Over the past year or so there have been some major changes in how to get from Bangkok to Chiang Mai (and from Chiang Mai to Bangkok). From an improved train service, to cheaper flights, to fantastic new bus companies, it has never been easier to get from one city to the other. Here’s all the latest information on flights, trains, buses, and taxis between Bangkok and Chiang Mai.
P.S. You can book your tickets online now and save up to 30%:
Flights From Bangkok to Chiang Mai
The easiest and fastest (1h 15min) way to get from Bangkok to Chiang Mai is to catch a flight.
There are several airlines that fly direct between Bangkok and Chiang Mai, including Air Asia, Nok Air, Thai Vietjet, Thai Lion Air, Thai Airways, Thai Smile, and Bangkok Airways.
Prices vary depending on the time of day that you would like to fly, the season, and any special offers, but in general Air Asia and Nok Air tend to be the best value for money, with flights starting from just $25 (though there is a $12-$15 charge for the first 20kg of checked-in luggage).
Air Asia Flight Between Chiang Mai and Bangkok
Bangkok Airways is also worth a mention. Although it is a little more expensive (from $34), checked luggage up to 20kg is free, and the company is very well reviewed.Check Flights
Trains from Bangkok to Chiang Mai
If you’d prefer to go by land, Thai Railways runs a good service between Bangkok (Hua Lamphong) and Chiang Mai.
Although the journey can take 11+ hours, don’t immediately disregard the idea – There is some absolutely fantastic scenery along the way, and you can travel overnight in an inexpensive sleeper berth, saving you your precious daytime and the cost of a hotel room for the night.
Third class tickets are the cheapest, but we don’t recommend for you to travel this way – the wooden benches are very uncomfortable, and the carriages can get very busy and stuffy.
Second class can cost about the same as a flight ($30), especially if you book in advance. The carriages come with air-conditioning, complimentary snacks, and a steward to make sure you are OK and keep the carriage clean.
The seats in the second class sleeper are lower and upper berths, with two facing each other on the opposite sides of the train. The lower berth, which is the window seat, is the main sitting area. This is converted into a sleeper berth at night times (the staff will start the conversion at around 8.00pm).
Train Between Bangkok and Chiang Mai – Second Class Sleeper
A curtain is installed at every berth for privacy, and there is a plug socket for charging your phone or laptop. The air-con tends to be left on all night, so consider wearing something that will keep you warm, like long-sleeved shirts, trousers, and socks.
There is just one shared washroom / bathroom, but although it is quite basic, it is clean and well-kept. For free Wi-Fi, head over to the diner – a communal area where you can buy snacks, food, and drinks.
First class is more private and comfortable. Each room holds a maximum of two people, and there are 12 rooms in total.
Facilities include free Wi-Fi, a plug socket, a washbasin, a bench seat that converts into two beds (lower and upper berth), a mirror, and a 14 inch personal LCD touch screen. The touch screen displays the route and satellite information (in English), is a multimedia entertainment system, and allows you to order food directly to your room. The toilet is shared amongst first class passengers, with the added bonus of hot water showers.
First class tickets are more expensive at around $60.
Train Between Chiang Mai and Bangkok – First Class Sleeper
There are 5 direct trains between Bangkok and Chiang Mai per day:
Bangkok to Chiang Mai
- The fastest train is #7, which departs Bangkok Hua Lamphong at 08:30 and takes 11 hours to get to Chiang Mai Railway Station.
- The best overnight train is #9, which departs Bangkok Hua Lamphong at 18:10 and takes 13 hours and 5 minutes to get to Chiang Mai Railway Station.
The train timetable is as follows:
|Train #||Bangkok||Chiang Mai||Journey Time|
Chiang Mai to Bangkok
- The fastest train is #8, which departs Chiang Mai Railway Station at 08:30 and takes 10 hours and 35 minutes to get to Bangkok Hua Lamphong.
- The best overnight train is #10, which departs Chiang Mai Railway Station at 18:00, and takes 12 hours and 50 minutes to get to Bangkok Hua Lamphong.
The train timetable is as follows:
|Train #||Chiang Mai||Bangkok||Journey Time|
Please try to get to the train station about 30 minutes before departure. This should give you enough time to find the correct platform.
Bangkok Railway Station
Bangkok’s main train station, Hua Lamphong, is located in Bangkok’s China Town – not far from the Chao Phraya river (see map).
You can take a taxi or a tuk-tuk directly to the station, and it is also easily accessible by public transport – Right next to the station is an MRT (Metro) stop, which goes through the city (via the Silom and Sukhumvit roads) to Bang Sue railway station in the north. Alternatively, you can walk down to the Chao Phraya river and catch a Chao Phraya Express Boat. This will take you to walking distance from Hua Lamphong.
Chiang Mai Railway Station
Chiang Mai’s main train station is about 3.7 km from Chiang Mai’s Old Town (see map). It is too far to walk, but you can easily find a tuk-tuk ($3.50) or a shared taxi ($1.25 / person) outside.
We strongly recommend that you book your train tickets in advance – all trains can get very busy, and booking online guarantees your seats:Book Train Tickets Now
Buses from Bangkok to Chiang Mai
If you’re on a tighter budget, then a direct bus from Bangkok to Chiang Mai is your best option. Pricing starts from just $18, and although the journey will take approximately 10 hours in total, the scenery along the way is superb.
Several bus companies run between Bangkok and Chiang Mai, including Bangkok Bus Line, Lignite Tour PK, Budsarakham Tour, Nakhonchai, Tara Tour, and Sombat Tour.
Bangkok Bus Line Between Bangkok and Chiang Mai
Most buses depart from the Northern Bus Terminal in Bangkok (Mo Chit 2) and arrive at Chiang Mai Bus Terminal 2 (Arcade). However, Tara Tour and Sombat Tour have their own departure locations.
Note: There are two bus terminals in Chiang Mai – one new and one old – but both are right next to each other. In general, the ‘more luxurious’ companies use the new terminal, while the more ‘local’ (and slower) services still use the old terminal.
There is the option of taking a standard or a VIP bus. Standard buses are slightly cheaper, but are also less comfortable – VIP buses come with air-conditioning, wider aisles, complimentary snacks, on-board rest rooms, and a neck rest and blanket. It is probably worth investing the extra $4 for these amenities.
Most buses heading to Chiang Mai depart in the evening, arriving early the next morning. Similarly, the majority of services from Chiang Mai to Bangkok are also night buses.
To give you an idea of bus times:
Bangkok Bus Line
Bangkok to Chiang Mai: 06:00, 06:30, 15:00, 16:00, 18:50, 20:00, 20:20, 20:30, and 20:35.
Chiang Mai to Bangkok: 10:00, 18:35, 19:15, and 20:00.
Bangkok to Chiang Mai: 10:15, 19:00, and 21:10.
Chiang Mai to Bangkok: 07:30, 10:00, 18:30, 19:00, 19:45, 20:30, 21:00, 21:30, 21:50.
Bangkok to Chiang Mai: 08:30, 16:00, and 19:00.
Chiang Mai to Bangkok: 08:00.
Night departures are most popular, as they save you valuable day time and the price of a hotel. However, all service can be very busy – we strongly recommend you book your tickets in advance to guarantee your seats:Book Bus Tickets Now
Taxis From Bangkok to Chiang Mai
If you’re looking for a bit of comfort during your trip, then consider taking a private taxi. The journey will take approximately 9 hours and there is some absolutely stunning scenery along the way. Watch this video to see some of the beautiful countryside you’ll pass during your taxi drive:
On average, a private taxi from Bangkok to Chiang Mai will cost in the region of $275 (that’s usually the quote from one of Bangkok’s airports to Chiang Mai). You’ll have the option of stopping for toilet breaks, coffees, and even sightseeing if you wish.
The better services offer nice comfortable cars (e.g. a Lexus 4 x 4) and the drivers will pick you up from your hotel, the airport, or any other location convenient for you, dropping you off directly at your hotel in Chiang Mai.
We also recommend for you to book your taxi in advance. Not only is it cheaper, but traffic can be very hectic, so the taxi rides can be daunting and frightening if you don’t know your driver – please contact us to book a safe, reliable taxi driver from anywhere in Thailand, or click below and book online now:Book a Taxi Now
- Q: How do you travel from Bangkok to Chiang Mai?
- Q: How much is train from Bangkok to Chiang Mai?
- Q: Is Chiang Mai worth visiting?
- Q: How far is Chiang Mai from Bangkok?
- Q: How many days do you need in Chiang Mai?
- Q: Is Chiang Mai cooler than Bangkok?
- Q: Is Chiang Mai expensive?
- Q: Is Chiang Mai cheaper than Bangkok?
- Q: How much is a meal in Chiang Mai?
- Q: Is Chiang Mai walkable?
- Q: Is Chiang Mai better than Phuket?
- Q: Does Chiang Mai have a red light district?
- Q: How do you travel from Chiang Mai to Bangkok?
- Q: Should I visit Bangkok or Chiang Mai?
Day 1: Visit the Elephant Camp and the Night Market.
Day 2: In the morning see Alms and the Old Town Temples. In the afternoon visit Tiger Kingdom. At night-time go to Freedom Rasta Bar.
Day 3: Visit the Golden Triangle, stopping at the White Temple and the authentic Long Neck Village.
Day 4: In the morning go to the Doi Suthep Temple and the surrounding stops. In the afternoon see Monk Chat and stop at your choice of Greater Chiang Mai Attractions.
If you have any other questions, feel free to contact us and we will reply ASAP.