Family Friendly Chiang Rai Thailand And A Border Run

Family Friendly Chiang Rai

Leave it to us to plan a 5-day road trip in Thailand.  Yep, we love exploring in a car so we rented one from Avis Thailand and hit the road.  Of course we had a great reason for our road trip, as it was time for our border run.  We needed to head up to Laos or Myanmar (formerly Burma) to exit Thailand and upon re-entry, we would activate our next Thai Visa.

We opted for a quick in/out at the Myanmar border at Mae Sai, but we wanted to actually spend a couple of nights in Chiang Rai, as there were some things to see there.  Chiang Rai is located about 200km north of Chiang Mai and about 80 km south of the Myanmar border.  Yes, it is quick and easy to get there via public transportation, but then we would be limited to explore only the well beaten path, or take tours to see what we wanted to see.  Come on along and I will share some of our Family Friendly Finds.

Golden Triangle

Family Friendly Chiang Rai Thailand – Things To Do

When staying in Chiang Rai or just passing through, there are some things we think are worth visiting.  We also share a few places on your way to the Mae Sai border and beyond as well.

I promise, we will share a bit more detail about these locations in upcoming posts, but thought you would like a Family Friendly Chiang Rai summary post.

The White Temple – Wat Rong Khun  (Free)
The White Temple - Wat Rong Khun Chiang Rai

I had seen photos of The White Temple years ago and just knew we had to stop and check it out.  It was beautiful and I really think it is worth a visit.  There are several buildings on the property and some very beautiful and strange art.  You won’t be disappointed.  It is located just south of Chiang Rai city, off of the main highway.

 The Black House – Baan Dam (Free)
The Black House - Baan Dam Chiang Rai

The Black House was an odd one and we only heard about it from other travelers 2 days prior.  Located on the north of the city, we decided to stop by and check it out on our way to the Myanmar border.  It was an interesting stop and a bit strange for my liking.  It is worth a visit, especially if you visit the White Temple too.  There are several buildings on this estate and even some snakes you can view.

The owners of Homestay Chiang Rai suggested that we also visit the Caves of Mae Sai (Monkey Cave), but on this trip we skipped it.  We were focused on getting our border crossing complete and then venturing over to the Golden Triangle after lunch.

Border Run!
Myanmar Thailand Border Run

Yep we crossed the border and it was quick and easy.  We were in Myanmar about 10 minutes in total and then back across the border into Thailand.

Myanmar Thailand Border Run (1)

Just a couple of days prior, there were a series of storms that came through the area.  This caused devastating flooding in the border town in Myanmar, thus it was really not a possibility for us to explore that day.  Everything was still closed as they were cleaning up the mud.  You could see it rose well above the first floor doors almost to the second floor.

Golden Triangle
Golden Triangle

 Before heading back to Chiang Rai, we decided to complete a loop and head over to the Golden Triangle.  This is the area where 3 countries meet, Thailand, Myanmar and Laos.  You can easily hop on a long-tail tour boat and ride into Laos, but we just explored the area.  There isn’t loads to see here, but it was cool visiting and seeing what the area had to offer.  We did like the big golden Buddha and the Wat that was in town.

It was a fairly quick drive (90 min) back into Chiang Rai and into the pool at Homestay Chiang Rai.

Family Friendly Chiang Rai – Places To Stay

We stayed at Homestay Chiang Rai and it was just what we needed.  Toony & Phaet are the owners and run a wonderful place.  We had the family room on the second floor with a king bed and bunk beds for the kids.  We had an incredible view of the rice fields, mountains and sunset from our balcony.  We spent loads of time splashing around their pool and felt like we were home.

Homestay Chiang Rai Collage

I have to admit we enjoyed out time so much there, we didn’t even head into town at night for dinner.  Why bother, when they have absolutely fantastic food made to order for us in their restaurant.  We ate dinner and breakfast with them both days.  The prices are a bit high for Thailand, about $3 – $6 per entrée, but it was so delicious.  We had lunch out, as we were exploring and taking care of our visa run.

Homestay Chiang Rai is a few kilometers out of the city center, but they do offer free transport into town a couple of times a day.  So this is a great option for families to have some space and quiet in the evenings, and be able to explore during the day.  They also offer several tours and even provided us with maps and places to see to create our own tour.

Some other family friendly accommodations in the city:


What to do in Chiang Mai!

We also have a very all inclusive list of Things to do in Chiang Mai with kids or without.  This also includes our expenses living in Chiang Mai, where to eat and places to stay in Chiang Mai.
Things to do in Chiang Mai, a Family Friendly Chiang Mai Guide

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About Heidi

Heidi has a passion for travel and has been exploring the world with her husband and 2 kids, since August 2012. She's visited more than 50 countries and loves to write about their family adventures, mishaps and costs. She has been an inspiration to others wanting to live their dreams. Her travel tips, planning posts, cost breakdowns, accommodation, and product reviews are also very popular. Her current home base is in Spain. Any post on this site may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase, there is no extra cost for you and we may receive a commission.

4 thoughts on “Family Friendly Chiang Rai Thailand And A Border Run

  1. Hey Heidi,
    Thanks a lot for your reply. That helps a lot. We’ll try that with the Foreigner Office. It’s detinitely worth a try. Oh, the world is so small. You know the Baan Thai gang. Just saw the pictures you posted from Yee Peng and we’ve seen the others sitting behind you 🙂
    Would be great to catch up with you. If you’ve got time how does next week sound?
    We plan to stay in Chiang Mai for another couple of weeks or more, if we can extend our visa.
    Cheers from the other side of town,

    • You bet Reni! We would love to meet up. Yes, we all went to Yee Peng together yesterday. Loved it! I’ll send you an email. 🙂

  2. I just stumbled upon your blog post via Twitter. Love your blog and I will definitely spend more time reading on it. My husband and I are in Chinag Mai at the moment and we plan to visit the White Temple in Chiang Rai next month. Looking forward to it. It looks so amazing on the photos.
    I’ve got a question about the visa run. On what visa were you travelling? We heard that it got more difficult to do a visa run. It sounded easy to get the visa in your post. We have a 1 month tourist visa and would like to stay a few more weeks longer.
    Thanks & safe travels,
    Reni (Swiss Nomads)

    • Hey there Reni. I saw a photo of you guys on FB with the Baan Thai gang (Sabrina, GK, Jeremy etc). We are just around the corner from them. We have a triple entry tourist visa. So 3 x 60 days visas. Ours was absolutely painless. We checked out of Thailand, then Checked in/out in Myanmar. Paid our 500b each and walked across the street and returned into Thailand. That activated our next visa, for our next 60 days. If you are here on the standard 30 day tourist visa, they are a bit more strict these days (mainly if used multiple times). My guess is that you should be fine, if it is your first exit and reentry. Another option you may have is to go to the foreigners office and request and extension (near airport somewhere). I am not sure if they grant extensions for the 30 day visa, but worth checking out and would save you a trip. We did like the White Temple, a bit strange. I still need to write about that. So much to see in this country! 🙂 Hope to meet up with you sometime Reni.

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