can see the Golden Triangle where the borders of Myanmar, Thailand and Laos meet. Consider a boat trip, it’s an enjoyable way to appreciate the scenery of the Mekong River and the infamous Golden Triangle. Souvenir shops along the walkway offer up clothing, accessories and other keepsakes. The Golden Triangle gained notoriety for being an opium-producing area. Here, you’ll learn more about the opium’s history; its origins, the Opium Wars, as well as see opium smoking kits and instruments used in the opium trade from around the world.