If you are ever going to Thailand and planning to visit Chiang Rai in the North than you should put Phu Chi Fa definitely on your list. We never heard about Phu Chi Fa until some locals told us about it. They told us that we have to go there to see the sunrise. We looked it up online and the sunrise pictures we had seen looked stunning.
Phu Chi Fa is a mountain area and National Forest Park about 2 hours from Chiang Rai. The mountain is overlooking the Laos border.
We stayed in Sook Jai Guest House in Chiang Rai. We recommend this Guest House, it has a nice garden with hang mats and a fireplace. We asked the friendly staff for more information on how to get to Phu Chi Fa for sunrise. They told us we could get there by motorbike or with a local bus. Since we don’t have our driver’s license and our time was limited we arranged a private car. The cost was around 1500 bath.
The next morning we left Chiang Rai around 3.30 am. It was a 2 hours drive on a rough road. The driver dropped us off at the car park from here it was only a 30-minute hike to the sunrise viewpoint. Around the car park, you will find some shops where you can buy food, souvenirs, and drinks.
Since it was still very dark outside we had to use the flashlights of our smartphones to get to the viewpoint. It was a bit chilly at that time of the day so we recommend bringing a sweater or blanket with you. Once arrived at the viewpoint area we saw a couple of other tourists and find ourselves a place to sit and wait for the sun to rise.
While we sat there waiting for the night to turn into a new day we saw a lot of other tourists arriving.
Around 6.30 the sun came out and the view was spectacular. A sea of mist covering the mountains and the colors in the sky kept changing from red to orange-pink. It was amazing to see and the sea of mist made it even more magical.
Although it was busy we were the only foreign tourists. There were a lot of local tourists who approached us and started to ask questions and wanted to take pictures with us. They were so kind so we didn’t mind taking pictures with them.
Once the sun was up most of them started to make their way back to the car parking, we stayed a bit longer to explore the area and took some beautiful pictures.
On the way back to the car parking we passed some little children wearing traditional clothes and dancing to loud music asking for money, which was sad to see.
Before going back to Chiang Rai we stopped at Doi Pha Tang. Here we had to climb some stairs for more amazing views. We were the only ones there which made it even more special. From here you can see the Mekong river, but at that time there was too much mist so we didn’t. We stayed here for a while enjoying the sights and sounds of nature. They told us that this is a perfect spot to see the sunset.
1. Go early!
2. Bring a sweater or blanket with you it will be a bit chilly at that time a day.
3. If you want to take beautiful pictures and videos bring a tripod, a good camera or phone with night mode with you.
4. You can buy snacks and drinks at the car parking but its easier and cheaper to bring your own picnic.
5. Don’t leave directly after the sunrise, the area has more beautiful viewpoints worth to explore.
6. You can spend the night there. On the way, we saw a lot of camping areas and some hotels.
7. It’s easy to get there by motorbike, car or bus from Chiang Rai.
We are so happy that someone told us about this beautiful place! The sunrise was magical and for us the most beautiful one we have seen in Thailand. It was not only the sunrise but also the beautiful nature and friendly locals that made us fall in love with Phu Chi Fa.
We hope that you will put Phu Chi Fa on your list when you visit Thailand.
What is the most beautiful sunrise that you have ever seen? Let us know in the comment section below.