When is the best time to fly to Chiang Rai?
From November to February during the high season, the temperature is cool. It often drops to 20 degrees C and for Thai people this is very cold, for visitors, it tends to be just about perfect. During the hot season, March to May, temperatures rise to 36 degrees while the monsoon season provides a little sunshine but mostly rain and mist. Festivals take place throughout the year such as the Lychee Fair, King Men Rai Festival, Vesak Day, Loy Kratong and of course the exciting water festival, Songkran.
The cheapest time to visit Chiang Rai is during the low season between June and August, when the weather is cooler. It's the ideal time to take the kids too as many children will be on holiday from school. Thailand also has national holidays which is a great opportunity to mingle with the locals and get a taste of real Thai life.
Chiang Rai overview
Chiang Rai is in the north of Thailand and quite a small, quiet place to visit. When on holiday it's a great town to explore along with the surrounding countryside. When travelling to this once capital of the Lanna Kingdom, enjoy a hill tribe tour, unique wild life and visit the Golden Triangle. This is where Thailand, Burma and Laos all meet. Chiang Rai is now very popular with holidaymakers from around the world who like to experience traditional and rural lifestyles. There's plenty going on in Chiang Rai with beautiful temples to contemplate in, fabulous markets, great restaurants and a vibrant night life. One of the most iconic landmarks is the amazing Clock Tower. It's situated right in the centre of town and was built to honour the King. At 7pm, 8pm and 9pm it comes to life with an impressive light and sound display. The White Temple or Wat Rong Khun is also a must-see. This temple is all white and looks like frosting off a cake. Chiang Rai may be a relatively small destination but has a huge heart, especially with the friendly people who make visitors more than welcome. There are hills to climb, long tail boat trips on the Mae Nam Kok to Tha Ton and bamboo rafting to enjoy. For the less energetic, relax at your hotel or outside a bar and just watch the world go by.
Getting around Chiang Rai
The Chiang Rai airport (CEI) is small and just over six miles (9.6 km) from the centre of town. There are plenty of songthaew, taxis and tuk tuks to take you to your accommodation. Do remember to ask for a price before getting on board and barter for a discount, great fun. Ask your driver if he or she would take you on a tour of Chiang Rai once you've settled in. This shouldn't cost too much and is a wonderful way to see what this jewel in the North has to offer visitors.