If you’re on a trip to Thailand and find yourself in Bangkok, then you may be thinking about traveling to Chiang Mai next. This guide will explain all the best ways on how to travel from Bangkok to Chiang Mai.
We go through the three main itineraries you can take from the sleeper trains to the long-haul bus and finally, the fastest way – by airplane. We detail the advantages and disadvantages of each type of travel so that you can have the best outlook on how to travel from Bangkok to Chiang Mai.
Travel from Bangkok to Chiang Mai by Train
Taking the train in Thailand is an unforgettable experience to remember and it’s important that you don’t expect the same kind of train travel as you would in Europe or Japan.
These trains entail a more offbeat and adventurous experience if you’re up for it. Do note as well that the train will take about 12 to 15 hours from Hua Lamphong Station in Bangkok to the Chiang Mai Train Station. However, the sceneries during the journey are absolutely breathtaking.
Hence, if you are looking to travel from Bangkok to Chiang Mai by train, then you have three main options:
Taking the sleeper train is the most comfortable option than the other two below, simply because you’re going to be on the train for nearly 15 hours. You can either take the first class sleeper ticket which means you’ll have aircon and a restaurant in your train.
Otherwise, there are second class sleeper trains but these contain fans only and you must remember Thailand, as with the rest of Southeast Asia, is very humid.
Cost: Starts from $35
If you’re on a budget, then you might consider taking second class trains, which entail an air-conditioned train experience but seating only. These trains are quite clean but it may not be the best experience to be seated for almost 15 hours.
Cost: Starts from $30
Finally, if you want to know how to travel from Bangkok to Chiang Mai on the ultimate budget, there is a third-class train. These trains have no beds, no air-conditioning and you have to seat in a wooden chair for 15 hours. It’s not the most comfortable and gets quite hot and crowded. However, if you really want to have a unique Thai experience for an extremely cheap price, then these trains may be the perfect choice for you.
Cost: Starts from $8
Travel from Bangkok to Chiang Mai by Bus
Taking the bus is potentially the cheapest way to travel from Bangkok to Chiang Mai during the more peak seasons. There are various bus companies that make the trip daily between the two cities for a duration of 9 to 11 hours.
These buses leave from the Mo Chit Bus Station in Bangkok and arrive at the Chiang Mai Arcade Bus Station. All the buses are air conditioned. The only difference between the Express and VIP Buses is that the VIP ones have a TV. But if you’re like us, who’s constantly working on the go with gear like laptops and iPads then the Express bus is a good enough option as you don’t really need the TV.
Most of the websites to buy tickets are in Thai. Hence, we recommend using 12go.asia to book your tickets. It’s a straightforward and trustable website for booking tickets when traveling in Southeast Asia.
Cost: Starts from $15
Travel from Bangkok to Chiang Mai by Plane
Taking a flight to travel from Bangkok to Chiang Mai is the fastest and most convenient way between the two cities. Contrary to popular belief, flying from Bangkok to Chiang Mai can be the cheapest option.
If you plan in advance, you can get a flight for as low as $18 with the airlines mentioned above. Again, the easiest place to book flight tickets would be through 12go.asia. You can compare the prices of different air companies through their platform.
Cost: Starts from $18 (Book in advance)
Conclusion: How to Travel from Bangkok to Chiang Mai
So there you have it! We hope this helps you figure out how to travel from Bangkok to Chiang Mai as we went through the same problem. Among all the ways explained above, we think that planning ahead, booking in advance and taking a flight is the best option. Personally, this is what we did.
By advance planning, we were able to find tickets from Bangkok to Chiang Mai for $18. However, if you’re here because you have to make last minute plans, then we would recommend going for the bus or the sleeper train.
If you have any other suggestions on how to travel from Bangkok to Chiang Mai that was not covered in this guide, let us know in the comments below!