Travel from Chiang Mai to Chiang Rai by road (180 km / 3 hours drive) along picturesque scenic routes passing several beautiful northern mountains.
Today I want to share my 3 days Chiang Rai itinerary with you. This is a great amount of time to spend in northern region. It will allow you to see a popular landmarks and attractions, explore local areas, and take a day trip while you’re at it.
This route where we are going on the Highway No.118. The distance is 180 km between Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai by the standard duration is 3 hours. This is a major direction and might be overcrowding in the rush hour or holiday weekend.
Come with me and finding ways to avoid traveling in the busy period.
Escape to the nature
Day 1, we will start in the early morning as much as you can do. If we need to skip traffic jam during 7 – 9 am in the city. Depending on where your accommodation is or is the zone where a lot of people go by.
It will be calm when we are on outskirts and heading to the mountain. Going up and down to Chiang Rai boundary to visit Mae Kha Chan Hot Spring on the roadside.
And then we drive along the countryside with the beautiful landscape. We can stop a while anytime for a cup of coffee, take a photo, toilet, or whatever we needed. If not, next break to taste a homemade bakery at Suan Charin Garden & Bakery.
Drive another 1 hour to visit Wat Rong Khun (White Temple), designed by the famous national artist. The main temple building is a distinctive white color, decorated with fragments of reflective glass which can be seen from afar.
Afternoon, we go to Golden Triangle to see Myanmar border and take a boat trip along Mae Khong River to Laos visit a small market. Just pay for the admission fee is 20 THB. Back to Thailand and check-in at hotel nearby Chiang Saen.
Go along the border
Day 2, we drive along Golden Triangle and Thailand – Myanmar Bolder. We plan to visit Chiang Saen Ancient City and more choice to see Opium House or Opium Halls. Go to Mae Sai and might be cross to Myanmar.
Afternoon go to Doi Tung Palace & Mae Fah Luang Garden. Continue to Choui Fong Tea Farm the beautiful tea plantation landscape nearby Mae Salong (Chinese KMT). Make sure and manage your time if it’s enough or not. Back to Chiang Rai Town and check-in at hotel.
Evening, enjoy finding your own dinner and shopping. Normally, we go to Chiang Rai Night Bazaar, it’s a pretty. There are culture performance show and live music, food street, shopping zone and restaurant by the roadside.
In high season during Nov – Feb, Chiang Rai also have Saturday Walking Street in the evening, it’s very interesting the same Sunday Market in Chiang Mai. See Tower clock Light and Sound at 7 o’clock and you probably will dinning a famous restaurant around there.
Have fun and be safe
Day 3, breakfast and check-out time. You might be visit The Black House (Baan Dam), Wat Rong Sue Ten is Blue Temple and Wat Huay Pla Kang 9 Tier Temple. Those are the triple places connecting in the same area and save your time.
Don’t forget to visit Singha Park or have lunch there before leaving. Afternoon, take a nap and we drive back to Chiang Mai.
You can make a plan further or copy an itinerary as follow me. Just booking hotel around Chiang Saen for 1 night and hotel in Chiang Rai for 2nd night when returning.
Or you booked the accommodation as you prefer. Then bring it to plan a trip in each direction again. It can be add more days depending on the length of your trip.
And finally, the trip can connect to other destinations from Chiang Rai Airport as well. They have the domestic flights and also have the international airlines here.
I recommend starting with my itinerary for 3 days in Chiang Rai and adding a day trip. I hope it helps you plan your trips.
We do have a choice depend on your destinations.
- Downtown and neighborhood
- Homey Dormy
- Le Patta
- Kham Tha Na Hotel
- Le Méridien Chiang Rai Resort
- Ban Chom Na Resort
- Chiang Saen and Golden Triangle