Blue Temple Chiang Rai

Backpacking Southeast Asia Thirteenth Stop: Chiang Rai, Thailand

Last Updated on February 26, 2021 by Tina

My backpacking series is almost done. We are now at my thirteenth stop which is Chiang Rai, Thailand. In my previous post, I wrote about my 2 days slow boat journey from Luang Prabang to Huay Xai. From there, we did a land border crossing from Laos to Thailand. We spent a night in Chiang Khong because there were no more buses to Chiang Rai when we arrived at the city center. The following day, me and my roommate in the hostel in Luang Prabang who did the slow boat journey with me parted ways as she’s traveling to Bangkok and I was traveling to Chiang Rai.

Day 1- Traveled by bus from Chiang Khong to Chiang Rai

The bus travel from Chiang Khong to Chiang Rai is two and a half hours. When I arrived in Chiang Rai, I walked to my hostel, Ti Amo Chiangrai Hostel. It was just a 5-10 minutes walk from the bus station.

After checking-in, I just stayed in the room. I was having a migraine so I decided to take a nap. In the evening, I went out to check the night market and to have dinner. The night market is also just a 5-10 minutes walk from my hostel. The night market has rows and rows of vendors selling different things such as clothes, souvenir items, and housewares. There is also a wide food court where you can try out different northern Thai dishes.

Ti Amo Chiang Rai
Khao Soi

Before going back to my hostel, I went to see Chiang Rai’s Golden Clock Tower. It is one of the most well-known attractions in Chiang Rai. At 7, 8, and 9 pm every day, it turns into a light and sound display for 10 minutes.

Day 2- Visited the White Temple and the Blue Temple

On the second day, I visited the Wat Rong Khun, known to tourists as the White Temple. It is a contemporary, and unconventional art exhibit owned by Chalermchai Kositpipat in the style of a Buddhist Temple. It was super crowded when I visited this temple. To get to the White Temple, you can get a tour package that includes a visit to this temple. Tour costs ฿ 1000 (~US$ 32.7). Another option is to charter a tuk-tuk that will take you here and the Black House. It costs ฿ 600 (~US$ 19.6). But if you don’t have that budget, you can always go with the cheapest option which is taking a bus to Mae Kachan. A one-way trip costs ฿ 20 (~US$ 0.65).

White Temple

From the White Temple, I went back to the city center. First I went to the office of Elephant Valley Thailand to book a half-day tour to the elephant sanctuary the following day. The tour cost was way out of my budget but it has always been my dream to see an elephant up-close so I didn’t mind spending on that.

After that, I walked to the post office to send some postcards. The next item in my itinerary that day was the Blue Temple. There is a bus from the bus station that goes to the temple and it only costs ฿ 20 (~US$ 0.65), but I didn’t want to walk for 10 minutes to go back to the bus station anymore. I know what I did was crazy, but I continued walking to get to the Blue Temple. It was 3 kilometers under the scorching sun and I even crossed the bridge across Kok River. I rewarded myself with an iced coffee along the way.

Blue Temple

The Wat Rong Suea Ten, known to tourists as Blue Temple is a Buddhist temple that stands out because of its sapphire blue color. In case you are wondering, I rode on a tuk-tuk on my way back to the city center.

Day 3- Visited an elephant sanctuary and traveled by bus to Chiang Mai

On the third day, I checked out early from the hostel after having breakfast. I was picked up by the Elephant Valley vehicle as I was going on a half-day tour to the elephant sanctuary. At the tour, we were given a brief introduction by our guide. She told us what they do in the elephant sanctuary, where the elephants in the sanctuary were rescued, and other information about elephants.

At the sanctuary, we were able to observe the elephants bathe in the river and play. We also experienced feeding them with bananas. The tour also comes with a free lunch. You can read more about my experience visiting an elephant sanctuary in this post.

Me feeding an elephant

After the half-day tour, we went back to the city center. At around 2 in the afternoon, I traveled by bus to Chiang Mai.


As mentioned in my previous posts about this backpacking trip, my challenge was to try to live on a US$ 20 per day budget. I brought US dollars for the trip and exchanged US$100 for Thailand’s official currency Thai Baht when I was in Bangkok. The conversion rate was ฿ 3060 for US$ 100.

Day 1

Breakfast- US$ 1.80 (฿ 55)

Coke- US$ 0.40 (฿ 12)

Bus fare to Chiang Rai- US$ 2.12 (฿65)

Prepaid load top-up- US$ 4.90 (฿ 150)

1 bunk bed in a female-only dormitory room in Ti Amo Chiangrai Central- US$ 6.54 (฿ 200)

Dinner (Khao Soi + Coke)- US$ 1.80 (฿ 55)

Postcards- US$ 1.31 (฿ 40)

Day 1 total expenses: US$ 18.87

Day 2

Bus fare to White Temple- US$ 0.65 (฿ 20)

Entrance fee to White Temple- US$ 1.63(฿ 50)

Lunch- US$ 2.12 (฿65)

Bus fare back to Chiang Rai bus station- US$ 0.65 (฿ 20)

1 bunk bed in a female-only dormitory room in Ti Amo Chiangrai Central- US$ 6.54 (฿ 200)

Stamps- US$ 0.98 (฿ 30)

Coffee- US$ 0.98 (฿ 30)

Tuktuk fare from Blue Temple to the night market- US$ 1.96 (฿ 60)

Dinner- US$ 2.35 (฿ 72)

Day 2 total expenses: US$ 17.86

Day 3

Elephant Sanctuary Tour Fee- US$ 52.29 (฿ 1600)

Snacks- US$ 1.37 (฿ 42)

Bus fare to Chiang Mai- US$ 5.88 (฿ 180)

Day 3 total expenses: US$ 59.54

I succeeded in the challenge for the first two days, and obviously, I didn’t for the third day because of the elephant sanctuary half-day tour. Watch out for my post about my next stop, Chiang Mai. It was my last stop during the backpacking trip before I went back to Bangkok and from there flew out to the Philippines.

If you have any questions regarding this trip, feel free to leave a comment. Subscribe to my blog if you don’t want to miss any of my posts. And please follow my Facebook page @iwentanyways and like my Instagram accounts @iwentanyways and @tnadeperalta for updates. I’ll also be posting my backpacking highlights for Chiang Rai in my IG @tnadeperalta. Check it out if you want to see more pictures from Chiang Rai.

Spread the love

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Verified by MonsterInsights