10 Chiang Rai Temples: White, Black & Blue Temple

The temples of Chiang Rai are famous for their beauty and their extraordinary style. Probably the most famous temple is the White Temple in Chiang Rai, a work of art that is unique in Thailand. But also a visit to the scary Black Temple and the beautiful Blue Temple is an unforgettable experience. In addition, there are many other holy sites and temple complexes inside the old town and the surrounding area which are fascinating and worth a visit. But what are the best temples in Chiang Rai, what are the insider tips and which ones should you definitely see?

In this travel guide, we have summarized the 10 best temples in Chiang Rai, including White Temple, Black Temple and Blue Temple. Also you will find lots of information and tips that certainly help you when sightseeing.

Good to know!

For those who are in Chiang Mai and do not have time to travel to Chiang Rai, a day trip to the White Temple, the Blue Temple and the Black Temple is still possible. Recommended tours can be found on GetyourGuide!

If you are looking for a lovely accommodation, we can recommend the fantastic Mora Boutique Hotel with amazing pool or the budget-friendly Hostel Baan Mai Kradan for backpackers.

A few days in Chiang Rai are a must. Besides the many temples, there are many other stunning things to do in Chiang Rai that you should definitely visit!


White Temple (Wat Rong Khun)

The White Temple of Chiang Rai is one of the most famous, but also one of the most extraordinary temples of Thailand. Completely white, it stands out from a typical Thai temple. But also the visit is a bit different than elsewhere. Through a one-way system, you walk from hell towards heaven and marvel at mystical figures. Inside there are many very bizarre murals, which probably you wouldn’t expect. The White Temple in Chiang Rai is a temple truly worth seeing, which should not be missed on any trip to northern Thailand.

Blue Temple (Wat Rong Seur Ten)

Another highlight is the Blue Temple in Chiang Rai. Decorated in blue and gold exterior, this sacred place is just unbelievable beautiful. Inside, too, the temple is completely in blue color and in the middle sits a huge white Buddha. You should definitely plan some time for a visit because there are some really lovely details to discover in the temple. The best time to go to the Blue Temple is in the early morning or preferably during the week because otherwise it can get packed here.

Black Temple (Black House, Baandam Museum)

The complete counterpart to all temples in Chiang Rai is the Black Temple, also called the Black House. This temple is an art project, which was opened to the public only a few years ago. During a temple tour, a kind of dark open-air museum awaits you. Many of the exhibits are made of animal remains, which is sometimes very macabre and often demands good nerves. Nevertheless, the Black Temple is fascinating and is part of every travel program for Chiang Rai.

Wat Phra Kaew

One of the most beautiful temples in Chiang Rai is certainly the Wat Phra Kaew. This temple complex is one of our absolute favorites of the city. The Lanna-style temple is located in the northern part of the Old Town, just 2 blocks from Wat Phra Singh. Famous is the temple due to the Emerald Buddha, which was discovered in 1436 under a plaster layer. Although the emerald Buddha is now in Wat Phra Kaew in Bangkok, nevertheless, this temple is still beautiful and absolutely worth seeing. There is also a museum in the area, which is worth visiting.

Wat Huay Pla Kang (9 Tier Temple)

Wat Hua Pla Kang is one of the most impressive temples in Chiang Rai. The main attraction of this temple complex, built in 2001, is a 100-meter high white Buddha, which can be seen far from the distance. The whole complex is really impressive, but the highlight is inside the huge Buddha. A lift takes you up to the Buddha’s head, where you can enjoy the great view over the Chiang Rai landscape from the eyes of the statue.

Wat Klang Wiang

Wat Klang Wiang is also one of the most beautiful temples in Chiang Rai. Its name means something like “the temple founded in the city center”. And indeed, when the city of Chiang Rai was built in 1874, a survey revealed that Wat Klang Wiang was right in the heart of the city. Today you can admire the finest ornaments, beautiful elephant figures and Buddha statues. Also interesting is the library called Ho Trai, built in the typical traditional Lanna style.

Wat Phra Singh

The Wat Phra Singh Temple is located in the north of the old city, just near the old bell tower, and is one of the oldest temples of Chiang Rai at about 700 years. The temple complex includes 2 buildings and a Buddha footprint. Wat Phra Singh, like the famous temple in Chaing Mai, is said to have once housed the Phra Singh statue, which is now exhibited in the Bangkok National Museum. An interesting temple that should not be missed on a temple tour in Chiang Rai.

Wat Jed Yod

Also, the wonderful temple Wat Jed Yod is located in the center of Chiang Rai, just south of the Golden Clock Tower. In this rather untouristed temple building one finds a lot of rest and relaxation. Particularly impressive is the large beautiful golden Buddha statue, which is located directly inside the main building. Here you can unwind in peace and enjoy the unique silence. One of the best temples to visit in Chiang Rai!

Wat Tham Phra

A temple off the beaten track is Wat Tham Phra. It is beautifully located on the banks of the Kok River and can be reached by bike or scooter. The Buddha Stone by the river marks the entrance to the temple. The interior of the temple is located in a cave where thousands of bats frolic and if you are lucky, you will see monks praying.

Wat Phra That Doi Chom Thong

Wat Phra That Doi Chom Thong is located on a small hill near the old town. It is one of the oldest temples of Chiang Rai. The temple complex has a very unique Lanna-style pagoda. Legend has it that the temple existed before the founding of Chiang Rai and relics of the Buddha are housed here.


Best Places to Stay in Chiang Rai

To explore the many beautiful Chiang Rai temples, it is best to book your accommodation in the city center. Most of the places to stay are cute hotels, small guesthouses or backpacker hostels. Here are our absolute top recommendations…it’s worth a look!

  • Charming Boutique Hotel: The Mora Hotel is a chic boutique hotel with a beautiful pool, really great rooms and an incredibly delicious breakfast.
  • Amazing Backpacker Hostel: The Stay In Chiangrai is a perfect and cheap choice for backpackers. The rooms are very clean, and the breakfast is delicious!
  • Small, Charming Guesthouse: The Baan Jaru is a super central guesthouse with nice, clean double rooms and free bikes for rent.

Find the best Accommodation & Hotel in Chiang Rai:


More about Chiang Rai & Thailand’s Temples:

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