Chiang Rai is a town in Northern Thailand and commercial centre of the Golden Triangle, border of Thailand, Myanmar and Laos.
The town and the surrounding Chiang Rai province is a great ‘off the beaten track’ destination for travellers (gay or straight) who want to explore the beautiful mountainous north of Thailand and its many attractions including the ruins of ancient Lanna Kingdom, Buddhist shrines and experience the unique local culture.
Thai Airways fly from Bangkok to Chiang Rai International Airport. The flight time is about one hour. Chiang Rai Airport is located 8 km from the town centre. Alternatively, there is a bus service from and to Bangkok. The journey time is 12 hours.
Travellers in Chiang Mai can take a bus to Chiang Rai. The journey time is just over 3 hours.
Many of the best sights and attractions are outside of the town. Virtually all hotels will offer ‘all private’ or shared tours or the area. Alternatively, consider renting a car (with or without your own driver).
Motorcycles are available to rent but we suggest that this option is only suitable for the most experienced riders due to the risk of accident or injury.
The former center of the world’s opium trade, intersection of three countries and two rivers. It is the meeting point for Laos, Myanmar and Thailand and where the Mekong meets the Ruak River. The Hall of Opium is worth visiting.
Extraordinary temple decorated in pure white and mirror accents, designed by artist Chaloemchai Khositphiphat. Highly Recommended. Located about 13km from Chiang Rai.
Temple housing what is believed to be one of the oldest Holy Relics in Thailand. The temple is believed to have been built before Chiang Rai.
Beautiful Royal Villa that features a unique combination of Swiss and Lanna architectural styles located on a mountain overlooking surrounding hills and valleys. The Villa was home to the mother of King Bhumibol and is now open to the public. The equally stunning Mae Fah Luang Garden is one of the most impressive in Thailand. Highly Recommended.
A place for souvenirs and local food and products, with free cultural performances.
Beautiful park with two lakes and halls containing a royal collection of Lanna craftsmanship.
Border city, 61km north of Chiang Rai where tourists with passports can cross into Myanmar to shop in the exotic markets for goods from China and Burma.
Once a major city of the Lanna kingdom, Chiang Sean is now a historical town with rich culture of fascinating temples, stupas and Buddha images. The town’s museum is home to Lanna Thai artifacts and relics of the past. Located 30 km from Chiang Rai.
Due to its geographic location, Chiang Rai provides for a quiet, laid-back atmosphere. Many picturesque resorts here are set on the mountains or by the river. We list those that have proven popular with gay travelers.
221/2 Moo 20, Kwaewai Road, Robwieng | map
8.6 Very Good based on 320 Agoda reviews
Why this hotel: Riverside location. Fabulous views. Close to Night Market.
The relatively new stylish riverside Le Meridien Chiang Rai offers spacious, luxurious rooms with fantastic views. The hotel is well-located, within 20 minutes walk to the Night Market and Wat Phra Kaew temple.
Le Meridien features an outdoor pool, a restaurant, free WiFi and other excellent facilities. The friendly staff at the concierge are happy to organise day trips by boat or car to all the important sites.
124/15 Moo 21, Kohloy Road, Mae Kok River | map
8.3 Very Good based on 214 Agoda reviews
Why this hotel: Beautiful surroundings. Great facilities & location.
Located directly on Mae Kok River, The beautiful Legend Chiang Rai features Thai Lanna architecture and spacious, modern rooms and villas, some with private jacuzzi. Hotel guests have the choice of three restaurants, the use of of an infinity pool, gym and spa with open-air treatment rooms. WiFi is available for a charge.
Tours of nearby attractions can be arranged and bike rental is also available. The Legend also offers shuttle service to/from Chiang Rai airport (a 20-minute drive).
Gay golfers will enjoy a round at the excellent Mae Kok Golf Club – less than 2km from the resort.
160 Moo 14, Sanambin Road | map
7.9 Good based on 1811 Agoda reviews
Why this hotel: Thai style bungalows. Spacious rooms. Excellent location.
Charming, family-run hotel that will make your stay in Chiang Rai feel like home. Located close to the airport and short distances from major tourist attractions such as the Golden Triangle and various temples.
Laluna features modern Thai style bungalows, a fine restaurant, an outdoor swimming pool, free WiFi and gay-friendly staff.
388/1 Moo 4, Pha Sang, Mae Chan | map
8.6 Very Good based on 327 Agoda reviews
Why this hotel: Quiet location. Fantastic views. Great value.
Katiliya Mountain Resort & Spa sits on top of a hill, so you are surrounded by nature and can enjoy many popular activities including trekking, elephant riding and mountain biking.
Amenities include LCD TVs with satellite channels and DVD/CD players, minibars, safes, free WiFi.
Rooms feature balconies with lake, mountain or garden views and have separate living rooms with refrigerators, coffee/tea makers, and complimentary bottled water.
569 Moo 1, Chiang Saen, Golden Triangle | map
8.3 Very Good based on 493 Agoda reviews
Why this hotel: Near Golden Triangle. Quiet area. Riverfront location.
An ideal choice if you who wish to stay away from the city noise, Serene at Chiang Rai is a small hotel on the riverside in the Golden Triangle, about 60 km from Chiang Rai.
All 42 Rooms feature balconies with either river or city views. Other facilities include an outdoor swimming pool, a restaurant, and free WiFi.
267 Moo 9, Chiang Saen, Golden Triangle | map
8 Good based on 350 Agoda reviews
Why this hotel: Riverfront location. Near The Golden Triangle. Great value.
Located 15 minutes from the Golden Triangle, and a 5-minute walk to the historical city ruins of Chiang Saen, Siam Triangle Hotel offers fantastic riverside views and cozy accommodation.
Facilities include an outdoor pool, a health club, a spa tub, a restaurant and free WiFi. Great value for money and ideal location.
292/13 Moo 13, Robwiang | map
8 Good based on 506 Agoda reviews
Why this hotel: Modern design. Near city centre. Excellent value.
Contemporary boutique resort, located a few minutes from the airport and just outside of Chiang Rai city centre. The Mantrini combines traditional Lanna style with modern design.
The rooms have a minimalist décor and feature a range of services and modern amenities. Free shuttle to the night bazaar. Fast, free WiFi.
352 Moo 4, Pasang, Mae Chan | map
8.8 Very Good based on 100 Agoda reviews
Why this hotel: Private villas. Quiet location. Beautiful views.
Set in the beautiful landscapes of Mae Salong Valley, and within easy drive to major tourist attractions of Chiang Rai including Doi Mae Salong, Doi Tung, Mae Sai and Chiang Saen.
Manee Dheva features 9 spacious villas surrounded by spectacular views of surrounding rice fields and mountains. Each villa comes with an outside terrace, flat screen TV and separate shower and bathtub.
There is free WiFi, a swimming pool and an open-view restaurant.
351/10 Moo 15, Sankhongnoi Soi 4 | map
7.2 Good based on 88 Agoda reviews
Why this hotel: Budget option. Centrally located. Amazing value.
Simple, cheap Lanna-styled guest house that gets the basics right. The clean, tidy bedrooms have a private bathroom and air conditioning (a fan in some units). There is a reasonable restaurant and a pool.
There’s no TV and the (free) WiFi may struggle a bit, but those on a tight budget will struggle to find a better hotel at the same price and location. Ben Guesthouse is a 15-minute walk from Chiang Rai Night Bazaar, and less than 20 minutes drive to Chiang Rai Airport.