If you are wondering what can you do in Chiang Rai in just 48 hours? Don’t worry, even if you only have less time, you can still have a good time here by exploring the cultural quintessence of some popular attractions, trying famous specialties, experience the nightlife and much more. To help you easily plan a perfect trip, we would like to summarize the experiences of discovering Chiang Rai for 2 days, you can refer to the article below. So, what to do in Chiang Rai in 2 days? Let’s check out our suggested Chiang Rai itinerary 2 days on how to spend 2 days in Chiang Rai (two days in Chiang Rai) perfectly as follows!
- Where to visit in Chiang Rai? — 13+ must-visit & top Chiang Rai places to visit
- Where to go in Chiang Rai? — Top 4 must-go & Chiang Rai places to visit
- Where to stay in Chiang Rai? — 9+ best hotels & best places to stay in Chiang Rai
- Chiang Rai nightlife — 10 Top Chiang Rai bars & best bars in Chiang Rai
- Where to eat in Chiang Rai? — 10 most famous & best restaurants in Chiang Rai
Overview of Chiang Rai
Located about 700km west of Bangkok, Chiang Rai has existed since the 7th century, but it was not until 1262 that King Meng Rai built the Lanna dynasty and established Chiang Rai as the first capital of the kingdom.
Along with Chiang Mai, hundreds of years ago, Chiang Rai was once the center of the brilliant Kingdom of Lanna. Today, Chiang Rai is known to many people as a land that keeps the ancient values of Thailand, a space imbued with the colors of the ancient capital of the “land of golden pagodas and temples” with long-standing historical sites and rich attractions. Not only that, Chiang Rai is also blessed with beautiful mountain scenery and beautiful villages.
Visitors when visiting Chiang Rai will have very diverse sightseeing options from the ruins of ancient settlements, Buddhist temples to exploring the forests and northern mountains with the interesting and attractive cultural experiences, customs and habits are kept by the people until now.
When is the good time to visit Chiang Rai?
Like Dalat in Vietnam, being a place blessed by nature, Chiang Rai has a mild climate all year round, fresh and cool air. So visitors can visit Chiang Rai at any time of the year.
However, to have a great trip and fully enjoy the pleasant weather of Chiang Rai, tourists should visit this ancient capital between February and June. This is the ideal time because the climate is cool, suitable for fun activities and is also the time when many traditional festivals take place, especially in April, around April 13th-15th every year is the traditional Thai New Year Water Festival called Songkran. This is also the time corresponding to the summer – the holiday season in Vietnam, so visiting Chiang Rai is not a bad idea, right?
How to get to Chiang Rai?
Currently, there are no direct flights to Chiang Rai from Vietnam. If you want to travel to Chiang Rai, you will have to move through 2 stages: Vietnam – Chiang Mai and Chiang Mai – Chiang Rai.
The first trip Vietnam – Chiang Mai: From Hanoi, you can fly directly with the newly opened route by Air Asia airline Hanoi – Chiang Mai, the flight time only takes about 1 hour 20 minutes. You should determine the time you will arrive in Chiang Mai and book tickets in advance to hunt for promotions. Promotion ticket price is only around $75-90/person/round trip. In addition, you can also fly with other airlines such as Vietnam Airlines or Bangkok Airways. From Ho Chi Minh City, you can take a direct flight to Chiang Mai with airlines such as Vietjet Air, Hahn Air, the fare ranges from $105 to 125/person/round trip (depending on the time of year, the prices are subject to change).
The second trip, Chiang Mai – Chiang Rai: You can catch a bus from Chiang Mai for only about 50 baht (around $1.5). In addition, you can also take a taxi, rent a private car, or ride a bicycle or motorbike to move from Chiang Mai to Chiang Rai. You can use Google maps to navigate, the basic route is usually: Tha Pae Gate tower – Chang Moi Kao Road – turn right on Chang Moi Road – turn left on Ratchawong Rd – go straight up Kaew Nawarat Road. From here, you just need to going along road 118 until they meet road 1, then you will come to Chiang Rai. Travel distance will be about 185km.
Getting around Chiang Rai (#2 days in chiang rai)
Like other cities in the world, the most popular and popular means of transportation in Chiang Rai are buses and taxis. In addition, in Thailand, there is a quite special vehicle, which is called by the people here with the lovely name “national vehicle” – Tuk tuk. This is a relatively cheap and convenient means of transportation, carrying a large number of passengers about 5 people, having a large number and popularity, so it is easy to catch one in the city.
Besides, if you are confident with your driving ability and want to have a more enjoyable, free and proactive trip in terms of time, you can travel by motorbike. The procedure you need to rent a motorbike is a photo passport and a deposit, which they will return to you after you return the motorbike. You can register to rent a car in the city center or hotels for 150 baht – 200 baht/day. And you should remember that in Thailand, going on the left hand side is different from Vietnam and other nations, do not use the horn when moving, if there is a traffic jam, you should calm down and not jostle, push, remember to wear a helmet and change your international driver’s license in Vietnam or in your country before you go.
How to stay in Chiang Rai? (#chiang rai itinerary 2 days)
For easy access to attractions, visitors should book a room near the city center. In the ancient capital of Chiang Rai, the price of hotel rooms as well as hostels or guesthouses is not too expensive, so visitors can book rooms easily. Here are some cheap and upscale hotels with suitable quality that travelers can refer to for their stay in Chiang Rai:
- The Heritage Chiang Rai Hotel and Convention – SHA Extra Plus (Agoda, Booking)
- The Riverie by Katathani (Agoda, Booking)
- Nak Nakara Hotel-SHA Extra Plus (Agoda, Booking)
- Blue Lagoon Hotel (Agoda, Booking)
- MORA Boutique Hotel – SHA Extra Plus (Agoda, Booking)
- Le Meridien Chiang Rai Resort, Thailand (Agoda, Booking)
- Nakaraj Princess Chiang Rai – Walking Street (Agoda, Booking)
- The Legend Chiang Rai Boutique River Resort & Spa (Agoda, Booking)
Chiang Rai itinerary 2 days: How to spend 2 days in Chiang Rai & what to do in Chiang Rai in 2 days
The first day (Day 1)
After arriving in Chiang Rai and completing the necessary procedures such as check-in hotel, renting a motorbike… let’s start exploring this beautiful land right away. On your first day in Chiang Mai, you should spend time exploring the ruins, unique architectures and experiencing the cuisine in Chiang Rai.
Explore the famous white temple (Wat Rong Khun)
Address: Wat Rong Khun White Temple, San Sai, Mueang Chiang Rai District, Chiang Rai 57000, Thailand.
Wat Rong Khun, also known as the “White Temple” is one of the most beautiful temples in the world, not only that, but it has also become a national cultural symbol of the beautiful country of Thailand.
Located in the north of Chiang Rai province, Wat Rong Khun was built in 1977, is a blend of tradition and contemporary art, derived from the idea of Chalermchai Kositpipat – a famous painter and architect of Thailand.
Stepping in this temple, you will feel truly overwhelmed by its unique beauty, an architecture that perhaps cannot be found anywhere else in the world. With the concept of building a white temple symbolizing the purity of the Buddha, architect Chalermchai Kositpipat covered all the space in the temple with a white color, making any visitor come here feels like they are lost in a vast white snow maze.
Overall, visitors can see around the main temple is a park with a pond and beautiful white sculptures. The image of the temple’s silhouette leaning down to the water creates a magical beauty, each decorative detail on this architecture has its own meaning, depicting the profound philosophies of Buddhism, and at the same time expressing the meaning of praising the good qualities of people.
In addition, the inside of the temple is also decorated with many pictures of famous artists and characters such as Keanu Reeves, Michael Jackson, Elvis Presley, Superman, Spiderman,… One of the most special points that surprise visitors in Wat Rong Khun is the prominent yellow building at the corner of the temple grounds. This is a two-story toilet, carved relatively sophisticated, splendid and luxurious with a construction cost of up to 5 million Baht ($150,000).
According to the design and idea of Chalermchai Kositpipat, Wat Rong Khun will be built with 9 major works including: a main hall, a meditation hall, a relic (śarīra) storage room, an art gallery, and a shrine, the residence of the monks. Although this work is still in the process of being completed, it is still an extremely famous and magnificent attraction, an ideal place for Buddhist followers to come to Chiang Rai.
Uncover the secret of the Black House (Baan Dam Museum)
Address: Baan Dam Black House Museum, 333 13 Tambon Nang Lae, Amphoe Mueang Chiang Rai, Thailand.
Along with the White Temple – a famous cultural symbol of Thailand and the Chiang Rai clock tower, the Black House museum is also a work designed by the talented architect Chalermchai Khositpipat, is one of the valuable sites attract tourists when visiting Chiang Rai.
Built at the end of the 20th century, this museum has up to 40 architectural clusters including very special black houses. Black house architecture brings the typical traditional features of temples in Thailand with soft curves, finely carved lines, flexible sloping roof images that can be seen in any temple architecture of the land of golden temples.
The Black House Museum is a place to collect and display many famous works of art, agricultural tools and tools commonly used in the daily life of Thai people. In addition, in some buildings there are also some decorations made from animal skins and bones, in another building a torture room is also built on site where the artist’s artistic ideas are expressed. The artist who created this place hopes to create a space that reflects the dark sides of people’s thoughts and actions.
Black House Museum is really an attractive and unique place for visitors who love to explore. Don’t hesitate to spend a few hours to visit and discover the deep artistic ideas inside this mysterious-looking museum. Surely the Black House museum of Chiang Rai will be an extremely attractive place and will not disappoint visitors.
Experience Northern Thai Cuisine
Enjoying specialties is an indispensable experience when traveling to a place, right? If you want to taste the unique and preserved dishes of the Lanna Kingdom, then Lab Sanam Keela is a place you must visit in Chiang Rai.
Lab Sanam Keela is one of the most well-known restaurants in Chiang Rai, which is loved by many tourists for its dishes with flavors of Lanna cuisine. Although the restaurant’s menu is not too diverse and extensive, serving only a few dishes, they are all typical dishes of Northern Thailand, made with the freshest ingredients. Diners who have ever come to Ran Lab Sanam Keela are attracted and cannot resist the dishes here.
Located in the city center and not too far from the airport, this place is always an ideal restaurant to enjoy local dishes, a paradise for those who want to explore traditional Thai cuisine.
Address: Rop Wiang, Mueang Chiang Rai, Thailand
If you are looking to recharge, rest and relax after a long road trip in Chiang Rai, then Chivit Thamma Da Coffee House, Bistro & Bar is an ideal place.
Bearing the look of a beautiful colonial house, Chivit Thamma Da Coffee House is a popular family-run cafe in Chiang Rai, located on the banks of the poetic Kok River. The main white color tone, the antique collections displayed in the shop, combined with the yellow light, create a cozy, nostalgic, charming atmostphere. Not only that, this place is also surrounded by green trees, giving visitors the feeling of being immersed in fresh nature. In addition to the indoor space, you can also choose for yourself an ideal seat outside, enjoying your meal and the cool breeze blowing from the beautiful Kok river.
True to the name, “simple life”, everything here is very simple and ordinary, The atmosphere is quiet, the menu is not too fussy, with basic dishes such as Khao Soi beef, Pineapple fried rice, freshly baked goods, and simple family meals. Nutella strawberry milkshake, iced coffee smoothie, tea, fresh fruit and fruit juice are the most served drinks here.
Coming to Chivit Thamma Da Coffee House, Bistro & Bar, you will be completely relaxed in a peaceful space. Come and experience to regain energy for the next journey!
Address: 179 Soi 3, Rimkok, Chiang Rai, 5700, Thailand.
Experience the nightlife
Although it cannot be compared with the capital Bangkok – a bustling metropolis with skyscrapers, top shopping centers and world-famous nightlife areas, the nightlife in Chiang Rai is also impressive. It is one of the great experiences that you should not miss.
Referring to the gathering spots and nightlife, it is definitely worth mentioning the bars, where the atmosphere is bustling and vibrant with exciting dances. Here visitors can also taste excellent wines, spirits, immerse in the bustling and energetic atmosphere after a long tiring day. The Pourhouse Wine Bar & Cafe, Par Club, Ozone Restaurant and Pub are some of Chiang Rai’s most popular bars, serving drinks and Western-style snacks. In addition, you can also change the atmosphere with Japanese Garden Restaurant Tokyo – an oriental Japanese restaurant with delicious seafood dishes.
Chiang Rai’s nightlife is not only encapsulated in bars and local restaurants, just a short walk, close to the town fountain, you can catch the bustling rhythm of this city. Here, you will meet and chat with other tourists and locals alike. Not only that, you can also enjoy the street food of Chiang Rai, walk around the town to feel the nightlife of this famous ancient capital. The friendliness and hospitality of the people here will make you feel excited and familiar as if you were in your own hometown.
Day 2 in Chiang Rai (#two days in chiang rai)
After experiencing the bustling nightlife in Chiang Rai, let’s explore more wonderful places, especially on this Monday, visitors will experience a Chiang Rai with a full of nature, fresh, peaceful and extremely friendly.
Good morning Chiang Rai (#two days in chiang rai)
How would you like to start your breakfast? Enjoying breakfast in the midst of a beautiful sunrise is a good idea to welcome the new day, isn’t it? Then visit Melt in Your Mouth Chiang Rai to enjoy this wonderful breakfast.
Located opposite Ko Loi public park, just a few steps from Chiang Rai river resort, it is not difficult to find this place. Melt In Your Mouth Chiang Rai is mainly known for being a popular restaurant for dinner and dessert, but the breakfast menu is well worth a try. The restaurant’s menu is a perfect combination of Western dishes with traditional Thai cuisine, including vegetarian dishes for vegetarians. The basic drinks served for breakfast are usually milk, coffee and fresh fruit juice.
The restaurant’s space is decorated and designed in a luxurious and noble Western style. With a wide view overlooking the river and green park, diners coming here can both enjoy their favorite breakfast and watch the sunrise of Chiang Rai on the romantic riverside, in an airy atmosphere, peaceful, and filled with the breath of nature. Starting a new day gently will help your soul be more relaxed and comfortable than ever. Truly a breakfast place well worth a visit in Chiang Rai.
Address: Melt In Your Mouth, Mueang Chiang Rai, Tambon Wiang, Mueang Chiang Rai, Chiang Rai, Thailand.
Enjoy a taste of heaven at lunch
Khao Soi Phor Jai is one of Chiang Rai’s most popular restaurants serving local dishes, especially Northern Thai specialties.
With the architecture designed based on two main colors, Blue and White, this place becomes prominent and easily found on Jetyod Road.
The dishes served here are mainly Northern Thai flavors. Although there is a limited menu, the restaurant’s dishes are always rated as delicious and extremely delectable, different and hard to find anywhere else. Khao Soi is a signature northern dish with noodles, eggs, chicken and other ingredients. With its own unique processing, Khao Soi has become the most favorite dish of diners when coming here and creates a brand for the restaurant. Besides, creamy curry noodle is also loved by many diners.
The atmosphere at the restaurant is always lively and bustling, and the customers are also extremely crowded, so if you don’t want to miss the opportunity to enjoy lunch at one of the best restaurants in Chiang Rai, you should come early to enjoy the food. Choose your ideal lunch menu!
Address: 1023, 3 Jetyod Rd, Tambon Wiang, Mueang Chiang Rai District, Chiang Rai 57000, Thailand
Relax at Pong Phra Bat Hot spring (#what to do in chiang rai in 2 days)
After lunch, if you are looking for a place to relax and pamper your body, then look to Pong Phra Bat hot spring. This place is located about 14km from the city, includes a waterfall and a hot spring, an ideal resting spot to treat your body.
A simple, rustic and homely natural space in the heart of Chiang Rai, really suitable for resting for a few hours before continuing the journey. Soak your body in the clear, warm spring water, enjoy the fresh air that you can’t find when you return to the hustling, bustling cities, so that the tired muscles are completely healed and relaxed. Just thinking about being immersed in that charming space makes you feel refreshed, right?
The cost is also extremely reasonable, only 10 baht for the swimming pool and 20 baht for a private room for visitors who want to enjoy privacy.
Address: XRGM+Q9G, Ban Du, Mueang Chiang Rai District, Chiang Rai 57100, Thailand
Hours: 8AM–8PM/Saturday: Closed
Visit Doi Mae Salong Hill
If you still want to wander around in Chiang Rai and still have plenty of time, visit Doi Mae Salong Hill to continue your adventure.
Doi Mae Salong is a hill near the Myanmar border, one of many in Chiang Rai province. Originally, this was a settlement of the Chinese army and also a long-standing place of many tribal communities. Coming to this area, you will be able to see the beautiful landscape with immense mountain ranges, relax with the space covered by a whole green of the forests. And above all, you will experience the extremely unique culture and enjoy the specialties only available in the villages of the ethnic groups here.
There are many ways to experience this beautiful mountain, one of which is to rent a motorbike and ride it on the highway, enjoy the sheer thrill of speed and see firsthand how the mountains change on your wheels.
Home to many ethnic groups, the villages at Mae Salong will give you moments of rest and relaxation amidst the vast and vast nature of the mountains, the opportunity to taste new dishes and Immerse yourself in the peaceful village life.
Address: Mae Salong Nok, Mae Fa Luang, Chiang Rai, Thailand.
The above what to do in Chiang Rai in 2 day with the activities and places to visit that are most popular with tourists when coming to Chiang Rai, suitable for your Chiang Rai itinerary 2 days. Hopefully, the experiences that we have compiled will help visitors enjoy the most complete trip in Chiang Rai to fully enjoy the unforgettable 2 days in Chiang Rai.
Some best day tours, trips, activities and transfer services, tickets in and from Chiang Rai you can refer to
- Chiang Rai & The Golden Triangle
- Chiang Rai One Day Tour from Chiang Mai
- Chiang Rai Full Day Private Tour with White Temple, Blue Temple, Black House, and Singha Park
- Private Car Charter Between Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai
- Chiang Rai Half Day Private Tour with White Temple, Blue Temple, and Black House
- [SALE] 4G Sim Card (Thailand Pick Up) for Thailand
- 4G SIM Card (BKK Airport Pick Up) for Thailand (Unlimited Data)
- 4G Pocket WiFi (Bangkok and Phuket Airports Pick Up) for Thailand
- 4G Portable WiFi for Thailand from Uroaming (Unlimited Data)
Are you looking for more Chiang Mai travel guide and top things to do in Chiang Mai? Let’s read: Chiang Rai travel blog — The fullest Chiang Rai travel guide for first-timers.