24 hours in Chiang Rai
Chiang Rai, a must to stopover if you are visiting Chiang Mai. Located in Northern Thailand, this quiet but popular province is a great getaway for various cultural experience as well as to escape from the scorching heat. We only had 24 hours in Chiang Rai because we wrongly booked our air tickets but we tried to make the most of out it! Theses are the highlights that you definitely should not miss when you visit Chiang Rai!
Wat Rong Khun
We landed in Mae Fah Luang International Airport at 930 in the morning and White Temple is our first stop. It is 25 minutes away from airport, by driving. It is hard not to notice this temple from far due to its glimmering white reflection as the sun beam shines onto it. From far it looks like a pool of white flames burning.
The crowd was insane, probably because it was on a Saturday morning, or maybe it was reaching the afternoon. It wasn't an expected 'quiet and peaceful' temple visit as the staffs were speaking through a loud audio speaker repeatedly to ask visitors to remove shoes and not to stop while walking on bridge. It felt more like visiting an art installation museum rather than a temple though.
Didnt manage to get a picture right in the middle of the temple entrace because there was a line queueing to go inside. Recommend to come early in the morning.
Opening hours: 8am-5pm
Entrance fee: 50THB
The Golden Temple
It is kinda glaring to stare at this temple in the afternoon because it is just so GOLD! however it is such a gorgeous piece of gem!
Wat Rong Seur Ten
The interior, front and back view of Blue Temple. There are two Buddha Statues here, one sitting in main hall and one standing at back wall. Both are equally gigantic and majestic.
Choui Fong Tea Plantation
Despite having only 24 hours here, we still insisted to drive 40 minutes to and fro to this place and it was totally worth it.
Owned by Singha Beer company, unfortunately this place does not have any beer brewing here. Instead, it is a family friendly recreational attraction. There are mini zoo, tea plantation, flowers farm or even hot air ballons event if you come at the right season! (Mid-Nov to end of Jan). Check out the dates online if you are coming for the Balloon Fiesta (Usually Jan-Mar).
First and last sunset in Chiang Rai.
Chiang Rai Night Bazaar
Chiang Rai Night Bazaar, don't come with expectations. The stalls are very limited and mostly selling similar foods or souvenirs. Good things are at least the food is good and it is not over-crowded.
Jim Jum, Thai street food version of hotpot. It comes with soup boiling in clay pot, chicken, some eggs, noodles and vegetables in a basket. It costs 40THB or you can order more ingredients by paying a little bit more.
We also ordered a plate of fried prawns at 40 THB from the other stall.
TRANSPORT: Drive, if you can because it can get pretty hot in central area. We had quite a pleasant experience with Chic car rent
ATTIRE: Dress moderately, preferably longer than knee-length. Always bring jacket to stand-by in case you are visiting somewhere up on mountains. Always remember to remove shoes when you are entering the main hall of temple.
WEATHER: Temperature in the morning and night can be as low as 12°, afternoon can be as hot as 30°.
FOOD: Meals here are pretty affordable. Rice/Noodles from random stalls are priced ~ 40-50 THB and beverages ~ 30-40 THB. 7-11 store is a good choice if you don't mind convenient food.
ENTRANCE FEE: 30-50 THB for temples. Choui Fong Tea Plantation and Singha Park are free to enter.
HOTEL: We didnt stay in any hotel as we drove straight to our hotel in Chiang Mai at the end of the day.
Stay tuned for our Chiang Mai post!
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