All the information you need to travel from Bangkok to Chiang Mai by bus, train or plane with links to book your tickets at the best price.
The city of Chiang Mai, nicknamed the North Rose, offers an entirely different atmosphere from the hustle and bustle of Bangkok.
It may be the fifth-largest city in Thailand, but it is smaller than Bangkok, which is a provincial city and has a more relaxed lifestyle.
With a long history, amidst the mountains and mountain tribes, Chiang Mai is a multicultural city; people are more welcoming, smiling and life is cheaper than in the capital.
Bangkok is a beautiful city with a lot to see and do (see: What to do in Bangkok: the top 10 visits not to be missed !) but me, I never stay there very long, preferring quieter places.
Chiang Mai is one of the favorite cities of expatriates from all countries.
See also :
Transport in Thailand
Distance from Bangkok to Chiang Mai
As the crow flies, or by plane, the distance from Bangkok to Chiang Mai is 580 km.
If you take the road, it will be about 700 km with a mountainous part to pass.
Flights from Bangkok to Chiang Mai
You can compare flight prices and book your flight tickets on 12go.asia.
A direct flight from Bangkok to Chiang Mai takes between 60 and 70 minutes, and unless you like to see the scenery run through the long hours of your train or bus journey, or you have a very tight budget, this is one of the fastest and easiest ways to get there.
The disadvantage, of course, of traveling by air is the cost, but there are often promotions on low-cost airlines’ flights.
Prices are around 40 USD but depending on the period and the promotions, you can find much lower, so there are often tickets on sale at 30 USD.
Prices increase considerably during public holidays such as Songkran (Thai New Year), Chinese New Year, or the high tourist season from November to February.
Book your ticket as far in advance as possible to take advantage of the best offers.
The two main airports of Bangkok
Most of the airlines connecting Bangkok to Chiang Mai are low-cost airlines operating from Don Muang airport.
But there are also many flights, often more expensive, from Suvarnabhumi International Airport.
So be careful and check your tickets carefully to get to the right airport.
Transport from Chiang Mai airport
In Chiang Mai, you will arrive at Chiang Mai International Airport, located 10-15 minutes by car from the city center.
You can enter the city by taxi (prefer the Meter taxi, with a meter) or the public bus (bus number 4) which is much cheaper.
Some hotels and guesthouses can also pick you up free of charge at the airport, or for a small fee.
Bangkok to Chiang Mai by train
You can compare prices and book your train tickets on 12go.asia
What makes it so popular are the low prices and the opportunity to discover Thailand’s landscape in a friendly atmosphere, an excellent opportunity to meet, discover, and exchange with the local population.
Travel times are considerable, but if you think travel is part of the tourist experience, then you should take the train from Bangkok to Chiang Mai.
Depending on the number of stops your train will make, this can take between 12 and 15 hours.
There are usually about six trains a day from Bangkok to Chiang Mai and vice versa, so there will be many options to choose from.
However, even with this high number of trains they are trendy and can be full, so booking is highly recommended.
You can get very cheap tickets on a Bangkok train to Chiang Mai, depending on the class of travel you choose.
Chiang Mai station is a few kilometers from the city center, and the road by taxi or car is only 10 minutes away.
You can also reach the center by Tuk-tuk and songthaew (collective taxi), the songthaew being the cheapest means of transport.
Bangkok to Chiang Mai by bus
You can compare prices and book your bus tickets on 12go.asia
There are between 9 and 12 hours of travel time to Chiang Mai, and the exact times and prices vary depending on the type of bus you choose.
The best way to get there is to opt for a VIP or Super VIP bus.
Public buses range from second class to VIP.
Second class buses will take about 10 to 11 hours (with many stops), and you can buy a ticket for about 450 baht.
First-class buses provide more comfort, including air conditioning.
There is a toilet, and the seats recline a little.
These will cost you about 100 baht more than the second class.
VIP buses offer the best comfort and more reclining seats.
You can take the government buses to Chiang Mai from Bangkok’s north and northeast bus terminal called Moh Chit or Chatuchak Bus Terminal.
Many private travel companies operate regular flights between Bangkok and Chiang Mai.
These may be more convenient than going to Moh Chit to get off at one of the government-run buses, as these private buses leave from various points around Bangkok.
There are two bus terminals in Chiang Mai, so make sure you arrive at the right place for your return trip.
The Arcade Bus Station, also known as the New Terminal, manages the buses that come and go outside Chiang Mai province.
Now it’s up to you to choose between the three public transport options between Bangkok and Chiang Mai.
Depending on the time you have, your budget, your preferences…
photos : plane : tjdarmstadt