Lay of the Land
Previously known for its reputation as a leading opium trade area, Chiang Rai has recently emerged as a destination due to its unspoiled natural beauty and excellent elephant camps. Often overlooked for the nearby popular Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai feels vastly different, attracting visitors with its distinct, laid-back personality and diverse opportunities for exploration.
Located in the northern region of Thailand, the large province stretches over 1,000 miles. Unlike Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai’s downtown area offers few attractions, as most of the worthwhile sites are found outside of the vicinity. Chief among them is the legendary Golden Triangle, where Laos, Myanmar and Chiang Rai converge. This area boasts a number of temples and markets.
The main draw to the region, however, are the elephant experiences that allow visitors to meet and interact with majestic animals. (Both the Four Seasons and Anantara offer this activity).
Recommended Length of Stay
These elephant experiences warrant stays of at least two nights.