The Chiang Mai International Airport has direct flights to Bangkok (with ongoing connections Worldwide), Singapore, Malaysia and Taiwan along with services to several other Thai city destinations.It is a modern airport with speedy check-ins, with both electronic & paper plane tickets, good information systems & a range of ATM Machines located throughout.
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By rail the city has direct connections to Bangkok, and by road its an easy, but long journey, by Route 1.
By Air: The fastest & most popular way is by flight from either Suvarnabhumi Airport or Don Muang Airport.
If you intend to travel between the two airports, add an extra hour to your plans as the journey can involve very heavy traffic.
Thai Airways & Bangkok Airways operate from Suvarnabhumi, most of the cheaper discount airlines such as Nok Air, One-two-Go & Air Asia fly from Don Muang.
Between the five airlines there are around 25-30 flights per day from Bangkok to Chiang Mai.
You should be able to buy a flight ticket for around 1,500 Baht each way & flying time between Bangkok & Chiang Mai is approximately 1 hour.
By Bus: There is a good choice of buses leaving from the Northern Bus Terminal in Bangkok, at Mo Chit.
The bus station is quite close (10 minutes by taxi) from the Mo Chit Skytrain station.
VIP buses cost around 450 Baht and these have plenty of legroom, and are air conditioned with fully reclining seats. The journey time is approximately 10 hours.
There are also First Class air conditioned buses and then ordinary buses. Most of the VIP buses run overnight, with one daytime departure of 9am.
The blue and white air conditioned buses leave regularly up to 10am, and then from about 7pm onward for overnight trips.
There is a huge amount of competition and there are more than 30 buses per day doing the journey, again the more you pay the better service you will receive.
By Train: The National State Railways of Thailand operate the service from Bangkok, with overnight schedules as well as one daily service.
The 8.30am morning train arrives Chiang Mai at 8.30pm, a 12 hour journey.
The evening 10pm departure arrives Chiang Mai at 12.45pm. Air conditioned sleeper carriages provide comfortable travel, and the fare from Bangkok is around 1,330 Baht.
Using the train is very useful particularly if you are on a Budget & also want to “absorb” the local scenery on the journey.
Please access their website from the link above, and reserve your tickets DIRECTLY with them, it is not advisable to book through the many agents that cover the main tourist areas of Bangkok, you will be over-charged & the tickets might also be forgeries !!.
By Car It’s a long drive to Chiang Mai from Bangkok of around 800kms, but the roads are good and once clear of the capital, can be relatively free of heavy traffic.
Many goods vehicles and buses tend to make the journey overnight, so given the choice it is possibly better to allow a daytime journey.
Car Rental costs start at around 8,000 Baht per week, the drive takes around 8-9 hours.
Whichever route you decide to take, travel safely!.