Wait, Chiang Rai has a beach? Well, Chiang Rai Beach isn’t your typical Thai beach. Here, you won’t find Longtail boats, coconut lined, white sandy shores or turquoise water. Truth be told, this spot isn’t even really a beach, it’s simply a riverside bathing spot that is popular among locals and tourists visiting Chiang Rai. Well, you are in the mountains!
Still, if you’re looking for a place to cool off in the hotter months, or if you’d like to find a spot in Chiang Rai to unwind, then Chiang Rai Beach might just be your ticket.
Book Your Trip To Chiang Rai
Book Cheap Flights
Still in the planning stage of your trip? Currently, the best and easiest way to find cheap flights are to use Momondo and Skyscanner. Between the two, you’ll be guaranteed to always find the cheapest flight, anywhere in the world.
Book Your Accommodation
Whether you’re looking for hostels, hotels, guest houses, or resorts between Booking.com and Agoda, you’ll always get the best deals. I always search using the map feature to find accommodation in the best locations. You can also search via the map system, which is great if you’re looking for a place near Chiang Rai Beach.
Sometimes, if I want to stay in a place a little longer, I’ll also use Airbnb.
Book Tours and Transport
You already know that I prefer independent travel. In saying that, sometimes the best and cheapest way to get things done is to just book a tour or package. For Thailand, I always use Klook and Viator. To find cheaper transport in Thailand like buses, trains, and ferries, you can also check 12GoAsia.
Don’t Forget Adventure Travel Insurance
If you’re reading this blog then you’re more likely to be seeking adventures over poolside sips. After having my entire bag stolen in Barcelona (including camera gear) I’ve sworn to always have travel insurance. My two favorite options for adventure travelers are SafetyWing and World Nomads. Click here to read the comparison between the two.
Where is Chiang Rai Beach?
Chiang Rai Beach is located on the river banks of the Kok River, a little out of town near the Queen Sikrit Park.
To get here, it requires an approximately 15-minute ride or drive from the center of Chiang Rai.
You can either ride here yourself if you’ve rented a scooter, or, alternatively, take a Tuk Tuk or Songthaew. The cost of getting here from the Chiang Rai city center is roughly 50 Baht.
Tip: Motorbike rental price in Chiang Rai: 150 -200 Baht per day. If you stay at Grace Hostel, the owner can arrange a motorbike for you. This hostel is also a great bet, and located much closer to the Chiang Rai River Beach.
Most exciting way to get to Chiang Rai: Boat Cruise from Chiang Mai to Chiang Rai
What to Expect at Chiang Rai Beach
Like I mentioned, Chiang Rai Beach isn’t your typical “beach” in Thailand. However, funnily enough, you’ll still find those quintessential Thai tourism cliches setup on the shore including massage huts and restaurants!
There are tall and jagged rock formations and a Buddha statue resting on a rock on the other side of the river bank. The entire scene is relaxing and beautiful. Preferring nature to the hustle and bustle of city life (even tame Chiang Rai), I found this spot to be my favorite place to spend time in the city.
When I visited Chiang Rai Beach on the first occasion, it was relatively quiet and secluded. I noticed that most of the small businesses there weren’t operating, which meant that I had the entire “beach” or riverbank, to myself.
On the following visits, however, I met other backpackers and travelers who had come down in the early afternoon to relax and cool off in the fresh flowing river water. The water flow was calm enough to swim in, although you’d need to be careful if there’s been a downpour.
Kayaking Trip Down the Kok River: One of the best river experiences in Chiang Rai, book here.
Wat Tham Phra (Buddha Cave Temple)
On the opposite side of Chiang Rai Beach, you’ll find a small Buddha Cave Temple known as Wat Tham Phra. The cave itself has a fairly small cavern, with nothing much more than a single Buddha statue inside.
There are also a few cheeky monkeys hanging about here, so watch your belongings!
RELATED: Hiking the Monks Trail in Chiang Mai
Where to Stay – Accommodation Guide
My Chiang Mai Accommodation: Grace Hostel
Grace Hostel was actually one of my favorite hostels in Northern Thailand. The free breakfast is great. Although it’s located a little outside of the town center, the friendly owner can drive you to the markets or bus station for free. This hostel is also the closest you’ll find to Chiang Rai Beach Thailand, only a 20-minute walk away.
Highly Reviewed Guest House: SuanTung Guest House
This is one of the highest-rated budget guest houses in Chiang Rai. It’s super central, only a few minutes walk to the night market and the clocktower and the bus station.
Cheapest Dorm in Chiang Rai: Bar 184 Party Hostel
Bar 184 has dorm rooms for under $5 a night, which is the cheapest you’ll find in Chiang Rai. If you’re after a party vibe at a low price, this will be the place for you. These guys also arrange motorbikes if you want one to ride to Mae Sai waterfall.
I hope that you found this article useful in planning your trip to Chiang Rai. If you’ve already visited Chiang Rai Beach and you’re looking for more things to do in Chiang Rai, don’t miss some of the other highlights below. For waterfalls, definitely check out Huay Kaew Waterfall!