Wondering where are the best photo spots in Chiang Rai? You are in the right place! I will help you discover the most beautiful places in Chiang Rai and make sure you get some wonderful postcards from your trip.
Chiang Rai is a city in Northern Thailand and it borders Laos and Myanmar. It hosts two of the most beautiful and unique temples in Thailand and has a lot of interesting attractions. Which makes it a perfect destination for photography lovers.
My guide of the best photo spots in Chiang Rai is going to ensure that you don’t miss a single photo opportunity during your visit! You will find the best time to visit these places, what equipment to use and many more photography tips.
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Best photo spots in Chiang Rai
Without a doubt, White Temple is the best photo spot in Chiang Rai and maybe even the entire Thailand. So what are some things that you should know before visiting White Temple?
As the name suggests, this temple is entirely white and the color signifies the purity of the Buddha. White Temple is one of the top sights in Chiang Rai and attracts many visitors, so be prepared for crowds and stay patient.
Right after the entrance, you will notice a pond on the left side of the temple and that is a great photo spot to avoid the crowds. You should take some photos in front of the temple and on the bridge as well.
White Temple is located further away from the city center, so the best way to get there is to order a grab or jump on a tuk-tuk. You can always join a tour or try to catch songthaew, but the price difference with a taxi is not very big.
The entrance fee is 50 Baht and it is open daily from 8 am to 6 pm. And you might be thinking that coming at the opening time is the best idea, but that is not the case. It is packed at 8 am already, so the best time to visit White Temple is right before it closes. You can come around 5 pm, giving you enough time to visit the temple and take photos.
Extra tip! Don’t miss the golden building next to the exit. It is a public toilet, but it is another beautiful attraction within the complex.
And just like the White Temple, Blue Temple is another important attraction and one of the most Instagrammable places in Chiang Rai. The blue tones and golden details make it picture-perfect and you don’t want to miss it when visiting Chiang Rai.
The name ‘Rong Suea Ten’ in Thai, translates as ‘house of the dancing tiger’ because it was surrounded by wildlife and tigers in particular. Another interesting fact is that this temple was designed by the student of the artist who built the temple. Quite a competition, huh?
Apart from capturing the main temple, you want to try out different angles and photograph other parts of the temple, like the fountain and sculpture on the left side of the entrance. Inside is another iconic view that you don’t want to miss, however, a wide-angle lens is a must.
It is open from 7 am to 8 pm and there is no entrance fee. The best time to visit is around the opening time as it quickly gets busy later in the day.
Baan Dam Museum
Baan Dam Museum is one of a kind and you won’t find anything similar in other places in Thailand, so it is another important place to visit in Chiang Rai. Also, it is often referred to as the Black Temple and it dominates the main attractions in Chiang Rai together with the Blue and White Temple.
While the best photo spots are located outside of the temple, make sure you visit the indoor area once you are done with your photos. Also, it has a large garden you don’t want to miss.
It is located 30 minute drive away from central Chiang Rai and there is an 80 Baht entrance fee. It is open from 9 am to 5 pm and I suggest you visit it later in the afternoon. You can easily combine it with White Temple.
If you are looking for the coolest cafes in Chiang Rai, Lalitta Café should be your number one choice. It might look like you are in the middle of the jungle when you are in the urban area of Chiang Rai.
The cafe’s main attraction is the stunning waterfall, but it has many green alleys wrapped with flowers and covered with a mist effect. While the cafe itself offers a unique wooden setting, the main square is shielded with colorful umbrellas. I believe you have a pretty nice picture painted in your head right now and trust me, you won’t be disappointed once you see it with your own eyes.
Even though there are tourist groups that stop by, it is still considered a hidden gem of Chiang Rai, and took me quite a while to find it. And despite the groups, with some patience, you can find the place completely empty sooner or later.
There is an entrance fee and it costs 60 Baht to get inside, however, you can keep the ticket and get it discounted from your order. It is a smart way to make people purchase drinks, however, I have to say that the food and coffee part didn’t impress me much.
Wat Huay Pla Kang
And not far from Lalitta Café, you will find one of the most beautiful temples in Chiang Rai – Wat Huay Pla Kang. It is a big complex hosting a giant female Buddha overlooking Chiang Rai and is known for its unique architecture, built in the Chinese-Lanna style.
You can easily spend a couple of hours around Wat Huay Pla Kang. First, you should all the way up to the massive Buddha and take a lot of photos as you go, because right on the stairs next to the white dragon, you will find one of the best photo spots in Chiang Rai. Don’t forget to visit the Chinese pagoda with the wooden statue and miniature white temple as it is very pretty inside as well.
Entrance to the temple is free, however, you can use the lift (40 Baht) or little train (100 Baht) to get up to the Buddha and avoid walking. Once again, I don’t recommend that unless strictly necessary.
It opens at 7 am and it is the best time to visit Wat Huay Pla Kang. Since it is built on a massive open-air land, it gets very hot and the lights are harsh, especially on a sunny day.
Wat Phra Kaew
Wat Phra Kaew is another little treasure tucked away in central Chiang Rai. It is not as popular are other temples mentioned in this article, but it is still one of the Insta-worthy places in Chiang Rai, Thailand.
The main photo spot is right in front of the temple and you can create a unique postcard view as it is surrounded by plants.
Considering the location of the temple, you don’t need to worry about harsh lights, so you can take your photos any time of the day. Also, there are a few tours during the first part of the day, but it never really gets too crowded.
If you are staying in central Chiang Rai, you are probably not far from this beautiful place, so make sure you add it to your itinerary. Also, it is not going to take you a long time to discover Wat Phra Kaew.
There is no entrance fee and it is open from 7 am to 6 pm.
Right in the heart of Chiang Rai, you will find the Clock Tower and you cannot leave this city without seeing it. If you are planning to take a photo with it, make sure you bring your zoom lens and head back to Jetyod Road.
From this side, you can create some unique and beautiful photos from Chiang Rai. Either way, if you want to take a photo right in the square, you lose a bit of magic and have to deal with a lot of cars surrounding the Clock Tower.
There is a 5-minute light and sound display at this golden clock tower every night at 7 pm, 8 pm., and 9 pm. However, if you plan to visit Clock Tower during the first part of the day, combine it with the last photo spot of Chiang Rai and enjoy a snack or a meal at Fika.
Wat Ming Muang
This is another hidden gem in Chiang Rai and it can be easily added to your Chiang Rai itinerary as it is located in the old town. In a couple of hours, you can visit Wat Phra Kaew. Wat Ming Muang, Clock Tower, and Fika.
It dates back to 1262 and offers some of the best photo spots in Chiang Rai. Starting from the arch, as soon as you enter the temple. Also, pay attention to the status around the temples as you might find something unique. And then at the end of your visit, make sure you see the temple from the inside as well.
The temple is open from 8 am to 5 pm and there is no entrance fee.
Just a reminder! Always wear modest clothes when visiting temples in Thailand. The best is to keep your shoulders and knees covered.
Choui Fong Tea
Choui Fong Tea is a tea plantation located outside of Chiang Rai and a great place to visit during your time in Northern Thailand. Unfortunately, there are no tours available at the plantation for now, but you can sit down at the cafe, buy some local products and wander around for some immersive views. And take some epic photos on your way!
There is no entrance fee, however, the prices in the cafe are rather high. But considering the location and high quality of products, it makes sense. After all, it is one of the most beautiful places in Chiang Rai.
Are you planning to visit the famous Golden Triangle? If so, this is a perfect stop on your way from Chiang Rai. If not, it is a rather long drive to get there, so plan a relaxing afternoon at the Choui Fong Tea.
And Fika ends the list of the most Instagrammable places in Chiang Rai. This pink flower paradise is perfect for those looking where to take photos in Chiang Rai. The coolest table is right in front of the entrance and is covered with a flower-made arch.
I have to say that I wanted to have breakfast at Fika, but somehow it was still closed at 9 am. The waiter arrived at 10 am and was not in a rush to open it, but even when he did, most of the things were not available on the menu. I would suggest planning a late breakfast or afternoon stop later in the day.
Equipment suggested for the best photo spots in Chiang Rai
- Nikon D850 FX-Format Digital SLR
- Nikon Nikkor AF-S 14-24 mm f/2.8G ED
- Nikon AF-S Nikkor 35mm f/1.4G
- Nikon AF Nikkor 50mm f/1.4D
- Tamron SP 70 – 200 mm f/2.8 di VC G2
Further reading for the best photo spots in Chiang Rai
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- When is The Best Time to Visit Phuket, Thailand + Monthly Breakdown
- 10 Best Photo Spots in Phuket, Thailand You Can’t Miss
Other useful tips for visiting Thailand
🏠 Need a place to stay? Browse Booking or Agoda
💃 How about fun experiences? GetYourGuide, Viator, and Klook have it all
🚗 Considering renting a car in Thailand? Use Rentalcars
🚂 If you need transfers, bus or train tickets, check 12Go
🔒 Don’t forget about travel insurance from HeyMondo
This is the end of the best photo spots in Chiang Rai and I’m sure that after reading this article you are impatient to get to Chiang Rai and create some unforgettable postcards. I believe these photography tips will help you take epic photos and find the locations of the best photo spots in Chiang Rai.
I would love to hear your thoughts, so if you have any feedback or additional tips, leave a comment below. Also, check out my Instagram for regular travel videos and travel inspiration. Or explore other destinations on this travel blog.