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Visiting The Magical Chiang Rai Blue Temple – Wat Rong Suea Ten

Chiang Rai in Northern Thailand is famous for its extravagant temples, and no visit to this city is complete without visiting The Blue Temple, also known as Wat Rong Suea Ten (“Temple Of The Dancing Tiger”). 

Chiang Rai Blue Temple - Wat Rong Suea Ten

While there are so many stunning temples to see in Chiang Rai, The Blue Temple is without a doubt one of the most impressive to see, and should definitely be included on every Chiang Rai 1,2 or 3 day itinerary.

Chiang Rai Blue Temple - Wat Rong Suea Ten

The vibrantly sapphire blue coloured temple features incredibly unique architecture and is full of intricate details, from sculptures of mythical creatures and skulls – and more!

Here’s all you need to know about a visit to The Blue Temple in Chiang Rai.

Chiang Rai Blue Temple - Wat Rong Suea Ten

Where Is The Blue Temple In Chiang Mai

Wat Rong Suea Ten is located on the outskirts of Chiang Rai, approximately 5 kilometers north of the city center. The quickest way to get here from Chiang Rai is by taxi, tuk-tuk, or renting a motorbike or car.

If you prefer to book onto a day tour of Chiang Rai, this is a great tour to pick. The tour visits The White Temple (Wat Rong Khun), The Blue Temple, Baan Dan Museum, Choui Fong Tea Plantation, Long Neck Karen Tribes, as well as The Golden Triangle!

You pack a lot in the one day but it is worth it if you only have one day in Chiang Rai!

Chiang Rai Blue Temple - Wat Rong Suea Ten

If you’re traveling from Chiang Mai, it’s about a 3-hour drive to Chiang Rai. If you plan to reach Chiang Rai by public bus from Chiang Mai, it’s definitely advisable to buy your bus ticket in advance on 12.go Asia as tickets do sell out.

Alternatively, you can book an organised day tour from Chiang Mai to Chiang Rai, which will take you to all the major tourist spots in Chiang Rai. It will be a long day, but you’ll get to see all the best bits Chiang Rai has to offer! Here are some great tours to choose from:

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The Blue Temple Opening Hours

The Blue Temple is open daily from 7am until 8pm and entrance is free.

Chiang Rai Blue Temple - Wat Rong Suea Ten

Visiting The Blue Temple

The grounds of The Blue Temple are fairly small so it is very easy to walk around. Take your time to admire the statues at the entrance as you come in.

Chiang Rai Blue Temple - Wat Rong Suea Ten

As you can imagine, the temple and the sculptures are a vibrant shade of blue, plus the front of the temple is striking gold. The Blue Temple is really unlike anywhere I’ve ever seen before.

Chiang Rai Blue Temple - Wat Rong Suea Ten

In a country where most of the temples are pure gold, it’s so unique and nice to experience this one-of-a-kind Blue Temple!

Chiang Rai Blue Temple - Wat Rong Suea Ten

Take your shoes off to enter the temple building, which is also blue and intricately designed inside – even the ceiling!

Naga serpents guard the stairs at the main temple to get rid of bad energy, and a beautiful giant white porcelain buddha sits inside the temple.

Chiang Rai Blue Temple - Wat Rong Suea Ten

Sit and relax and enjoy the peaceful environment, and make sure you also visit the back of the temple, where you’ll find a standing buddha statue and an elephant statue.

Chiang Rai Blue Temple - Wat Rong Suea Ten

There are also some more really unique statues at the back entrance with lots of skulls on!

Chiang Rai Blue Temple - Wat Rong Suea Ten

The Blue Temple was built in 2016 by a student of the artist who built The White Temple, and combines a fusion of classic Thai architecture with some very modern artistic designs.

Chiang Rai Blue Temple - Wat Rong Suea Ten  

Chiang Rai Blue Temple - Wat Rong Suea Ten

It is much lesser known than The White Temple so luckily it doesn’t get half as busy, and therefore the vibe here is much more relaxed. 

Chiang Rai Blue Temple - Wat Rong Suea Ten

Tips for Visiting The Blue Temple

  • As with other temples in Thailand, dress modestly. Avoid wearing sleeveless shirts, shorts, or revealing clothing, and ensure your shoulders and knees are covered.
  • Be respectful and quiet while inside the temple, especially if people are praying.

Chiang Rai Blue Temple - Wat Rong Suea Ten

  • Remove your shoes before entering inside the temple building.
  • There are several stalls inside the temple grounds that sell food and drink at very reasonable prices so make sure to bring some cash!

Chiang Rai Blue Temple - Wat Rong Suea Ten

Best Time to Visit The Blue Temple

Luckily The Blue Temple is no way near as busy as The White Temple, so even if you visit during the middle of the day like we did, it won’t be too busy. If you wish to visit without any crowds though, arrive first thing in the morning. 

Chiang Rai Blue Temple - Wat Rong Suea Ten

Other Places To Visit When In Chiang Rai

Other must-visit temples in Chiang Rai include Wat Rong Khun (The White Temple) and Wat Huay Pla Kung (sometimes called the Big Buddha Temple).

A visit to Baan Dam (The Black House), the Instagrammable Lalitta Cafe and a tea plantation are also highly recommended things to do in Chiang Rai.

Overall, a visit to The Blue Temple is very pleasant – I really enjoyed the atmosphere here and it was definitely one of my favourite places to visit in Chiang Rai!