Chiang Rai

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 for
    Adventurers | Families | Do Gooders | Romantics | Soul Searchers
  • When to go
    December-February | September-November
  • Ideal length of stay
    3-5 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-LP

    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.

Indagare's Caroline Hansen
“Thailand is a country with a complex history, diverse landscapes and a population that is deeply religious; it is also a nation with intense poverty and internal conflicts, and visitors can’t help but notice all these factors simultaneously. In order to experience Thailand in the best way possible, visitors must travel with an open mind in order to fully immerse themselves in the Thai way of life.”

What To See & Do

Ready to go and in need of expert trip planning? Contact us today.

What To Read

Everything we recommend is sourced first-hand by our well-traveled team and incredible network of insiders and resources around the world. Here are some the latest articles, interviews, and book and film recommendations not to be missed.

Become an Indagare Member Today!

Join sign in