We have spent nearly 6 days in Chiang Rai. Compared to Chiang Mai, it is a sleepy town; not quite as picturesque. However, it is well worth a visit simply for the places you can get to from here. Though there are wats in town, the White Temple, Blue Temple and Black House (technically, not a temple) are each spectacular and worth visiting. There is a Hill Tribe Museum to learn about the culture of the local tribes before visiting them. No trip would be complete without a trip to an elephant sanctuary. And, rather than just visit the Golden Triangle (the place where Myanmar, Laos, and Thailand all meet) with a visit to the border town of Mae Sai, why not take a tour that will take you across into Myanmar to experience a different culture?
Plenty of inexpensive and delicious places to eat abound, as do massage parlors. There is a thriving night market with an entire food court full of stalls selling all manner of local delicacies.
Next, on to Laos!