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  Useful Chiang Mai Information
1 Getting here and getting around
1 Train Timetables to Chiang Mai
1 Bus Timetables to Chiang Mai
1 Chiang Mai Festivals
1 Chiang Mai Markets
1 Chiang Mai Weather
1 Visas and Immigration
1 Links
   
 
 

Chiang Mai Day Tours

Getting here and getting around the city of Chiang Mai

 

How to get here

Chiang Mai is situated about 700 km north of Bangkok in the Mae Ping River basin. Chiang Mai borders Myanmar to the north, Lamphun and Tak Provinces to the south, Chiang Rai, Lampang and Lamphun Provinces to the east and Mae Hong Son Province to the west.
 

International

Chiang Mai has its own International airport there are direct flights from numerous international destinations including Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Luang Prabang, Seoul, Kunming. Chiang Mai is also well connected by air from Bangkok, one of South East Asia’s main gateway airports making Chiang Mai well connected with most major cities worldwide.
 

Bangkok to Chiang Mai

Most visitors will come directly from Bangkok and from here you will have a range of options. Chiang Mai is well connected from Bangkok by road, train and air.

Bangkok to Chiang Mai by bus

Government licensed buses leave Bangkok’s main northern bus terminal (Mochit) throughout the day with departures approximately every hour although you will find there will be a higher concentration of departures in the evenings and mornings. Tickets can be booked at the bus station itself. It is usually no problem to arrive at the bus station on the day you want to travel and buy a ticket before boarding the bus. However at Thai holiday times you will be advised to book ahead. Some travel agents in Bangkok can book tickets for these government licensed buses for a small fee. There is also the option of a tourist bus which departs from the Khao San Road area of Bangkok. Tickets for this bus can be bought from most travel agencies in the Khao San Road area. The journey time from Bangkok to Chiang Mai is approx. 10-11 hours

Bangkok to Chiang Mai by Train

The sleeper train from Bangkok to Chiang Mai can be a very comfortable option. A number of sleeper trains leave Bangkok’s main Hualumpong station in the evenings. Journey times vary between 12 and 14 hours but with the prospect of a good night’s sleep the added journey time should not be a problem. Day seating trains are also available.

Bangkok to Chiang Mai by Air

There are now five airlines flying the Bangkok to Chiang Mai route each with multiple departures a day. The competition has meant that prices are low and with all the low cost airlines flying the route you don't need to pay much for a ticket. Nok Air, One-Two-Go and some Thai Airlines flights now depart the reopened and older Don Muang Airport. Air Asia and Bangkok Airlines flights depart from the newer Suvarnabhumi Airport. It is recommended that you check the departure airport with your agent at the time of booking. Bangkok to Chiang Mai flying time is around one hour.

 


Sukhothai to Chiang Mai

Many will break the long trip up to Chiang Mai from Bangkok with a stop at the historical town of Sukhothai. Sukhothai is about half way between Chiang Mai and Bangkok so it makes an excellent stop off to break up an otherwise long journey.

Sukhothai to Chiang Mai by bus

Government licensed buses leave the main Sukhothai bus station approximately every hour for the five hour trip to Chiang Mai. Tickets can usually be bought on the day or just before travel or you can buy in advance. Advance booking is usually only required at peak Thai holiday times. There is no longer any tourist minibus service running on this route.

Sukhothai to Chiang Mai by train

Sukhothai doesn't have a train station although you do have the option of taking a bus to Phitsanulok first (50km) then boarding the train there but you will find the bus is a lot more convenient. Also the combined travel time could be up to 8 hours this way allowing waiting time for the train in Phitsanulok.

Sukhothai to Chiang Mai by air

Surprisingly Sukhothai does have its own small airport which is owned by Bangkok Airways. Bangkok Airways does the run from Sukhothai to Chiang Mai. Flight time is around 45 minutes. The flight is usually only available in the high season.

 


Chiang Kong to Chiang Mai

If you have been to Laos you may find yourself crossing back into Thailand at the Chiang Kong border post. Options from here include a government licensed bus or the tourist minibus service

Chiang Kong to Chiang Mai by bus

Presently there are two departures daily for the tourist minibus from Chiang Kong to Chiang Mai journey time is around the five hour mark. Tickets can be purchased from most guesthouses in Chiang Kong. There is a direct government licensed bus which takes seven hours but there is only one morning departure and the route it takes isn't the quickest way to Chiang Mai. If you want to take a government licensed bus then take a local bus to Chiang Rai first then from there, there are frequent buses running to Chiang Mai (departures approx. every hour)

 


North East Thailand to Chiang Mai

If you are planning a route from the north east of Thailand (Isan region) to Chiang Mai travel options will be more limited.

North East Thailand to Chiang Mai by air

The only direct flights from North east Thailand to Chiang Mai are from Udon Thani. Nok Air does this run. And the flying time is approx one hour. If you have just arrived in Thailand from Vientiane in Laos then this could be a convenient option for a fast passage to Chiang Mai.
Update This flight route has now been cancelled please contact Travel Hub for more information.

North East Thailand to Chiang Mai by bus

There are direct inter-city government licensed buses from some of the larger cities in the north east including Udon Thani and Nakon Ratchasima. Chiang Mai isn’t well connected by road from the Isan region so journey times are long. Usually 12 hours+.

North East Thailand to Chiang Mai by train

The only train line running to Chiang Mai is the main Bangkok-Chiang Mai line. So travel by train from the north east will involve a train ride back down to Bangkok first then a change of trains to Chiang Mai.

   

Tuk Tuk

 
tuk tuk chiang mai
If you arrive in Chiang Mai from Bangkok I am sure you will already be familiar with the ubiquitous tuk tuk. Negotiate the fare before jumping aboard. They are good for short journeys around town but many tuk tuks will be happy to take you to some of Chiang Mai’s surrounding attractions especially during the day when business can be otherwise slow.
   

Songtaew

 
Chiang Mai Songteaw
Songtaew (meaning 2 rows in Thai, which refer to the 2 seating benches in the back) are little more that modified pickups but presently they are the backbone of the public transport system in Chiang Mai. They work on a shared basis, you just tell the driver where you want to go and if he is heading in that direction just jump in the back. Current fares are 15 baht for a short journey and 20 baht for longer journeys. They can also be chartered on an individual basis.
   

Public bus

 
Chiang Mai public bus service
Chiang Mai now has its own city air-con public bus service. The main problem facing the visitor to Chiang Mai is the lack of information. Bus stops are not clearly marked and routings and timetables are not displayed. The fare is 15 baht for any journey and some of the routings could be useful for the visitor to Chiang Mai. The Chiang Mai Night Safari and the Arcade bus station are both well connected. An efficient public bus service is a welcome addition to the public transport options in Chiang Mai. Over time it may reduce the publics reliance on the red songtaews which are themselves a big cause of traffic congestion and pollution in Chiang Mai.
   

Metered taxi

 
Chiang Mai meter taxis
Chiang Mai now has Bangkok style metered taxis, there are not so many around and unlike most of the Bangkok taxis the use of meters is not staright forward. Most drivers will add surcharges to the meter price depending on where you are picked up, distance from town and the time of day. Just check the surcharge price before departure and check that the driver will use his meter.
   

Car & driver

 
car and driver
Outside some of the more popular guesthouses and hotels you may find private vehicles with driver for hire. Rates can be very reasonable. Negotiate the fare before departure and don’t forget to ask whether fuel is included.
   

Samlor

 
Chiang Mai samlors
A dying breed in Chiang Mai. Every year there are less and less on the roads. The Samlor is a three wheeled bicycle with a seat on the back which can accommodate two people. The riders of these Samlors all seem to be elderly men and quite understandably the young generation has little interest in taking up the profession, especially amongst Chiang Mai's chaotic traffic.
   

Bicycle

 
cycling in Chiang Mai
Cycling could be a very pleasant way of getting around town but unfortunately the traffic in Chiang Mai spoils this. However in the old city (where there is less traffic) cycling can still be a pleasant experience and is a good way of getting around to some of Chiang Mai’s more interesting temples. Take care when riding as bicycles are at the bottom of the food chain when it comes to driving on Thailand's roads!
   

Motorbike

 
Motorbike hire in Chiang Mai
Motorbikes are cheap to rent and plentiful in Chiang Mai. Make sure you check the condition of the bike before you take it out of the hire shop and draw attention to any scratches or damage. For a small extra fee many hire shops can add insurance to the bike. Ask for details before hire.
   

Private hire car

 
Private car hire chiang mai
Same rules apply as hiring a motorbike. Check the car thoroughly and study the insurance which comes with it. A good searching ground for motorbike and car hire is along the Moonmuang Rd by the moat there are a lot of places here offering a good variety of cars. There is also a branch of Budget Car Hire in town.
 
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