The heart of Chiang Rai lies south of the Kok River and roughly centres around the Clock Tower, an elaborate golden structure that doubles as a roundabout. Attractions in this area are numerous and include several ancient Buddhist temples, some excellent museums telling the history of the Lanna Kingdom and the city’s best daytime and night markets. Outside the city centre, you’ll discover a quieter pace of life and yet more attractions located amongst the lush green countryside. Head west and you can visit an art & culture park, explore a beautifully kept botanic garden or relax at the Chiang Rai River Beach. Beyond the city limits, you can walk through rainforest in search of thundering waterfalls. Venture south and you can visit one of the region’s most famous attractions – the White Temple. Going north out of town will let you visit the region’s hot springs and tea plantations and give you the opportunity to stay in some of Chiang Rai’s most exclusive and secluded luxury resorts. For the most scenic hiking, head for the mountains east of Chiang Rai on the Laos border.