boat trip to laos

3 days Chiang Rai itinerary

  • Post category:Sightseeing
  • Post last modified:March 1, 2024

My 3-Day Chiang Rai Itinerary can plan your visit to Chiang Rai as a popular attraction and worthwhile. It can also be combined with other travel programs. And possibly fly from Bangkok to start a trip in the morning.

This time, we travel from Chiang Mai on day 1 to Chiang Rai by road (180 km, 3 hours drive) along picturesque, scenic routes, passing several beautiful northern mountains. And we will drive back on day 3 to finish in Chiang Mai.

chiang rai mountain

I want to share my 3-day Chiang Rai itinerary with you. This is a great amount of time to spend in the northern region. It will allow you to see popular landmarks and attractions, explore local areas, and take a day trip while you’re at it.

Let’s go

This route, where we are going, is Highway No. 118. The distance between Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai is 180 km, and the standard duration is 3 hours. This is a major direction and might be crowded during rush hour or on a holiday weekend.

Come with me, and we will find ways to avoid traveling during the busy period.

hot spring

Escape to the countryside.


On Day 1, we will start in the early morning as much as you can. If we need to avoid traffic jams in the city between the hours of 7 and 9 o’clock, depending on where your accommodation is or is located, a lot of people go by.

It will be calm when we are on the outskirts and heading to the mountain. Going up and down to the Chiang Rai boundary to visit Mae Kha Chan Hot Spring on the roadside.


And then we drive along the countryside with its beautiful landscape. We can stop for a while anytime for a cup of coffee, take a photo, use the toilet, or whatever we need. If not, the next break is to taste a homemade bakery at Suan Charin Garden & Bakery.

white temple

Drive another 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 that can be seen from afar.

opuim house

In the afternoon, we visit the Golden Triangle to see the Myanmar border and take a boat ride down the Mae Khong River to a small market in Laos. Simply pay the 50 THB admission fee. Afterward, ride the boat back to Thailand and check in at a hotel near Chiang Saen. (See hotels recommended below.)

If it’s a quiet vacation along the Mekong River, I recommend staying at Bansaeo Garden and Resort, which is 15 minutes away from Chiang Saen District, as usual.

If you like the atmosphere of Chiang Saen Lake, accommodations like the Viang Yonok Hotel will not disappoint you.

golden triangle sign
tea farm

Go along the border.

On Day 2, we drive along the Golden Triangle and the Thailand-Myanmar border. We intend to travel to Chiang Saen Ancient City, where we will have more opportunities to see the Opium House or Opium Halls. If you travel to Mae Sai, you may cross into Myanmar.

doi tung coffee

In the afternoon, go to Doi Tung Palace and Mae Fah Luang Garden. Continue to Choui Fong Tea Farm, a beautiful tea plantation landscape near Mae Salong (Chinese: KMT). Make sure to manage your time to see if it’s enough or not. Back to Chiang Rai Town and check in at the hotel.

In the evening, enjoy finding your dinner and shopping. Normally, we go to the Chiang Rai Night Bazaar because it’s pretty. By the roadside, there is a cultural performance show and live music, as well as a food street, shopping zone, and restaurant.

Chiang Rai also has a Saturday Walking Street in the evening during the high season (November to February), which is similar to Chiang Mai’s Sunday Market. See Tower Clock Light and Sound at 7 o’clock, and you will probably be dining at a famous restaurant around there.

blue temple

Colorful day

Day 3, breakfast, and check-out time. You might also visit The Black House (Baan Dam), Wat Rong Sue Ten (Blue Temple), and Wat Huay Pla Kang (9-Tier Temple). Those are the triple connections in the same area that save you time.

Don’t forget to visit Singha Park or have lunch there before leaving. In the afternoon, take a nap before we drive back to Chiang Mai.

singha park sign

You can make a plan or copy an itinerary as you follow me. Just book a hotel around Chiang Saen for one night and a hotel in Chiang Rai for the second night when returning.

Or you can book the accommodation as you prefer. Then use it to plan a trip in each direction again. It can be added for 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 domestic flights and international flights 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, depending on your destination.

ford in cr



Hotels Recommended

I recommend the accommodation that I used to go with my clients, which is distributed in general locations and divided according to the class and style of accommodation. There are many more. Here are just some of the shows that I prefer.

homey dormy sign
  • Hotels in Chiang Rai’s downtown and surrounding areas that I have highlighted on the map
    • Homey Dormy is the best budget lodging option for travelers, and the owner is extremely accommodating. Happynest Hostel is located on the main road and is a nice hostel. Pimann Inn Hotel is a full-service hotel with a reasonable rate.
    • Le Patta is a fantastic location that is close to everything and has a peaceful atmosphere. The Kham Thana Hotel is a colonial-style hotel. Surrounded by lush greenery and tropical plants in an English garden.
    • The three luxury hotels in Chiang Rai. The Riverie has changed from Dusit Island Chiang Rai.
    • One of the resorts on the outskirts of the town.
baan hom muen li
  • There are now many types of accommodations in Chiang Saen and the Golden Triangle. They also have unique packages for each event, which you can read more about by visiting their websites.

I hope this 3-day Chiang Rai itinerary will cover the highlights of Chiang Rai within a limited distance and time. Thank you for being so interested in visiting and sharing your time on the main list.

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