5 Best Ways to Go to Chiang Mai From Bangkok
Let’s Go to Chiang Mai
You landed in Thailand, very likely in Bangkok, then you seek for a place to go. Imagine this, a province where it’s as developed as Bangkok but still very near nature. You’ve probably heard of Chiang Mai, one of the must-go places in Thailand. Chiang Mai is the 2nd biggest (in terms of the population) after Bangkok. 700 years of history, Chiang Mai has everything from the 5-star hotels & resorts, temples, parks, museums, forests, and everything you’re expecting it to have.
Here in How to Farang, I’ll tell you 5 ways to go to Chiang Mai (From Bangkok)
Before you read further, I just want you to know that for these ways to go to Chiang Mai in this article, there’s NO SPONSOR what so ever to make this article. It’s all from experience and unbiased.
This is the most logical choice to make because of the cheap price of low-cost airlines and the 1-hour flight time is relatively fast compared to other choices. So, how do I know which one is the low-cost ones that go to Chiang Mai?
- [DMK] Air Asia
- [DMK] Nok Air
- [DMK] Lion Air (Thai Lion Air doesn’t use the same plane model that crashes frequently, stop the drama!)
- [BKK] Vietjet
- [BKK] Thai Smile
** Note [DMK] is Don Mueang International airport and [BKK] is Suvarnabhumi Airport. Totally different places and very far from each other. I’ll talk about that in future articles. For now, let’s focus on the other options of ways to go to Chiang Mai.
It’s the exact opposite of the first one. The train isn’t cheap. It can cost up to the same price as a plane sometimes. Also, It’ll take you 11 hours long to reach there. If you leave Bangkok at 10 PM, you’ll reach Chiang Mai at noon on another day!
BUT!! And this is a big but. It’s classic. Thai Railway Train keeps improving the quality of the interior design on the train so that the passenger feel comfortable during the ride. You also pass many of the classic places, metal bridges, tunnels, and also get more of the Thai-Classic feelings of how Thai people go on a long ride before low-cost airlines exist. Oh, the seat is convertible into the bed, so don’t worry, you’ll sleep like a baby!
Ask yourself why you’re here. If you’re here for Thai-ness AND you also have a bunch of time, try the train. It’s one of the cool ways to go to Chiang Mai. You’ll love it. I always miss my experience when I was young and my mom brought me on a train with her to Chiang Mai.
To book a train : Click here
My all-time favorite is Bus. It’ll take you 10 hours to reach Chiang Mai by bus. What? 10 hours? How’s that better than the train?
First, I want you to know that my budget is almost always tight. I like to keep the transportation prices as low as possible so that I can spend more at the destination place. The bus price is consistent. It barely ever change. If you want to book a bus tomorrow to go to Chiang Mai, 600 baht. Next month? 600 Baht, at the end of the year? 600 Baht. (Sometimes it’s cheaper, depends on how cheap you want to go.)
(remember, no sponsor. This is brutally honest)
- Nakhon Chai Air – I like this one the most, you get on a bus at the starting point, you only go down when you reach the destination. No breaks. Food is included in the price and served on the bus.
- Sombat Tour – It’s a good one. Many people love it. Me, not much. I just don’t like how they wake me up at 1 AM to have dinner. Some people love eating in the middle of the night, so they’re fine.
- Others – There are many brands if you’re willing to try, but if you just want a comfortable, worry-free, no stop until you reach, I’d highly recommend Nakhon Chai Air.
Drive there yourself!
I’ve never tried this one. I don’t really see the point. However, I heard that Farangs love road trips to go to Chiang Mai. I can still make a good suggestion though.
If you’re absolutely sure that you’re driving it back here to Bangkok, you have plenty of options.
Return Trip :
The usual car rent where you drive somewhere and you return the car at the store you rent from. On the other hand, if you’re not sure that you want to drive back. If you think that you might get sick of driving and want to fly back, try my next suggestion to go to Chiang Mai.
One Way Trip :
Avis Thailand (again, not sponsored) allows you to rent a car from one of their shops, drive all the way to another province, in this case, you want to go to Chiang Mai, return to Avis Chiang Mai shop. Cool, right?! You drive there, ditch the car, and take a flight somewhere else!
Hitchhiking (for modern world people)
Liluna is a phone app made specifically for Hitchhiker.
** Before I explain more, Liluna website has no English language, so I link it to their Facebook page, hope you can contact someone through the page. You’ll likely need a Thai friend to help you with this one.
You’re putting your trust on the internet, which is still better than putting in on the road, you look at people who announce that they want to go somewhere, and then you tell them that you’re in! You want to go to Chiang Mai! If you’re very lucky, some of them just find a friend to sit in a car with them, and you don’t even have to pay anything! However, a lot of them will ask for a share for fuel price, which is very fair to everyone and the price is still cheaper than a bus, believe me. Let say that A car of 4 people, they ask for 300-400 each, that’s still half price of the bus. It’s one of the very fair ones in my opinion.
Is it safe? Well, you’re willing to go on a hitchhiking, I think you accept some kind of risk here, but the drivers have to be verified and the app itself provides an emergency button to help you in case you need some help. I think It’s way safer than hitchhiking from the side of the road. Oh yea, you’ll definitely have more friends this way. In other kinds of transportations, you’re not forced to be a friend of them, but this one, you kind of have to talk to everyone. So, if you’re a friendly guy, and I believe you are, go to Chiang Mai with them! You’ll have more friends to travel with next time!
Choose the right way for yourself
If you want the least amount of time to transport – Plane. (Honestly, it’s reliable, but it’s boring). If you want to go classic, imagining yourself as a Thai Harry Potter, go for the train. Your budget is tight and you just want a safe way to go to Chiang Mai, go on a bus. You want a road trip, rent a nice comfortable car. If you like your life to be so much fun and you’re also very friendly, try the hitchhiking app. Good luck! I hope you arrive at Chiang Mai safely and feel free to share some photos on every channel of our social media.