Chiang Mai is one of the popular destinations in Thailand. With the unique culture, picturesque scenery, and perfect weather, I have been to Chiang Mai several times. Many tourists visit Bangkok, and then go up north to Chiang Mai. The distance between these two provinces is 700 kilometers, and there are 3 main public transportation options to choose to travel between these two provinces. In this post, I will share you how to get from Bangkok to Chiang Mai.
This is the fastest option. It usually takes only about an hour to fly between these two provinces. Even if include the time to go to the airport and waiting time at the airport, this option still takes less time than the other options.
About the price, it is usually more expensive than the other options. But there are budget airlines that fly several times a day between these two provinces. You could get a cheap ticket that even cheaper than traveling by bus and train, especially if you book the ticket in advance. If you choose this option, check these airline websites: AirAsia, Nok Air, and Thai Smile.
With this option, from Bangkok to Chiang Mai it takes around 9-10 hours. In order to save your time, I do recommend you to take an overnight bus. The ticket costs around 600-900 baht depending on the company, the departure time, and the bus type. VIP bus is more expensive, but more comfortable.
For going north, you can buy a ticket and take a bus at Mo Chit or Bangkok Northern and Northeastern Bus Terminal which is not far from Mo Chit BTS Station. If you do not travel during Thailand long holidays, it is not necessary to book a ticket in advance. You can read here for the detail of when to book a bus ticket to travel around Thailand and how to book a ticket online.
This is the slowest option. From Bangkok to Chiang Mai, it takes around 12 hours or more! The fact that you should know before deciding to take the train is the Thai train is very old and delay is common. Some people (including me) choose the train because they want to experience Thai train. It is the option that you will have a chance to see countryside of Thailand. For me, it was not bad experience, but not so comfortable.
Same as bus, to save your time, an overnight train is recommended. The train ticket usually costs around 100-600 baht per seat, and 800-2,000 baht for a bunk bed depending on the time, type of seat, and type of train. You can see the schedule and check the price at The State Railway of Thailand Website.
****For me, travel by train and bus from Bangkok to Chiang Mai takes too many hours. I do recommend you taking plane, even if you cannot find the cheap ticket price. ****
Hope this information helps. Enjoy travelling Thailand!
Have you ever been to Chiang Mai? Did you go there from Bangkok? How was your experience? Share it with me in the comment!