Spend some time exploring the local area. Our Golden Triangle resort is located in North Thailand and surrounded by fantastic sights both natural and historical.
Excursions here and near
Chinese Martyrs' Memorial Museum
A small museum in Doi Mae Salong that pays tribute to the Chinese settlers who fought and sacrificed with their lives during Thailand’s little-known war against communist guerillas, in exchange for Thai citizenship.
Doi Mae Salong
A small mountain community near Phu Chaisai settled by remnants of the former Nationalist Chinese Army after their defeat by Mao Zedong. Once notorious for opium production, today Doi Mae Salong is famous for mushrooms, herbal medicines and oolong tea.
Hill Tribe Villages at Phu Chaisai
Located within the expansive Phu Chaisai estate are two hill tribe villages easily accessible to our guests. Neither village is commercial; daily life remains largely unaffected by tourism. While hill tribe residents are friendly and welcoming to visitors, there are no commercial facilities in the villages.
Located on the outskirts of the resort, our favorite guide leads you on a half day tour over the mountains and to the river valleys below. Gentle Mongolian ponies brought to Thailand centuries ago are your peaceful companions. A fantastic and exhilarating way to see the mountainous “outback” of Chiang Rai.
Khune Kone Waterfall
30 minutes south of Chiang Rai City and a one kilometer trek through forest hills leads you to the impressive 20 meter water fall of Khun Kone. A large pool at the base of the falls offers a chance for swimming in pure mountain water during the dry season when the current is calm. Sometimes crowded with local residents on weekends, during the weekdays there is a possibility to have the waterfall and its pool to yourself.
Mae Chan Market
Arise early to explore the lively local market where you can savor Thai life up close and personal. Shop for local delicacies with our chef, snack on delicious sweets, and enjoy the momentary hubris of otherwise calm village life. Or visit in the evening for the more social night market.
Good news for those travelling with their own mountain bikes: Phu Chaisai Chiang Rai resort’s 500 hectares of land are home to some of northern Thailand’s finest dirt track mountain bike trails and fire roads. Test yourself at 800 meters above sea level on steep ascents over mountain ridge-back to be rewarded with stunning mountain views and rapid fire descents to the rivers below. Not suitable for leisure riding. Phu Chaisai does not provide mountain bikes.
Phu Chaisai maintains its own mountainside tea plantation growing oolong and other organic teas used at our North Thailand resort. A visit makes for a fun and educational outing for those not wishing to travel to the major tea plantations further afield.
Princess Mother Hall and Phra Boromathat Chedi
A modern, Thai-style pavilion with good views across town and west towards Myanmar. Visitors must ascend a steep 718-step staircase but are rewarded with a fabled promise of good fortune in reward for their effort. With greater certainty is the breathtaking mountain view of the Myanmar border.
Phu Chaisai Estate (guided and self-guided tours)
For guests who want to get even closer to nature there are marked trails that crisscross the expansive Phu Chaisai estate that can be traversed on foot, jeep, or on the back of an elephant! Waterfalls, rivers, mountain vistas and bamboo forest await you.
Santiburi Golf Course
This beautiful championship golf course was designed by Robert Trent Jones Jr. and is laid out over vast fields with excellent placement of holes and an abundance of water hazards and bunkers. The golf course is widely regarded as one of the best conceived and maintained golf courses in Asia.
Thai Cooking Sessions
If you would like to learn the secrets of Thai cuisine up close and personal, group and individual lessons tailored to your specific level of interest are available with our chefs upon request. Sessions focus on technique and learning-by-doing, as English language is limited. Our hands-on learning sessions are ideal for the serious home cook or the professional chef.
Tomb of General Tuan
The mausoleum of drug warlord Kuomintang General Tuan Xi-Wen located at the top of a steep staircase in Doi Mae Salong. There's a small museum and nearby tea houses with a spectacular view of Mae Salong.
Over 500 hectare of Thailand’s mountains, valleys, forests and rivers are available for trekking at Phu Chaisai by foot, horseback or elephant riding. Simple one hour walks or all day excursions are available for guests in good physical condition.
A modern, Thai temple at the entrance to the Phra Boromathat Chedi in Doi Mae Salong. The temple’s pavilion is decorated in Chinese-style.
Wat Tum Ar-Cha Thong
Rise at dawn for alms giving to local Buddhist monks, receive a spiritual blessing and make merit for your good deeds in this life at the village temple located near the resort. Visitors interested to learn more about Buddhism may request a private consultation from the Abbot, assisted by our interpreter.
Excursions near and far
Black House (Baan Dum)
Alternately described as bizarre, creepy, awesome, the mysterious Black House built by Thawan Duchanee is a collection of forty monuments built from taxidermy and bones. Perhaps not for the squeamish, you will encounter torture chambers and skulls of unidentifiable creatures, reptile skins, furs and bizarre furniture created from the bones of exotic animals. Thawan Duchanee’s unusual style is quickly gaining recognition and he is widely recognized as a Thai National Artist.
Only three hours by car but so far away from the peaceful quiet of Phu Chaisai is Thailand’s second largest city and the principal city of the north, Chiang Mai. Many important religious sites, museums and architectural sites can be found here, as well as nightlife and fine dining.
Formerly this sleepy city was part of the nation called Juon, which was founded in AD 701 by King Mahathai and annexed by Thailand in the 1880s. Today Chiang Khong remains largely unaffected by tourism despite being a principal access point for visits to the many nearby hill tribe villages. Onward travelers going to Laos or China often use this port of entry for overland journey.
Located south of the Golden Triangle along the mighty Mekong River, this former capital of the Lanna kingdom was established in the year 1262. Remnants of old city walls and many other antiquities remain. Charter a long tail boat to visit the local markets on the Laos side of the river or explore museums and ancient temples. Stroll the tree lined streets, sampling local vendor foods and watching the river and river life of the Mekong pass by. Numerous 13th century temples and the Chiang Saen National Museum offer a comprehensive overview of Lana history and culture.
Chiang Saen Waterfowl Sanctuary
Bird watchers take note! One of northern Thailand’s largest and most scenic waterfowl sanctuaries lies just five kilometers outside of Chiang Saen city. In the winter large flocks of migrating birds en route to warmer climates stop here at the beautiful lake for rest and to feed.
Chiang Rai International Airport
Only 40 minutes from Phu Chaisai Resort, the Mae Fah Luang-Chiang Rai International Airport (CEI) is served by Arabia International Airlines, China Eastern Airlines, International Kan Air, JAL, Orient Thai Airlines, Thai AirAsia and Thai Airways International, with numerous direct and connecting flights available to facilitate ease of arrival and departure. Flight time to Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi International Airport is approximately one hour.View more
Only 40 minutes from Phu Chaisai Resort, the Mae Fah Luang-Chiang Rai International Airport (CEI) is served by Arabia International Airlines, China Eastern Airlines, International Kan Air, JAL, Orient Thai Airlines, Thai AirAsia and Thai Airways International, with numerous direct and connecting flights available to facilitate ease of arrival and departure. Flight time to Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi International Airport is approximately one hour.
Chiang Rai City Night Market
A fun shopping street and bazaar located in downtown Chiang Rai City that comes alive with shopping, dining and music each night. Everything from herbal medicines and cheap DVDs to silver jewelry and textiles is on sale here. Try tasty street food like Pad Thai and northern sausage. For the brave, sample a northern Thai favorite: deep fried insects with spicy sauce; something definitely to be remembered.
Doi Tung Royal Villa
The final residence of the Princess Mother, this magnificent villa was built on the mountain overlooking the surrounding hills and valleys in a unique mix of Swiss and Lanna architectural styles.
Fang Hot Springs
Few tourists visit Fang, which is good news for those seeking to avoid crowds. Located in the seldom visited Mae Fang National Park the hot springs and their sulfur scented steam emerges from the granite rock deep in the earth at 90 to 100 degrees Celsius. Small bath houses with private hot spring pools may be rented and excellent therapeutic Thai massage is available near the park headquarters.
A Chinese community that is one of the biggest tea-producing areas in Thailand. Here you can visit the village, taste the tea and buy some to take home. It is also possible to visit the tea plantation although English is not widely spoken.
The infamous Golden Triangle was one of Asia's main illicit opium-producing areas that overlap the mountains of Myanmar, Laos and Thailand. The mighty Mekong River flows past with its many boats from China, Thailand and Laos engaged in bustling commerce both legal and otherwise. Riotous statues and attractions adorn the point to commemorate its history and legend.
Hall of Opium
A state-of-the-art museum that journeys through 5,000 years history of the use and abuse of opiates with elaborate and detailed exhibits that explain the origins of the opium poppy, the medical and ritual use of opium in ancient civilizations, its spread throughout the world, the Opium Wars and their impact on China, the century of legal opium use in Thailand, the role of opium and other narcotics in modern medicine, and international efforts to control narcotics. Vivid and thought provoking presentations of the effects of drug abuse and case studies help visitors to understand the severity of addiction and choices available to fight the temptation of drugs.
Hill Tribe Museum and Education Center
The main intention behind the museum is to help visitors understand what they should and should not do when in hill-tribe areas, and teach about locally significant taboos and values, and respect for other people's cultures. The displays inform you about six major tribal groups (Lahu, Lisu, Yao/Mien, Akha, Hmong and Karen) are meant to compliment information presented in a 25-minute power-point presentation (slide-show) with narration available in Thai, German, English, French or Japanese.
Huai Luk Royal Project
Located along the Chiang Mai-Fang highway, the project teaches farming skills to local Hmong, Karen and other hill tribe farmers. Vegetables and flowers such as cantaloupe, chrysanthemum, peacock flower and fruits like guava and pomegranate can be seen in abundance during November to March when agricultural products are plentiful.
Mae Fah Luang Garden
An expansive and beautiful flower-filled garden of enormous size, filled with a dazzling array of colorful flowers and exotic plants of all description. Giant butterflies the size of birds glide about sampling the plentiful nectar of the flowers. There is also a small memorial hall commemorating the Princess Mother.
The main port of entry to Myanmar is only 40 minutes from Phu Chaisai Resort in North Thailand and day visits to the local markets here are easily arranged for those seeking to add another country’s visa stamp to their passport. Expect to be assaulted by vendors selling fake gemstones and luxury goods of all descriptions, as well as those selling the real thing.
Mae Suai Lake
Little known and rarely visited except on weekends by locals, this beautiful lake is surrounded by lush forested mountains and offers a peaceful venue for a lunch of delicious Thai salads and freshly prepared lake fish.
Oub Kham Museum
Chiang Rai’s Oub Kham Museum exhibits thousands of rare Lanna items, as well as the artifacts of the Tai people from neighboring countries. The Tai ethno linguistic grouping is comprised of 56 tribes spread across mainland Southeast Asia, including Thailand, The museum shows various items from the royal court, including an old silk sarong with gold threads from the family of the ruler of Nan
Phu Chee Fah
A dawn visit to this famous mountain in the Doi Pha Mon subrange near the border with Laos is a must for all visitors. Witness the unforgettable spectacle of the "sea of mist" where you can look down to an ocean of fog-covered mountains below you at heights ranging between 1,200 and 1,600 meters above sea level.
Ta Ton River Cruise
From this charming small town set in a beautiful valley you can take a “long tail” boat to Chiang Rai City on the Mae Kok River, enjoying a pleasant cruise with ample opportunities for sightseeing along the way. It is possible to visit several hill tribe villages and even take time out to ride an elephant along the way, before completing your journey.
Wat Phra Kaew
A royal temple situated in Chiang Rai City of great historical importance as the place where the Emerald Buddha was found. Dating from the 14th Century, it is one of the oldest and most revered Buddhist temples in Thailand and one of the main centers of Buddhist education and administration.
Wat Phra That Doi Tung
Dating to the 10th century, this temple has a stupa reputed to contain the Buddha's collarbone, making it a major site of pilgrimage. Located atop Doi Tung at an altitude of nearly 2000 meters, it offers the most fantastic view of all temples in Thailand.
Wat Phra That Wai Dao
Located on a small hill up a steep staircase overlooking Mae Sai you will find a monument to King Naresuan, a Lanna king famous for beating back several Burmese invasions and killing the Burmese crown prince in a duel. As if the message to Myanmar is not clear enough, the Thai government has erected a giant statue of a scorpion brandishing its claws in the direction of its neighbour.
White Temple (Wat Rong Khun)
The brainchild of celebrated Thai artist Chaloemchai Khositphiphat, Wat Rong Khun is one of the most famous and controversial temples in Thailand. Designed to be ideally viewed during a full moon, the all white sculptured look of this temple, with its many gargoyles and murals symbolizing a mass of people seeking the pit of hell through their willful misdeeds, is both shocking and convincing. Not to be missed.