Wat Rong Khun, White-Tempel-Chiang-Rai

Explore the Golden Triangle – A road trip to Northern Thailand – part 2 – Chiang Rai

I woke up, after a good night’s sleep in the middle of the rice fields, maybe the cabin wasn’t top-notch, but the surroundings were first-class.

Imsuk Homestay at Chiang Rai
Perhaps, not the most luxurious place I’ve stayed, but not the worst either. Even though the bed was hard and everything wobbled a bit, when I moved around, I slept well.

You usually associate Thailand with sun and tropical heat, but northern Thailand in late December can get cold at night. Down to 10- 15 degrees Celsius is not unusual.

It may not sound freezing compared to other places on the planet, like Siberia, but when used to the 30-40 degrees on Phuket 2000 kilometers further south, it is a little on the freezing side.

So, I felt a bit chilly, but I only had myself to blame because I had forgotten to put a sweater in the suitcase when packing.

But it was beautiful; with the cold mist lying like a thick blanket over the rice fields, and with a good cup of strong coffee in my hand, I quickly forgot about the cold and enjoyed the stunning view.

Amarin resort Chiang Rai

I planned to stay in Chiang Rai for some days, so I had to find something nice. I always try to find a place where I get good value for money, it is not always successful the first time, but then it is only to try again.

There are plenty of hotels and resorts in Chiang Rai, so there was a chance to get lucky and find a cozy place for an excellent price. After visiting a few not-so-cozy places, I got lucky and arrived at Amarin Resort.


Amarin resort Chiang Rai Garden view
Amarin resort Chiang Rai, spacious bungalows in a beautiful garden.


The price for one night was 1000 THB per night, which is excellent value for money.

The room was large; the bathroom was modern with a good water heater, which is essential. But, as I said, it can get cold, so a hot shower can make the day, or at least make you feel like taking a shower at all.


Amarin-resort-Chiang-Rai-room with garden view
A lovely large room with a garden view. Compared to the Star hotel in Bangkok, where I stayed the first night, it was a significant upgrade.


I stayed in Chiang Rai from Monday to Friday. During the weekend, I went to the Golden Triangle further north. The following Monday, I returned to Chiang Rai and stayed until Friday.

How I plan what I want to see. 

Now that I had found an excellent place to stay, I had to plan what sights I wanted to visit in Chiang Rai. I use a combination of Google search and Google maps to plan where I want to go.

I typically start by searching for “Top attractions in [city name] ” in this case, I searched for “Top attractions in Chiang Rai” and got a lot of results.

Then, I will visit most of the sites on the first two-three pages of search results and list what looks like exciting places to visit. Then, when I have a list of “candidates,” I go over to google maps to look up the places to read reviews and look at more pictures.

Once I’ve decided where I want to visit, I use google maps to plan the trip to make sure I find the most exciting route to where i want to go.

Often I “test drive” the route in Google street view to see what I can expect and check photo opportunities. Google satellite and street view are good tools when planning a trip.

To make it useful, I have made one list of the places I visited during the two weeks in Chiang Rai. In addition, I have made a separate article about my weekend trip to the Golden Triangle.

Click here to see the list of the places I visited when I was I, Chiang Rai…