Previously known for its reputation as a leading opium trade area, Chiang Rai is emerging as a leisure destination due to its unspoiled natural beauty and five-star properties with well-run elephant sanctuaries. Often overlooked for the nearby Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai feels vastly different, attracting visitors with its distinct, laid-back personality and diverse opportunities for exploration.
Perfect forAdventurers | Families | Do Gooders | Romantics | Soul Searchers
When to goDecember-February | September-November
Ideal length of stay3-5 Nights
Designing Your Journey
Work with Indagare to design the perfect itinerary for an immersive journey. Our travel experts know the destination inside and out, and they can make recommendations based on your travel needs and preferences.
3 Days: Essential Chiang Rai
A Chiang Rai trip must visits with elephants and visiting the Golden Triangle, where Laos, Myanmar and Thailand converge. Here is just one example of what our destination experts can create for you.
Day 1: Golden Triangle
Take an Indagare-arranged tour of the Golden Triangle in a long tail boat, which is the best and most authentic way to experience the Mekong River. The area surrounding the Golden Triangle also boasts a number of temples and markets, and interested travelers can even stop in Laos for an afternoon (visa required).
Day 2: Elephant Experience
Indagare’s preferred hotels offer guests the opportunity to learn about and interact intimately with Thailand’s majestic elephants, including river bathing sessions and long treks through the bamboo bush. We carefully vet the elephant programs and only work with companies that are sanctuaries and humane to the animals.
Day 3: Historic Sites
Tour Wat Rong Khun (White Temple), one of the most remarkable Buddhist temples in Thailand, and marvel at its striking structure built with pieces of plaster-covered glass that sparkle in the sun. Then head to the Baan Dam (Black House Museum), built by the internationally renowned artist Thawan Duchanee, to explore the site’s 15 temples and captivating exhibits, including intricate displays of animal remains.
Where To Stay
We only feature hotels that we can vouch for first-hand. At many of them, Indagare members receive special perks, including upgrades, early check-in, spa credits, and more. Look for the Indagare Plus logo in the reviews.
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Four Seasons Tented Camp Golden Triangle
There are only 15 tents and one explorer's lodge at this luxury camp, situated where Thailand meets Laos and Myanmar along the Mekong Delta, and staying here is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Guests arriving by longtail boat get a full view...
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Anantara Golden Triangle Elephant Camp & Resort
Located next door to the Four Seasons Tented Camp, Anantara is a family-friendly resort with an affordable price tag and fantastic elephant experiences.