3 Ways To Travel From Bangkok To Chiang Mai

The beautiful Chiang Mai is home to various natural features, Buddhist hilltop temples, gorgeous rainforests, and exciting elephant camps. Furthermore, the cuisine is excellent, and the area has a booming market for regional Thai handicrafts.

Planning a trip to this majestic city after visiting Bangkok? Even though the cities are 680 kilometers (422 miles) apart, traveling between them isn’t as challenging as you might expect. Keep reading to find out how to get from Bangkok to Chiang Mai!

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Where Is Chiang Mai Located?

Temples in Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai is the largest city in northern Thailand. It’s located on river Ping, a significant tributary of the Chao Phraya river. The stunning city is an important regional center for transportation, education, culture, and religion. Founded in 1296, it served as the capital of the Lanna Kingdom until 1558.

3 Ways To Travel From Bangkok To Chiang Mai

Bangkok To Chiang Mai By Bus

A Buddha statue in Chiang Mai

The cheapest way to travel from Bangkok to Chiang Mai is by bus. Several bus companies depart from the Mo Chit bus station including Bangkok Busline, Nakhonchai, Budsarakham Tour, and Lignite Tour PK. These buses arrive at the Arcade bus station in Chiang Mai and the trip takes about 10 hours.

You can choose between a regular and a VIP bus. Regular or second class busses don’t have amenities that VIP buses have – air conditioning, free wi-fi, restrooms, complimentary water and snacks, more legroom, and bigger seats. If you’re taking a night bus, you’ll receive a pillow and a blanket to make the long journey more comfortable. There isn’t much of a price difference, but there is a significant difference in comfort so we suggest you take the VIP bus if your budget allows it.

Travel Tip: Purchase a bus ticket through Asia’s leading online travel agency 12Go

Cost: second-class ticket $12, first-class ticket $15

Bangkok To Chiang Mai By Train

Elephant camp, Chiang Mai

It might take 12 to 15 hours to travel by train from Hua Lamphong Station in Bangkok to Chiang Mai Station, so choosing a comfortable seat is essential. But, don’t be intimidated by the distance – this is one of Thailand’s most beautiful train rides. You’ll see the historic Ayutthaya, golden temples, a lot of tropical vegetation, and small towns along the road.

The best way to travel this way is to take a sleeper train with air conditioning, free wi-fi, a dining car, and a two or four-persons sleeper cabin. This is provided by a first-class train ride which also allows you to book the entire two-person cabin for yourself. An overnight train operated by Thai Railways provides special women and children-only cabins. It’s an exciting and extra convenient way to travel if you’re a solo female traveler.

Although the second-class and third-class trains are cheaper alternatives, they’re not equipped with beds and some of them have wooden benches. It’s important to mention that the third-class train doesn’t have air conditioning, but the second-class train has. Keep in mind that you can’t book a ticket in advance if you decide to travel by a third-class train.

You’ll get stunning views of rice paddies and rural Thailand, no matter which train you choose! Take a tuk-tuk or a moto taxi to get to your hotel room as soon as you arrive at the Chiang Mai railway station.

Travel Tip: Book your train tickets in advance, especially if you’re taking a first-class train

Cost: first-class ticket $60, second-class ticket $30, third-class ticket $7

Bangkok To Chiang Mai By Plane

Monks holding light floating balloons at Same Loy Krathong festival in Chiang Mai

Flying from Bangkok to Chiang Mai is the easiest and fastest form of transportation. The majority of low-cost daily flights take off from the Don Mueang International Airport and land at Chiang Mai International Airport. Check out Nok Air, Thai Lion Air, and Thai AirAsia for the best ticket prices! You can also reach Chiang Mai from the Suvarnabhumi International Airport with great deals from Thai Smile, Bangkok Airways, Thai Airways, and Thai Vietjet Air.

The flight to Chiang Mai takes approximately one hour and fifteen minutes, regardless of the airline you choose. However, there are a few key differences when it comes to airlines. Most budget airlines don’t accept checked baggage – not even for an additional fee. Plus, they don’t provide onboard refreshments or snacks, and there isn’t much legroom.

Travel Tip: Although there’s no public transportation from the airport to the city center, you can still take a taxi or a tuk-tuk

Cost: $37+

FAQ

Is Chiang Mai worth visiting?

Famous for its beautiful temples like Wat Chiang Man and Wat Phra, rice paddles, and small hills with gentle slopes, Chiang Mai is surely worth a visit.

What’s so special about Chiang Mai’s Old City?

The Old City is within walking distance of charming stores, temples, amazing restaurants, and the locally famous Sunday Night Market.

What’s the best time to visit Chiang Mai?

The best time to visit Chiang Mai is between November and February, right after the rainy season.

How to get from Chiang Mai to Siem Reap?

There are three ways to travel to Siem Reap – by bus, plane, and train.

Which airlines fly directly from Bangkok to Chiang Mai?

Many airlines fly directly from Bangkok to Chiang Mai including Thai VietJet, Thai AirAsia, and Nok Air.

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