Wat Rong Khun is also known as the White Temple. Whereas most temples visited by tourists have a history going back many centuries, this magnificent place of worship was built only recently. It is the realization of a dream for Thailands noted artist, Mr Chalermchai Kositpipat, who designed and is supervising the construction of this beautiful white temple and its many statues of figures based on religious beliefs. The construction started in 1998 and is expected to be completed in 2008. In addition, there is a gallery nearby exhibiting his paintings. To get there from the city of Chiang Rai, drive north along Asia Highway.
Wat Phra Kaeo
Wat Phra Kaeo, which is located on Trairat Road on the northwest side of town, is the best known of the northern temples. It once housed the Emerald Buddha, Thailands most important Buddha statue which was discovered in 1444. The statue had been moved by various state rulers to be placed in their capitals including Lampang, Chiang Rai and Vientiane before finally being enshrined in Bangkok's royal Wat Phra Kaeo. There is now a green jade replica of the image on display. The temple also houses a 700-year bronze statue of Phra Chao Lan Thong, which is housed in the Chiang Saen style ubosot.
Doi Mae Salong
The village became well known for its enchanting scenery and tranquil atmosphere. Today it is a major tourist attraction with its small-town ambience, delicious native Chinese dishes, small hotels and guesthouses catering to visitors and tea, coffee and fruit tree plantations. The scenery is especially picturesque in December and January when sakuras are in full bloom. Scattered with many hill tribe villages, Doi Mae Salong is ideal for trekking.
Doi Tung is located in Mae Fa Luang District and can be reached by taking Highway No.110 for about 48 kilometers and turning left onto Highway No. 1149, an asphalt road leading directly to Doi Tung. The route winds through beautiful scenery with many interesting sites including the Doi Tung Palace (Pra Tamnak Doi tung), the Mae Fa Luang Garden and Akha and Muser tribal villages. IN addition to scenic lookouts, the most notable attraction is the Phra That Doi Tung Holy Relic, an old religious site atop the mountain.
The main attraction for visitors to Phra Tamnak Doi Tung is 'Suan Mae Fa Luang', the beautiful landscaped gardens filled with hundreds of different kinds of plants and flowers, named in honor of the Princess Mother and the Doi Tung Development Project established by the late Princess Mother in 1987.
It is recorded that an ancient community was founded in the north of Chiang Rai Province more than 2000 years ago. This ancient town was named Yonok Nak Phan. According to legend, King Singhanawat founded the town, and the Nagas (mythical serpents) helped dig the town’s moat. Later, Yonok Nak Phan faced its unfortunate destiny; it collapsed and turned into a swamp. According to the geological evidence, it is believed that the town’s destruction was caused by an earthquake which turned it into present-day Chiang Saen Lake.
The Kok River is one of the most scenic attractions in Chiang Rai. It runs from Thathon in northern Chiang Mai to Chiang Rai City and then flows on to meet the Maekhong River at Chiang Khong. From Baan Thathon boats, rafts and treks leave daily venturing into the surrounding mountains where the jungle dips into the river's cool waters. A long-tailed boat can be hired to ferry visitors up and down the river. Stops can be made at Akha or Iko, Lisu and Karen hill tribe villages. Alternatively stops can be made at the Buddha cave, a temple within a cavern; an elephant camp, for trekking; a hot spring; and a riverside Lahu village. Trips range from 300 bahts to 700 bahts ($7-$16), depending on the number of stops made. The ferry pier is beyond the bridge across from the Dusit Island Resort.
Mae Sai which is about 62 kilometers from the provincial seat on Highway No. 110 is Thailand's northern-most district. Mae Sai borders on Myanmar's Tha Khi Lek marked by the Mae Sai River with a bridge spanning both sides. Foreign visitors are allowed to cross over to Tha Khi Lek market by presenting their passports and paying a fee at the Mae Sai immigration checkpoint. In addition, there are tour services to Chiang Tung in Myanmar, which is approximately 160 kilometers north by road.