3 Ways To Go To Chiang Mai From Bangkok

There are multiple ways to get around when traveling in Thailand. Flight is certainly the most common one. However, there are a couple of other alternatives available which can increase your travel flexibility. In this post, we are going to talk about 3 ways to go to Chiang Mai from Bangkok.

#1 By Airplane

The quickest way to go from Bangkok to Chiang Mai or the other way around is definitely by airplane. The one-way flight only takes a little over an hour. Other than Thailand domestic airlines such as Thai Airways International, Bangkok Airways etc, AirAsia usually offers pretty good deal on this route.

Notes – starting from 2012, all the AirAsia flights take off from the old airport Don Muang Airport (DMK) in Bangkok which is located about 30 kilometers north of downtown.

#2 By Train

Taking a train to go back and forth between Bangkok and Chiang Mai could be a pretty good choice if you are not in rush. Actually, sleeping overnight on the train and arriving in the destination the next morning doesn’t really waste any of your travel time. In addition, train fare is normally cheaper than airplane fare. On top of that, you save a one-night accommodation fee. Pretty good deal, huh?

At Chiang Mai Railway Station

at Chiang Mai Railway Station

Booking round-way tickets was our original plan. Unfortunately, we were only able to book the return way tickets because night train was obviously pretty popular. (We took the bus to go to Chiang Mai from Bangkok. Will tell you about that shortly.)

Thai Rail Ticket is a trustful official website provides actual train schedule and fee information. Before January 14, 2013, you could book train tickets online through the website. That’s what we did.

The E-train ticket we received after booking (click to enlarge)

train ticket

The bad news is that for some reason, Thai State Railway decided to disable the online booking function. :( They might switch it back on later but at the meantime, at least you can use this website to check train schedules and fares.

Bangkok to Chiang Mai Train Schedule (click to enlarge)

Bangkok to Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai to Bangkok Train Schedule (click to enlarge)

Chiang Mai to Bangkok

The good news is that Thailand Train Ticket does offer online booking! :-)

Notes –  The #52 Express train we took left Chiang Mai Railway Station on time but the arrival time was severely behind schedule. It was supposed to arrive in Bangkok at 8:30 am on the 30th of December, 2012 but the actual arrival time was 10:15 am. If you have set itineraries in Bangkok like catching a plane, be aware that the train could be very late. My mom’s flight back to Shanghai was at 1:35 pm. She almost missed her flight because of that!

Oh shit! It’s late!


P.S. Another benefit of taking a train is that you can enjoy some really nice views on the way! :-)

#3 By Bus

OK! We don’t really recommend this way because – 1. The one-way fare is almost the same as the train fare; 2. Way less comfortable than taking the train; 3. The terminal bus station is not very convenient to reach.

But if you somehow have to go for this way at the end like us, well, here’s our experience.

You can book bus tickets online here -

Our bus ticket to Chiang Mai from Bangkok


Notes – Please read the conditions in your E-bus tickets. Note that Mo chit Transportation Station (Bus Terminal) is about 15 minutes drive away from Mochit Station on BTS Skytrain Sukhumvit Line (100 baht by taxi). You can also take the bus No.77 from Mochit Station to get there.

We followed the instructions on the E-ticket to exchange real bus tickets in the terminal but found out that our double-decker bus was parking outside of the terminal. They arranged a small van to transport passengers like us to the parking area where the buses were waiting. It took about another 15 minutes. The tickets were exchanged in the parking area. It’s just more hassle than we expected. Please prepare at least 2 hours for the entire Mo chit Bus Terminal trip from the city center.

The bus didn’t take off until 10 pm and it stopped once at the other terminal to pick up more passengers. It also stopped for 30 minutes at a rest station in the middle of the night. We weren’t able to sleep for the whole night… So not recommended!

Want to stop by Chiang Mai during your Thailand trip? Hope this post is helpful to make your trip easy! Talk soon!

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