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5 Reasons to Fall in Love With Chiang Rai in Northern Thailand

Guest food and travel blogger lolleroll has done her fair share of travelling through Thailand – racking up an impressive 16 stamps in her passport in the last two years, alone. While Phuket, Koh Samui, Krabi, and Bangkok are well-trodden tourist trails, the nation’s northern reaches have so much more to offer, while still remaining a convenient connection away from Hong Kong. We learn what makes Chiang Rai so unique, and a travel destination that you’ll want to add to your bucket list.

Where is Chiang Rai?

Chiang Rai is further north than the better-known Chiang Mai, bordering Myanmar and Laos. It is similarly mountainous and home to beautiful scenery, quirky cafés, and unique cultures. The area is raw, very natural, and relatively underdeveloped in terms of tourist infrastructure, and that’s what made it so charming during my five-day stay. Paying a visit to the standard itinerary items like White Temple (Wat Rong Khun), Singha Park, and a tea plantation (Choui Feng) is a must, but here are some of the surprising things I grew to know and love about Chiang Rai.

1. Secret Garden Cafés

Wherever I am in the world, I’m almost always café-hopping and brunching my mornings away. But when I booked my flight to Chiang Rai, I was expecting more by way of authentic local eateries and fewer fancy coffee shops. Little did I know that Chiang Rai, like the rest of Thailand, is also very creative and hipster, with a great taste for coffee and aesthetics.

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