The First-Timer’s Travel Guide to Chiang Rai, Thailand

The First-Timer’s Travel Guide to Chiang Rai, Thailand

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The first time I heard about Chiang Mai was over twenty years ago. I was in Bangkok with a buddy of mine and we were on our way down south, to Koh Samui. Fresh out of college, we were stoners at the time so it didn’t take us long to find weed in Bangkok. We bought a small packet from a tuk-tuk driver and he was the one who told us about Chiang Mai up north. He described how opium was abundant in the region and that the Golden Triangle was one of the largest opium-producing areas in the world. Being a pair of potheads, we were intrigued.

That stoner trip to the Golden Triangle never came to fruition but it did get me interested in the area. Through the years, I learned that Chiang Mai was synonymous with elephants, digital nomads, and the similarly named city of Chiang Rai. Rarely did I read about Chiang Mai without Chiang Rai being mentioned with it. In my mind, it became a given that you couldn’t visit one without the other. You had to do both.

It may have been twenty years in the making, but my trip to Northern Thailand finally happened in 2017 when Ren and I decided to attend the Yee Peng Festival in Chiang Mai. Chiang Rai was our first stop.


  1. What’s in Chiang Rai?
  2. Best Time to Visit
  3. What to Wear
  4. Traveling to Chiang Rai
  5. Where to Exchange Currency
  6. Where to Stay
  7. Things to Do
  1. Where to Eat
  2. Points of Interest (Map)
  3. How to Get Around
  4. How Many Days to Stay / Sample Itinerary
  5. Budget / Summary of Expenses
  6. Travel Tips
  7. For Filipinos


Chiang Rai is regarded as the northernmost “large city” in Thailand, though it isn’t actually that big. It’s much smaller and less developed as a tourist destination than neighboring Chiang Mai. It’s perhaps best known for Wat Rong Khun, a striking all-white temple located about 14 km south of the city. The ornate structure serves as both a Buddhist temple and an art exhibition, its most distinguishing characteristic being an ocean of sculpted hands reaching out from either side of a bridge. So unique and spectacular is the White Temple that many tourists make the 3-hour trip from Chiang Mai just to see it.


If you’re visiting Chiang Rai, then you’re probably doing it as a side trip from Chiang Mai. They’re just three hours apart by bus and share near identical climates. Weather-wise, November to February is the best time to visit the region. It’s the coolest and driest time of the year. We were there in early November to attend the Yee Peng and Loy Krathong Festivals in Chiang Mai. Celebrated annually on the full moon of the twelfth lunar month, it’s a famous event and one of the most festive times to be in the region.

NOV-FEB: Like any Southeast Asian city, it can get hot and humid in Chiang Rai so shoot for November to February for the most comfortable weather. Daytime temperatures hover around 25°C (77°F) with few rainy days. As described, the Yee Peng Festival happens in November every year so you may want to plan your trip around that. That’s what we did. If you enjoy flowers, then you may want to go in February to attend the Chiang Mai Flower Festival.

MAR-MAY: March to May is the hottest time to be in Chiang Rai with temperatures often reaching 40°C (104°F). It isn’t the most comfortable time to visit, but Songkran or the Thai New Year is celebrated every April. The Songkran Festival in Chiang Mai turns the city into a big water fight making it a fun time to visit.

JUN-OCT: This is the monsoon season in Northern Thailand and probably not the best time to visit the region.

Climate: Annual Monthly Weather in Chiang Rai

To help you better understand the weather in Chiang Rai, I’ve included average temperature and annual rainfall graphs below. Suggested months to visit are indicated in orange.

Average Temperature
Average Temperature in Chiang Rai, Thailand

Annual Rainfall
Annual Rainfall in Chiang Rai, Thailand


Chiang Rai is a laid back city with no nightlife or any fancy restaurants. There’s no need to get dressed up. It’s warm, even during the coolest months, so it’s best to come in comfortable summer attire. Unlike the temples in Bangkok, none of the temples I visited in Chiang Rai seemed to enforce any type of dress code, not even at Wat Rong Khun. Just don’t walk around like an asshole with your shirt off or stripped down to a bikini. Thais are modest people so dress comfortably, but decently.


We flew in to Chiang Rai from Bangkok, but the majority of tourists will probably travel by bus from Chiang Mai. It’s just three hours away so it’s even possible to do it on a day tour.

By Bus from Chiang Mai

The Green Bus plies daily routes between Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai. We booked advanced tickets on 12Go Asia and took the Green Bus from Chiang Rai to Chiang Mai. 12Go Asia is a popular transportation website that services Singapore, Cambodia, Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam, Laos, and the Philippines.

Looking at their website, it looks like buses leave for Chiang Rai throughout the day from around 5AM till 6PM. Some buses will take you to different cities in Chiang Rai province so be sure you choose one that lists just “Chiang Rai” as the destination. The trip will take a little over 3 hours and you’ll be dropped off at the old station (Terminal 1) by the Night Bazaar.

You can go via Express bus (THB 229 or THB 266, one-way) or VIP bus (THB 358, one-way). We took the VIP bus which is a comfortable air-conditioned bus with a bathroom and a steward serving refreshments. You can follow this link or use the widget below for a bus timetable and to purchase advanced tickets.

By Air from Bangkok

Our trip revolved around the 2017 Yee Peng Festival so we decided to visit Chiang Rai first before proceeding to Chiang Mai. We flew in from Bangkok via AirAsia for a little over THB 1,280 each with a 20 kg shared baggage allowance. Other airlines that service this route are VietJet, Nok Air, Bangkok Airways, Lion Air, and Smile Air. The flight takes around 1 hour and 15 minutes.

Once you arrive at Chiang Rai International Airport (CEI), exit through the left and look for the metered taxi stand pictured below. Give them your hotel’s name to be assigned a taxi. It should cost you around THB 120-150 to get to downtown Chiang Rai.
Airport Taxi, Chiang Rai, Thailand

By Day Tour from Chiang Mai

If you’re interested in seeing the must-visit attractions in Chiang Rai but don’t want to spend the night, then you can do so on a guided day tour from Chiang Mai. This Kkday Chiang Rai tour takes you to Chiang Rai Hot Spring Park, Wat Rong Khun (White Temple), Baan Dam Museum (Black House), the Golden Triangle area, and a Karen hill tribe long neck village. It lasts around 12 hours and costs between THB 854-1,365.

By Other Means

The methods above outline the most common means of getting to Chiang Rai, but there may be other ways of getting there depending on where you are. I suggest checking 12Go Asia to find route options available to you. You can click on the link or use the widget below.


SuperRich is widely considered to give the best exchange rates in Thailand. We exchanged our currency at a SuperRich in Bangkok and we did get outstanding rates. There’s a SuperRich Money Exchange branch in Chiang Rai not too far from the Clock Tower. Follow this link to see where it is on a map.

Alternatively, you can also withdraw Thai Baht (THB) from an ATM. The rates are competitive. Just be sure to advise your bank you’ll be using your ATM card overseas so you don’t run into any problems. In my experience, my ATM card works in some machines but not in others. I didn’t have any problems with it in Thailand.


If you want a centrally located hotel, then I doubt you’ll find a more centrally located hotel than this one. Chiang Rai Hotel is a minute away from the Clock Tower and walking distance to the city’s points of interest like the Night Bazaar and the old bus station (Terminal 1). The hotel’s a little old but it’s cheap and the rooms are huge. There’s cable TV with a few English channels too.

You can book a room at Chiang Rai Hotel through Agoda or AirBnB. If Chiang Rai Hotel isn’t to your liking, then you can browse through those links for other listings as well. Be sure to check both sites to find the best deal. If you’re new to AirBnB, then you can get USD 31 free travel credit by signing up via this link.
Chiang Rai Hotel, Chiang Rai, Thailand

Approximate Room Rate: USD 24 per night (as of Jan 2018)

Down the street from the hotel is Chiang Rai’s famous Golden Clock Tower. Like I said, it doesn’t get more centrally located than this.
Chiang Rai Hotel, Chiang Rai, Thailand


1. Marvel at the Sight of Wat Rong Khun (White Temple)

Wat Rong Khun or the White Temple is far and away Chiang Rai’s premier attraction. I wouldn’t be surprised if many people make the trip from Chiang Mai specifically for this temple. We did.

A work-in-progress that was designed and created by local artist Chalermchai Kositpipat, the entire temple is almost entirely white with small mirrors attached to the plaster. This makes the temple look even brighter, like it’s glistening in the sun. It’s an incredible sight, one you won’t find anywhere else in Thailand. Check out my post on Wat Rong Khun for more pictures and information on how to arrange for a DIY day trip.
Wat Rong Khun (White Temple), Chiang Rai, Thailand

Estimated Time to Spend: Around 1-1.5 hours / Admission: THB 50

2. Visit the Home of a Thai National Artist at Baan Dam Museum (Black House)

Baan Dam Museum or Black House is the home and studio of the late Thawan Duchanee, a National Artist of Thailand famous for his paintings and architecture. It’s considered Duchanee’s architectural masterpiece and is comprised of a collection of about 40 buildings spread out over a landscaped garden. Located north of the city, you can visit Baan Dam Museum on the same day trip as Wat Rong Khun. Check out my post on Baan Dam Museum for more pictures and information on how to arrange for a DIY day trip.
Baan Dam Museum (Black House), Chiang Rai, Thailand

Estimated Time to Spend: 1-1.5 hours / Admission: THB 80

3. Enjoy the Uniqueness of Wat Rong Sear Tean (Blue Temple)

Like Wat Rong Khun, Wat Rong Sear Tean or the Blue Temple is probably one of the most unique temples in Chiang Rai. As its name suggests, its a predominantly blue temple bespeckled with ornate golden details. If Wat Rong Sear Tean reminds you of Wat Rong Khun, it’s because the Blue Temple was designed by one of Chalermchai Kositpipat’s students. Located just north of the Kok River, you can make a stop here on your way back to the city from Baan Dam Museum. Check out this post to find out how.
Wat Rong Sear Tean (Blue Temple), Chiang Rai, Thailand

Estimated Time to Spend: 30 minutes / Cost: FREE

Wat Rong Suea Ten, Templo Azul, Chiang Rai, Tailandia” by Edgardo W. Olivera, used under CC BY 2.0 / Cropped, processed in Photoshop and Lightroom

4. Explore Chiang Rai City

Chiang Rai’s main attractions may lie beyond the city’s limits, but you’ll find a few points of interest within the city as well. There’s the Golden Clock Tower for one, and lesser known temples like Wat Phra Kaew, Wat Phra Sing, and Wat Klang Wiang are all worthy of a visit if you have the time. If you’re staying in downtown Ching Rai, then you can easily walk to each of these places from your hotel. Check out this post on exploring Chiang Rai City for more pictures and information.
Chiang Rai, Thailand

Estimated Time to Spend: Around 2-3 hours / Cost: FREE

5. Shop & Eat at Chiang Rai Night Bazaar

Once the sun has come down and you’ve had your fill of temples, then it’s time to head over to the Night Bazaar for some late night shopping and eating. Chiang Rai’s Night Bazaar is a small outdoor market offering the usual goods like hill tribe jewelry, elephant pants, and silk scarves, but what we enjoyed most about it was the food. More on that in the next section of this guide.
Night Bazaar, Chiang Rai, Thailand


1. Khao Soi Phor Jai (Pho Chai)

Every trip to Chiang Rai or Chiang Mai should begin with a bowl of khao soi. It’s believed to be a Burmese-influenced dish consisting of crispy and soft egg noodles in a creamy, curry-like sauce made with coconut milk and meat, usually chicken or beef. It’s typically served with a side of chopped red onions, pickled cabbage, and a wedge of lime. If you were to have just one dish in Chiang Rai, then it should be khao soi. It’s the quintessential Northern Thai dish.

You’ll be spoilt for choice with all the restaurants serving khao soi in Chiang Rai, but Khao Soi Phor Jai is said to be one of the best. Aside from the usual chicken khao soi, they offer shrimp and fish khao soi as well, the latter being a more rare variety based on what I’ve read. Ren and I got the chicken and shrimp, both of which were supremely delicious, but you may want to get the fish if you want something different. We got ours with a packet of pork rinds for some extra crunch. Yum!
Khao Soi Phor Jai, Chiang Rai, Thailand

Khao Soi Phor Jai was packed with both locals and tourists when we were there. It’s just a short walk from the Clock Tower so it’s easy to get to on foot.
Khao Soi Phor Jai, Chiang Rai, Thailand

Khao Soi Phor Jai

Address: Jetyod Rd, ROP Wiangt, Amphoe Mueang Chiang Rai, Chang Wat Chiang Rai 57000, Thailand
Operating Hours: 7AM-4PM, daily
What to Order: Khao soi
Expect to Pay: THB 40 per bowl of khao soi
How to Get There: From the Clock Tower, walk south on Jeytod. After a short walk, you’ll see the restaurant on your right.

2. Ran Lab Sanam Keela

Ran Lab Sanam Keela is one of the most popular local restaurants in Chiang Rai. They’re known for serving authentic Lanna food. I learned about this restaurant from and the one dish that jumped out at me was the pla tabtim tod kratiem. It’s a dish of deep-fried golden tilapia served under a mountain of garlic. How insanely beautiful does that look?

The garlic cloves were coated in a thin layer of batter while the fish was deep-fried to crispy perfection, so much so that you didn’t have to worry about any bones. You could just crunch your way through the whole fish! We had a few other dishes at Ran Lab Sanam Keela, which I’ll write about in a separate post soon, but this was definitely the highlight of our meal. It’s a big fish that can easily be shared by 2-3 people.
Ran Lab Sanam Keela, Chiang Rai, Thailand

Ran Lab Sanam Keela is located on the outskirts of town so it may be too far to walk. You might want to take a tuk-tuk, taxi, or Uber. We took Uber and it cost us just a little over THB 56 each way from Chiang Rai Hotel.
Ran Lab Sanam Keela, Chiang Rai, Thailand

Ran Lab Sanam Keela

Address: Rop Wiang, Mueang Chiang Rai District, Chiang Rai 57000, Thailand
Operating Hours: 9AM-9PM, daily
What to Order: Pla tabtim tod kratiem (fried fish with garlic)
Expect to Pay: THB 200 per order of pla tabtim tod kratiem
How to Get There: Ran Lab Sanam Keela may be too far to walk from downtown Chiang Rai so you may want to go via tuk-tuk, taxi, or Uber.

3. Lu Lam Restaurant

Like Ran Lab Sanam Keela, Lu Lam is another of Chiang Rai’s most popular local restaurants. It’s situated by the Kok River giving you pleasant views of the water. Lu Lam specializes in Northern Thai cuisine so it’s a great place to try staples like larb (minced pork), sai oua (Northern Thai sausage), and this nam prik ong (chili-based dip). We had nam prik ong (red chili) and nam prik noom (green chili) several times on this trip and the version at Lu Lam was excellent. For the most daring, I read on that Lu Lam is a good place to try lou, or raw pig’s blood soup. Yes, RAW pig’s blood soup.
Lu Lam Restaurant, Chiang Rai, Thailand

Like Ran Lab Sanam Keela, Lu Lam is located on the outskirts of town, right by the Kok River, so it may be best to go via taxi, tuk-tuk, or Uber. We had our tuk-tuk driver drop us off here for lunch after visiting Wat Rong Khun and Baan Dam Museum. We then took an Uber back to our hotel for less than THB 50.
Lu Lam Restaurant, Chiang Rai, Thailand

Lu Lam Restaurant

Address: 188/8 Moo 20, Talat Chiang Rai market, Kwai Wai Rd., Rob Wiang Sub-District, Mueang Chiang Rai District, Chiang Rai, Thailand
Operating Hours: 10:30AM-10PM, daily
What to Order: Sai oua, nam prik ong, nam prik noom, lab moo kua
Expect to Pay: Around THB 150 per person
How to Get There: Lu Lam may be too far to walk from downtown Chiang Rai so you may want to go via tuk-tuk, taxi, or Uber.

4. Ja Jaroenchai

Ja Jaroenchai is a restaurant that specializes in Thai Chinese food. Like Ran Lab Sanam Keela and Lu Lam, I learned about this place from I read that some of their most famous dishes include pad makua sawuy, which is a dish of stir-fried eggplant with minced pork. We wanted to get the pad yod on tandawan moo krob as well, which is stir-fried sunflower sprouts with crispy pork belly, but they were out of the sprouts so they substituted it with bok choy instead. Both dishes were very tasty.
Ja Jaroenchai, Chiang Rai, Thailand

Ja Jaroenchai is a popular restaurant about a block away from the Clock Tower.
Ja Jaroenchai, Chiang Rai, Thailand

Ja Jaroenchai

Address: 400/11-12 Thanon Sanambin, Airport Road, , Wieng Subdistrict , Mueang Chiang Rai District, Chiang Rai, Thailand
Operating Hours: 4-11PM, daily
What to Order: Pad makua sawuy, pad yod on tandawan moo krob
Expect to Pay: Around THB 60 a plate
How to Get There: From the Clock Tower, walk west on Thanon Baanpa Pragarn. Make a left into Thanon Sanambin which is the first cross street you’ll see. Ja Jaroenchai will be on your right.

5. Chiang Rai Night Bazaar

The food court at the Night Bazaar is a great place to try different types of Thai food, including street food. One of the most popular dishes is hotpot. When you order it, a clay pot over hot coals and containing a soup base is brought to your table along with a basket of vegetables, eggs, and proteins like meat or seafood. Like any Asian hotpot, you’ll cook the food yourself at your table.
Night Bazaar, Chiang Rai, Thailand

We had already eaten dinner so we were here to drink beer and snack on more exotic fare like deep-fried insects and this goong ten, or “dancing shrimp”. If you’ve never had it before, it’s a ceviche-like Isaan dish of tiny live shrimp “cooked” in lime juice. It isn’t as common to find this dish so I suggest trying it if you see it. It’s delicious. Check out my post on the Night Bazaar for more pictures and information.
Night Bazaar, Chiang Rai, Thailand

Chiang Rai Night Bazaar

Address: Wiang, Mueang Chiang Rai District, Chiang Rai 57000, Thailand
Operating Hours: 6PM-12MN, daily
What to Order: Hotpot, deep-fried insects, goong ten
Expect to Pay: Around THB 50-100 per person
How to Get There: From the Clock Tower, walk east on Thanon Baanpa Pragarn. Make a right at the first cross street you see and the entrance to the Night Bazaar will be on your left.

Here’s a video I put together of our Chiang Rai experience. It features many of the attractions and restaurants recommended here. Check it out to get a better feel for the place.


To help you get your bearings, I’ve created this map so you get a better sense of where everything is. All the places recommended in this guide are pinned on this map.


Chiang Rai is a small city so you can easily explore it on foot. You’ll need to arrange for transportation though to see it’s major attractions like Wat Rong Khun and Baan Dam Museum. We hired a tuk-tuk to take us to both places, wait for us, then drop us off at Lu Lam restaurant for THB 500. If you’re interested in seeing the Blue Temple, then you can ask him to make a quick stop there as it’s en route to the city from Baan Dam Museum.

If you’re interested in dining at Ran Lab Sanam Keela or Lu Lam restaurant, then you can go via tuk-tuk, taxi, or Uber. We used Uber a few times in Chiang Rai. It’s cheap and readily available.


As described, Chiang Rai is usually a short stay destination for many travelers. If you’re spending time in Chiang Mai and making a side trip to Chiang Rai, then one full day should be enough. Here’s what you can do with one day in Chiang Rai.


• Wat Rong Khun
• Baan Dam Museum
• Wat Rong Sear Tean

• Lunch at Khao Soi Phor Jai
• Clock Tower
• Wat Phra Kaew
• Wat Phra Sing
• Wat Klang Wiang

• Dinner at Ran Lab Sanam Keela
• Night Bazaar
• Clock Tower Light Show


Chiang Rai is cheap. Most travelers will probably be staying for just one or two nights so you won’t need to budget a lot for it.

The unit of currency in Thailand is the Thai Baht (THB). Assuming you’ll be traveling by bus from Chiang Mai and booking an overnight stay with one other person, then a trip budget of around THB 1,500 per person should be enough. This takes into account your accommodations, round trip transportation from Chiang Mai, transportation within Chiang Rai, entrance fees, meals, drinks, and pocket wifi rental. Here’s a quick breakdown of expenses:


This is highly subjective. It depends on several factors like hotel preference and number of travel companions. We stayed at the centrally located but inexpensive Chiang Rai Hotel for about USD 24 a night. Expect to pay much less if you stay in a hostel. I saw on that dorm room stays cost as little as USD 4 a night.

Again, this is subjective, but based on our experience, I’d say around THB 150 a day per person. Filling meals can be had for THB 60 or less.

Entrance fees for Wat Rong Khun and Baan Dam Museum add up to just THB 130.

If you’re sharing the cost with one other person, then you’ll each be paying THB 90 per day.

The Express Green Bus from Chiang Mai to Chiang Rai costs just THB 229 per person each way.

Expect to pay around THB 500 to hire a tuk-tuk or taxi to take you to Wat Rong Khun and Baan Dam Museum.

This comes out to just under THB 1,500 for a full day stay per person with roundtrip transportation from Chiang Mai. Ren and I are middle of the road travelers who enjoy good food and drink, so the recommended budget is a good baseline for travelers like us. Adjust accordingly based on your own travel habits.


1. Plan your Trip with Sygic Travel (formerly Tripomatic)

I love this app. It makes travel planning so much easier. Sygic Travel allows you to plot points of interest on a map, including your hotel, so you can see exactly how far you need to travel between points. It shows you where each attraction is on a map so you can visit them in the right order and save travel time. With pocket wifi, it turns your mobile phone into a GPS tracking device so people with a poor sense of direction (like me) never get lost again. Pretty sweet right? Check out my post on the Sygic Travel app for more information.

DOWNLOAD: iOS / Android

Sygic Travel is what I used to create the location map above. You can view it as a day-to-day itinerary as well. Follow this link to check out our 2-day Chiang Rai itinerary on Sygic Travel. You can also download it in editable Word format from our EAT-ineraries page.

2. Rent a Pocket Wifi Device

A constant wifi connection is a must when traveling these days. You’ll need it to do research, convert currencies, use ride-sharing apps, navigate with GPS, etc. We never go anywhere now without renting a pocket wifi device first.

We rented a 4G pocket wifi device for THB 180 per day, which we picked up and dropped off at the Smile Wifi counter in Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport. You can pick it up and drop it off at Don Mueang Airport as well. Both counters are open 24 hours.

It was fast and we never had trouble connecting in our two weeks in Thailand. Aside from Chiang Rai, we spent time in Bangkok and Chiang Mai and it worked flawlessly there as well. The battery life was excellent. I’d switch it on early in the morning and it would last till about mid- to late afternoon. It came with a power bank too which was very handy.

3. Check for Discount Passes

There are many websites that offer discount passes to tours and services. One of my favorites is Kkday. They offer deals in many cities around the world, including Chiang Rai and Chiang Mai. Unfortunately, they don’t have a lot of deals for Chiang Rai at this time but they may be adding more in the future. Check out Kkday for a list of activities in Chiang Rai and Chiang Mai. You’ll often find interesting activities that you wouldn’t normally think of yourself, so it’s definitely worth a look.

4. Get Travel Insurance

To be honest, it was only recently when we started buying travel insurance. Back when we traveled just once or twice a year, travel insurance felt like an added expense, one we didn’t need. But now that we travel more, I understand how important it is to have it. Fact is, you never know what can happen. It’s one of those things that you hope you never have to use, but if you do wind up needing it, then you’ll be thanking the gods that you had it (or cursing them if you didn’t).

Though I do find it more necessary now, it’s still up to you if you think you need it. A 3-day trip to Seoul just shopping and eating may not really call for insurance but if you plan on doing more active things like bungee jumping, snowmobile riding, or even going on a city bike tour, then I’d say travel insurance is a must. We visited Elephant Nature Park in Chiang Mai on this trip so we did get travel insurance, just in case we got accidentally sat on by a rogue pachyderm.

We buy travel insurance from World Nomads because every long-term traveler I know recommends it. From the sound of it, they’re the best in the industry by a mile. Not only do they provide a high coverage limit for medical expenses (up to USD 5 million with the Standard package), they also cover things like trip delays, missed flight connections, theft/loss of passport and luggage, etc. Follow the link or use the widget below to learn more and get a free travel insurance quote from World Nomads. It’s super quick and easy.

5. Bring the Right Power Adapter

Electrical outlets in Thailand typically feature two-pronged round or flat sockets, either Type A, Type B, Type C, or Type F. Be sure to bring the right power adapters for your devices. Electrical voltage is 220V and the standard frequency is 50Hz.

For Filipinos

Regarding visas, Filipinos don’t need tourist visas to visit Thailand for stays no longer than 30 days.


Ever since I scored my first piso fare from Cebu Pacific, I’ve been hopelessly addicted to cheap airline tickets. For our trip to Bangkok in late October 2017, our tickets to Suvarnabhumi with a shared 20 kg baggage allowance came out to just under PHP 6,700 each roundtrip. Not bad right? As described in the Traveling to Chiang Rai section of this guide, you can get domestic airfare in Thailand for pretty cheap. Our one-way tickets from Bangkok to Chiang Rai cost just THB 1,280 each.

These seat sale tickets are limited and sell fast, so you have to be quick. To give yourself an advantage, I suggest liking their Facebook page and following them on Twitter to quickly find out about these seat sales. If you check off “Get notifications” on Facebook, then you’ll receive instant alerts every time they post something new.

Other airlines that have direct flights from Manila to Bangkok are Philippine Airlines and Thai Airways.

Have fun!

I’m not an expert on Chiang Rai but I do hope that you find this post useful. I’m only sharing some of the things that I learned from our trip. If you have any suggestions or simply want to share your own experiences, then please feel free to do so in the comments section below. You’re welcome to join our Facebook Travel Group as well. We’d love to hear from you.

Thanks for stopping by and prepare to be amazed by Wat Rong Khun in Chiang Rai!


These are some of the things we brought with us to Chiang Rai. As you can tell, I document a lot of content for this blog so most of the things I bring are photo and video equipment. 😆 If you’d like to see what other gear we use, then you can check out our “What’s in Our Backpack?” post. (NOTE: The following links are Amazon affiliate links.)

For travel tips to Chiang Mai, check out our First-Timer’s Travel Guide to Chiang Mai, Thailand

The First-Timer’s Travel Guide to Chiang Mai, Thailand


Some of the links in this post are affiliate links, meaning we’ll get a small commission if you make a purchase at NO extra cost to you. We really appreciate your support as it helps us keep this website going. Thank you!

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There are 3 comments for this article
  1. Amy Trumpeter at 3:21 am

    One of my favourite places in Thailand – I was only supposed to stay in Chiang Rai for 3 days and I ended up staying for a week!

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