A Complete Guide to Chiang Rai Flower Festival

Chiang Mai is famous for its flower festival, but not many tourists know that Chiang Rai, a nearby city, also hosts a similar, massive flower festival that is off the beaten path.

We visited Chiang Rai for a few days and we were amazed by the city’s laidback atmosphere, which was even more relaxed than Chiang Mai. We also discovered many interesting things to do in this small, beautiful city.

In this guide, I will provide you with all the essential details about the Chiang Rai Flower Festival, including when and how to visit.

Additionally, I have included information about the Chiang Rai Flower and Art Festival another flower festival in the area.

Chiang Rai Flower Festival
Chiang Rai Flower Festival 2024

Chiang Rai Beautiful Flower Festival

Chiang Rai Flower Festival takes place annually in December and January in Chiang Rai, which is another city in northern Thailand.

The festival is now in its 20th year, running from now until January 15, and is being organized by the Muang Chiang Rai Municipality.

Chiang Rai’s cool weather makes it also the perfect place to plant flowers such as tulips, lilies, and many other species from colder climates.

Aside from seeing the flowers in their full bloom during the morning, you can also visit them during the evening with the garden beautifully illuminated similar to the Charming Flower Festival in Chiang Mai.

Flower Festival Chiang Rai 2023

Chiang Rai Flower Festival 2024 Dates and Location

Chiang Rai Flower Festival 2023-2024 runs from December 28, 2023, until January 15 at the Tung and Khom Park.

You can visit the flower garden for free every day from 7:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m. except on Saturday when it’s open until 11:00 p.m.

How to Get to Tung and Khom Park Chiang Rai

Depending on the hotel you’re staying in, the best way to get to Chaloem Phrakiat Park is by walking or renting a scooter. You can rent one for 150 to 300 Baht per day, depending on the model of the scooter.

Alternatively, you can easily book a car or a motorbike through Grab. Tung and Khom Park Chiang is located in the city center, so booking a ride back and forth should be easy.

Best Time To See Chiang Rai Flower Festival

Chiang Rai Flower Festival is a less crowded event compared to other flower festivals in Thailand. This means that you can visit at any time of the day.

For the best experience, I recommend to visit in the early morning when the flowers are at their freshest. You can also visit before sunset and wait till dark to see the beautiful light installations.

Avoid visiting during noon time because of the heat of the sun. However, it is not too hot during December and January, which are the coldest months in Chiang Rai.

Chiang Rai Flower Festival Tickets

Similar to most (if not all) flower festivals in Thailand, the Chiang Rai Flower Festival offers free admission for both locals and tourists. Additionally, free parking is available within the festival area.

What to See at the Chiang Rai Flower Festival

Aside from the massive winter flower beds, you will come across different plant displays and installations throughout the park.

There is a lot to explore, and what I especially admire is the availability of pink long chairs where you can unwind and take a break during your visit.

Of course, no Thai festival like this one is ever complete without the street market!

Winter Flowers

The highlight of the Flower Festival Chiang Rai is stunning winter flowers including tulips, lilies, and orchids. You’ll feel like you are transported to Amsterdam with the chilly air and colorful blossoms in full bloom.

The festival also features exotic and local flowers such as noble rock orchids, chrysanthemums, roses, and hibiscus.

Suan Tung and Khom Nakhon in Chiang Rai Flower Festival
Tulips in Chiang Rai Flower Festival 2023
Lilies in Chiang Rai Flower Festival
Lilies in Flower Festival Chiang Rai 2024

Flower Wall and Gardens

What I like about the Chiang Rai Flower Festival is how serene the whole experience is! It’s not crowded and you’ll have plenty of time to fully immerse in the beautiful flower gardens.

Take your time to check out the festival’s flower sculptures, walls and meticulously landscaped gardens. You’ll be amazed by the bursts of color and carefully curated flower walls and gardens.

A Tunnel of Purple Flower

One unique feature of the Chiang Rai Flower Festival this year is the captivating tunnel adorned with purple flowers, mostly orchids. They look so beautiful and fresh that you can easily think they are made of plastic!

Flower Fairy Statues

This year, there are also numerous flower fairy statues scattered throughout the festival grounds. Some are even made out of fresh flowers! Each whimsical creation adds a touch of fantasy and charm to the whole festival.

Chiang Rai Flower Festival 2024
Flower Fairy Statues at Chiang Rai Flower Festival 2024

Rainbow Balloons

One section of the park is dedicated to an art display made of rainbow balloons surrounded by various flowers. This exhibit reminds me of the ones at the Charming Chiang Mai Flower Festival.

Music Performances

Every Saturday until February 17, the park hosts Thai music performances from 8 pm to 9 pm.

Even if you don’t understand the lyrics, the vibrant atmosphere of the festival is sure to keep you entertained throughout the evening.

Street Foods, Local Products, and Thai Massage

Make the most of your Chiang Rai Flower Festival visit by trying out the mouth-watering street foods and checking out the unique local products, including the famous OTOP (one town one product) items.

And don’t forget to treat yourself to a traditional Thai massage. Trust us, after spending hours walking around the festival, a relaxing massage is just what you need and want.

Thai Street Food in Chiang Rai Flower Festival
Thai Pancake Cookies at Thai Street Food Market in Chiang Rai Flower Festival

Tips for Visiting Chiang Rai Flower Festival

  • Visit Early for Tranquility
    The serene morning atmosphere provides a peaceful setting to explore the enchanting beauty of the blooms without the crowds. You can fully appreciate the intricate flower displays at your own pace.
  • Explore Evening Illuminations
    Don’t miss the evening illuminations at the festival. The vibrant lights bring the flowers to life, creating a romantic ambiance that adds charm to your floral adventure.
  • Plan for Local Cuisine
    Embrace the full cultural experience by indulging in local cuisine available at the festival. From street foods to unique delicacies, savor the local flavors and cultural richness of Chiang Rai.
  • Capture the Moments
    Chiang Rai Flower Festival is a photographer’s dream! Bring your camera or smartphone and capture the stunning displays, intricate flower arrangements, and memorable moments throughout the festival.
  • Engage with Local Artisans
    Take the time to interact with local artisans and vendors at the festival. Engage with the friendly locals about their floral plants, handmade crafts, and unique souvenirs.

Other Flower Festivals

Aside from the Chiang Rai Flower Festival, another flower festival is being held in Chiang Rai at the same month, so it’s important to confirm the dates and locations as you plan your visit.

Additionally, if you’re in Chiang Mai, there are also two other flower festivals in the city that you can check out.

Chiang Rai Flower & Art Festival 2022

The Chiang Rai Flower and Art Festival is being held from December 17, 2023, to January 2, 2024, at Suan Nai Ngam Rim Nam Kok, which is also known as the Garden of Reeds.

This festival, just like the Chiang Rai Flower Festival, showcases the winter flowers in the chilly ambiance of Chiang Rai.

In addition to admiring the stunning and diverse collection of flowers, the festival also features various art exhibits, traditional mountain tribe houses adorned with indigenous ornaments, and local products.

This year’s theme is ‘When You Wish Upon A Star’, which symbolizes the journey through flowers towards the stars. The festival’s ambiance is so enchanting that it will transport you to a realm of imagination.

Chiang Mai Flower Festival

The Chiang Mai Flower Festival is an annual celebration that takes place in February, showcasing the city’s botanical beauty. The festival features a colorful parade of flower floats, stunning floral displays, and a lively atmosphere that visitors can enjoy.

Charming Chiang Mai Flower Festival

Charming Chiang Mai Flower Festival, held annually from December until the New Year, takes the floral celebration to new heights. With a larger venue and enchanting illuminations, this festival transforms the city into a magical garden.

FAQs: Chiang Rai Flower Festival

Is a day trip to Chiang Rai worth it?

Chiang Rai has a peaceful atmosphere, unique temples, and is less crowded than Chiang Mai. Chiang Mai offers more activities such as hiking, night markets, jungle coaster, and sticky waterfall.

How many days do you need in Chiang Rai?

Two to three days in Chiang Rai is sufficient time to explore its major attractions without feeling rushed. If you’re coming from Chiang Mai, a day trip is also enough to see the major attractions.

What is nicer Chiang Mai or Chiang Rai?

Chiang Rai has a peaceful atmosphere, unique temples, and is less crowded than Chiang Mai. Chiang Mai offers more activities such as hiking, night markets, jungle coaster, and sticky waterfall.

Is Chiang Rai walkable?

Chiang Rai is walkable within its city center, particularly around attractions like the Clock Tower and Night Bazaar, providing an enjoyable experience for those exploring on foot.

Is it safe to travel to Chiang Rai?

Chiang Rai is generally safe for travel, boasting low crime rates. Nevertheless, exercise standard precautions and you’ll likely find Chiang Rai as a secure and welcoming destination

Other Best Things To Do in Chiang Rai

I recommend spending an extra day in Chiang Rai to enjoy its beauty and here are some top things to do.

🤩 Find the BEST activities in Chiang Rai – take 5% off with code “GLADISTRAVELS”

Chiang Rai White and Blue Temple

The White Temple (Wat Rong Khun) is one of the most popular temples in Thailand. It is recognized for its intricate carvings and mirrored glass that sparkles in the sunlight. The temple has been under construction for 27 years and is expected to be completed in 2070.

Additionally, you can visit the Blue Temple (Wat Rong Suea Ten) nearby, which is known for its vibrant blue hues and modern design. You can plan a tour to visit both temples together.

Golden Triangle

Did you know that the Golden Triangle in Chiang Rai is a region where the borders of Thailand, Laos, and Myanmar meet? On this tour, you can witness the panoramic views of the Mekong River where these three countries converge.

Chiang Rai Mountain and Bamboo Forest Trek 

Embark on a unique trek through the stunning Chiang Rai mountains and bamboo forests, which will lead you to the Lisu Village. Immerse yourself in the rich culture of the Lisu tribe, renowned for their unique customs and traditions.

The highlight of the tour is a hands-on experience of cooking lunch using bamboo, a traditional method that showcases the region’s indigenous practices and culinary delights.

Where to Stay in Chiang Rai

Baan Pordeedin
We had a wonderful stay at Baan Pordeedin in Chiang Rai. The guesthouse is budget-friendly, has a great location, spotlessly clean rooms, and a friendly host. We also enjoyed the complimentary bicycles and delicious breakfast.

Pan Kled Villa Eco Hill Resort
Pan Kled Villa is more than just an eco-friendly resort. It’s a peaceful retreat with added amenities like complimentary bicycles and an outdoor garden pool area. The charming on-site café complements the serene environment, making it a perfect choice for a relaxing getaway.

Le Patta Hotel Chiang Rai 
This hotel is located near the Saturday Night Walking Street, providing an excellent opportunity to discover the local culture. This hotel is also SHA Extra Plus certified, ensuring that you can enjoy the utmost levels of safety, convenience, and luxury during your stay.

Is Chiang Rai Flower Festival Worth Visiting?

Absolutely! Chiang Rai Flower Festival displays superb flower gardens, and beautiful light exhibits, and offers a unique cultural experience.

Whether you are a flower enthusiast or simply want to take a peaceful stroll in the garden while in Chiang Rai, it is definitely worth it.

Have you visited the Chiang Rai Flower Festival? If so, what is your favorite part of the festival?

Read More Thailand Travel Guides:

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Slow Travel Planning Guide

🚑 Should I buy travel insurance?

Absolutely YES! For just $5-10 USD per day, SafetyWing gives you peace of mind with its affordable coverage.

📲 Where to buy a local sim in Chiang Rai?

I’ve switched to eSIMs for all my travels and it’s been a game-changer! Airalo’s eSIM offers cheap data in 200+ countries without roaming fees. Super easy to set up and top up! Get your Thailand eSIM here.

🏩 What’s the best way to book accommodations in Chiang Rai?

It depends. Booking.com is my go-to platform for hotels and apartments. If I want to save money on hostels, I use Hostel World.

And for longer stays where I want a cozy home, I book VRBO (which is cheaper and safer than Airbnb).

🗺️ How do I find local experiences and tours?

I find the best local tours with Klook, thanks to its vast selection across Asia. Get 5% off by using the code “GLADISTRAVELS”

For truly unique and authentic local experiences, GetYourGuide is my go-to. I’ve taken cooking classes with local chefs and gone on guided tours of hidden places using both platforms. I’m really happy with how everything turned out.

🚗 Is renting a motorbike a good idea in Chiang Rai?

Absolutely! If you can drive a motorbike, I highly recommend renting one through BikesBooking. Public transport in Chiang Rai is not very good. We saved a lot of time and money by having our motorbike, and it was so much fun!

If you’re with friends or family, you can also rent a car from Discover Cars. The roads in Chiang Rai are less busy than Bangkok’s, so you can enjoy a more relaxed drive.

✈️ How to find the best flight to Chiang Rai?

I always use Skyscanner to find cheap flights. It’s a search engine that compares prices across many airlines to get you the best deals.

🚆 What’s the best way to get to Chiang Rai?

The best way to reach Chiang Rai is by plane or bus from Chiang Mai. I use 12Go to find the best deals.

🏦 What is the best way to withdraw money in Chiang Rai?

I use my Wise card. Wise.com provides free global accounts and the most affordable money transfers. I can manage multiple currencies easily and withdraw cash at very low costs. Plus, I find their exchange rates are among the best available!

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