Nestled in the north of Thailand, greeting the borders with Myanmar and Laos, city breaks in Chiang Rai often go under the radar when compared with the country’s coastal destinations. But to bypass Chiang Rai would be to miss out on spectacular natural sights and jaw-dropping man-made beauty.
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With Thailand boasting such a plethora of historic monuments and classic temples, it’s perhaps surprising to visit something constructed in the 20th century – and in the last couple of years of it at that. In fact, Wat Rong Khun, known as the White Temple, is so new it’s not even finished yet. However, its incredible intricate details and spectacular design means it’s already one of the most famous landmarks in northern Thailand, splashed across almost every postcard.
Another modern and staggeringly beautiful building is Wat Rong Suea Ten, also known as the Blue Temple. The name gives the game away, but it’s famous for being entirely blue, both inside and out. Completing a trio of colourful structures in Chaing Rai, Baan Dam (the Black House) is a modern art museum dedicated to Thai artists.
Alongside temples, street markets are also deeply embedded within Thai culture and Chaing Rai holidays don’t disappoint. The Chiang Rai Night Bazaar provides a lively and exciting after-dark atmosphere as patrons jostle between market stalls selling jewellery, clothes, delicious street food and souvenirs. Particularly of note are the hand-crafted wares being sold by tribes from the mountains which border the city.
The surrounding areas offer some excellent treks for those wishing to experience the natural landscapes of northern Thailand. Doi Tung, a mountain by the Myanmar border, stands at nearly 1,400 metres tall and a climb to the peak is rewarded not only with spectacular views, but also a landscaped garden, the Doi Tung Royal Villa and a small museum, while there is also a zipline for those who don’t fancy tackling the descent by foot.
With pristine beaches, mouth watering food and a lively nightlife, we’re spoiling you
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