All New Pajero sport Challenges You to Brave the Cold and Visit Chiang Rai
When we talk about visiting the North, many would probably think only of Chiang Mai. Did you know that the small town of Chiang Rai is also worth visiting? Let’s get going with the Amazing Road Trips with All New Pajero sport.
Get to Know Our Destination
Chiang Rai is surrounded on all sides by a mountain range, thus leaving it cool all year round. In the cold months, Chiang Rai's weather will leave you feeling like you’re abroad so bring out those fashion forward boots and coats. Those of you who love nature will not be left disappointed because Chiang Rai has plenty of forests and winter blooms to see. If you’re an art lover, the province is the capital of Buddhist-inspired art, crafted by various national artists.
Your first destination in Chiang Rai should be Rong Khun Temple of national artist Chalermchai Kositpipat. He built the temple as a sign of homage to the nation, religion, and the monarchy. He noted that he wanted to use the best time of his life to create Buddhist-inspired art for the era of King Rama IX and he’ll devote the rest of his life to this temple. The temple stands out for its white architecture that are decorated with mirror patterns and statues and carvings of mythical creatures. The murals within the temple are also the work of Chalermchai. Another temple that isn’t to be missed is Huay Plakang Temple atop a hill, giving it a panoramic view of the city. The 9-storey Choke Tham chedi is a mixture of Chinese and Lanna architecture with sharp edges, red-shingled roof, dragons adorning both sides of the steps, and surrounded by 12 smaller chedi, reflecting each zodiac sign. It’s believed whoever visits this temple will feel like they’ve entered heaven.
Another religious destination that is recommended is Phra Tat Sankwang, housing hair relics of the Buddha. It was believed that the Buddha had visited the area and pulled some of his hair to give to the locals. Upon the Buddha’s death, a chedi was built over the hair relics and more relics were placed inside. Therefore, this is the place where you can find relics of the Buddha since his time and those after his death. The hill housing the relics is called Khao Kaew because it is said that every full moon day or every Buddhist holy day, two glass globes will fly back and forth in the sky.
Our final destination for Chiang Rai is Singha Park which is operated by Boonrawd Brewery, the maker of Singha beer. This is an agricultural tourism destination that has a lot to offer, including a colorful winter bloom garden and 600 rai of agricultural land and tea plantation. You can go on a tour of the farm and dine at the restaurant offering a 360-degree view of the farm, as well as its coffee shop and bakery and shop products like tea and wine at its souvenir shop.
Fun in the Sun
- Shoppers must not miss visiting the walking street that is on every Saturday from 4 pm to midnight at Thanalai Street. You’ll come across chic handmade items that can’t be found anywhere else, like home furnishings, local products, souvenirs, and the traditional Thai dance stage that is filled with elderly locals enjoying themselves.
- Another spot that must be visited is the clock tower, which boasts the same stunning architecture of Rong Khun Temple. Every night at 7, 8, and 9 pm, a light and sound show is performed to the song “Chiang Rai Ramluk” which mustn’t be missed.
- While visiting Phra Tat Sankwang, don’t forget to pay respect to the statue of “Phra Chao Tanjai” which houses the Buddha’s relics and various auspicious objects. The statue is famous for granting immediate wishes for those asking for favors.
- Singha Park has trams which leave every 15 minutes and has 4 stops, which include the cosmos field, the giraffe and zebra feeding area, the sports and activities center which has bicycles for hire and zipline activities, and the 360-degree viewpoint and restaurant.
- The best time to visit Chiang Rai is during the cold season from November to January but be warned that there will be lots of tourists then. If you want to avoid the crowd, you can choose to visit in October or February when the weather is also pleasant.
- With the growing number of tourists visiting Chiang Rai, accommodations have changed from only hotels in the city for businesspeople to resorts on mountaintops or homestay with hill tribe people, as well as government-owned accommodations. Don’t forget to ask if they have a water heater for showering because the cold atop mountains make it impossible to shower with cold water.
- Another thing you must prepare when visiting a cold destination like Chiang Rai is warm clothing. Some accommodation may not come equipped with enough blankets, particularly if you don’t fare well in the cold so it is most efficient to bring your own. And while packing, do consider bringing hats, scarves, gloves, and socks, apart from jackets.
How to Get There
We’d like to recommend 3 routes to Chiang Rai. The first route goes through Rangsit using Phaholyothin Road. Turn left onto Highway 32 at Wangnoi District and it’s a distance of 830 kilometers to Chiang Rai. The second route starts at the same spot as the first route but once you reach Nakhon Sawan, turn right onto Highway 117 (Nakhon Sawan-Phitsanulok). Then, use Highway 11 (Phitsanulok-Denchai) and once you reach Denchai, proceed in the direction of Prae via Highway 101 (Prae-Nan). At Rongkwang District, turn left onto Highway 103 and you will come across Phaholyothin Road at Ngao District where you can proceed straight to Chiang Rai. This route is 804 kilometers in length. The last route uses Phaholyothin Road up to Lampang where you will have to turn onto Highway 11 (Lampang-Chiang Mai). Then use Highway 118 (Chiang Mai-Chiang Rai). This route is 900 kilometers in length.
Safe Driving Tips
For more information, please contact
Chiang Rai Tourism Authority of Thailand Office
Areas of Jurisdiction: Chiang Rai, Payao
448/16 Singhaklai Road, Muang District, Chiang Rai 57000
Tel: 0 5371 7433, 0 5374 4674-5
Fax: 0 5371 7434