Planning a holiday to start 2019 on a relaxing note? While everyone is going on about “New Year, new me”, why not challenge yourself by travelling to somewhere you’ve never been to like Chiang Rai? Here are reasons why you should visit this city in Northern Thailand when you’re planning your next vacay.
Enjoy scenic mountaintop views
If you love trekking, be sure to visit Phu Chi Fa Forest Park. Located about 3.5 hours from Chiang Rai by bus (300 baht or about $12 for a round-trip), the place is a fave among locals and tourists alike. Follow the trail and be rewarded with a breathtaking view of the horizon. There are three magical moments to witness—the sunrise, civil twilight and nautical twilight, so be sure to check the timings for those moments before you start your journey. Plus, remember to go there with a fully-charged phone, because who knows how many photos you’ll be snapping when you’re there?
Witness a wash of colours at the Balloon Fiesta
Fancy a colourful scene that would look perfect on your Instagram feed? You’ll love the Singha Park Balloon Fiesta. The festival sees numerous hot air balloons in various shapes and sizes dotting the skyline like a scene out of a movie. It will take place from February 13 to 17 next year, so book your flight to coincide with it. Can’t take leave during that period but would love to ride a hot air balloon? You can book a package in advance via Balloon Chiang Rai.
Be awed by majestic temples
Love architecture? Then you need to visit one (or more) of the many enchanting temples in Chiang Rai. A favourite is Wat Rong Khun, better known as White Temple among tourists, which was built by a Thai visual artist. The building boasts intricate designs and was made with plaster containing glass, so don’t be surprised to see it gleaming in the sunlight even without the Kira Kira app. We suggest going there when the weather is sunny to see it in full splendour. The entrance fee is just 50 baht (about $2) for tourists, so you definitely won’t bust your budget.
Zen out at a tea plantation
If you think you’re already surrounded by greenery just by living in Singapore, wait till you visit a tea plantation in Chiang Rai. The vast green land will make you feel tranquil, even without actually drinking any tea. Take a mini bus, which will set you back 25 baht (about $1) to check out the tea plantations in Mae Salong, about an hour away from Chiang Rai. If you have motion sickness, be warned that the roads can get pretty twisty. Once you’re done exploring the plantation, head to one of the tea houses to buy some local tea as a souvenir for family and friends.
Indulge in local delights
When in Chiang Rai, eat as the locals do. If you love laksa, you might enjoy the curry noodles, Khao Soi. Love spicy food? Try Nam Prik Ong, a chilli dip made of dried chillis, pork and tomatoes that’s usually served with steamed or blanched vegetables. It will definitely give you a kick!
Want to save on your flight so you can spend more on food and sightseeing? Good news, AirAsia is having a promotion for members of BIG, AirAsia’s loyalty programme. Sign up as a BIG member and book from now till January 6, 2019 to enjoy discounted all-in one-way fares from just $69. This offer is valid for travels between January 31 and June 30, 2019.
Brought to you by AirAsia.