Chiang Mai along with Bangkok is a major tourist destination with good transport infrastructure such as an international airport, a rail link straight from Bangkok and recurrent long-distance bus routes from all over the country. Bus rides connect the city to the different Northern Thailand destinations including Bangkok, which is about a 10-hour drive away from the city. A one-hour plane ride from the capital of Thailand may be the easiest and most comfortable means of getting to Chiang Mai, but there are several other routes to get to this beautiful city.
The city is a major destination for domestic flights coming from Bangkok, Phuket, May Hong Son, Chiang Rai, Pai and Udon Thani. It also has a handful of international flights coming from Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Seoul, Taipei and Kunmung. There are about 30 flights daily between Chiang Mai and Bangkok alone by use of different airlines such as Thai Airways, Air Asia and Bangkok Airways. Getting to the city by air is deemed the easiest and most accessible way to get to Chiang Mai.
There are three ways to get to Chiang Mai by land from the capital, Bangkok. The first is by train, which is a popular option for budget travelers. There are six trains daily that depart from Bangkok’s Hua Lampong Station. The journey is typically slow due to the single main line of the train. The overnight sleeper ticket is recommended since it comes with comfortable bunks. Unfortunately, trains headed to Chiang Mai have grown old with a reputation of being prone to minor accidents.
Visitors of Chiang Mai can also get to the city by buses that depart daily every hour between 5:30 am to 10:00 pm from the Mo Chit Station in Bangkok City. Travel time is approximately 10 hours with the same schedule going back to Bangkok from Chiang Mai’s Eastern-more commonly known as the Main Bus-Terminal. VIP buses worth 500-800 baht are recommended that are offered by the government and private companies. These transports can be arranged by local travel agents with some that depart from Khao San Road in Bangkok City.
Others opt to hire a car in Bangkok to get to Chiang Mai at a leisurely pace with stopovers at Ayutthaya and Sukhothai. Amazing scenery awaits travelers with pretty countryside views at the mountains from Tak or Phitsanulok onwards. Reaching Chiang Mai without any stops will take about eight hours with most dual-lane highways that make for a smooth, pleasurable ride. Thailand’s driving is situated on the left and roads are typically in good condition but a lot of Thailand drivers exhibit poor driving habits, which is probably why accidents are pretty common. It is best to drive with a view to defence if you opt to drive yourself. Book a car hire company online and make sure to find the best deal possible among the Thailand car rental companies.
As a gateway to northern Thailand, getting to Chiang Mai has been made easier with the many transport options available these days. Take into consideration your purpose for traveling, time and budget, and be on your way to Chiang Mai.