Chiang Mai to Bangkok

Last updated on April 26, 2024

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Bangkok and the northern city of Chiang Mai are two of the most popular city destinations in Thailand. There are plenty of similarities between these two cities. Both are capitals, both have rivers meandering through their hearts, and both are places that really should be on your bucket list!

Despite being the largest city in Northern Thailand, Chiang Mai is tiny compared to the ever-bustling streets of Bangkok and hence offers a more relaxed atmosphere than the country’s capital. Filled with magnificent stupas and wats, and surrounded by lush green scenery, Chiang Mai makes for an excellent city to start your Thai adventure, before heading to Bangkok.

Read About:DurationPrice (THB)
Flight ✈️1h 20m1,600 – 14,000
Bus 🚌9h – 15h650 – 1,000
Train 🚂10h – 14h0280 – 1,300
Taxi 🚕8h – 10h8,000 – 20,000

Options for Travel From Chiang Mai to Bangkok

Options for Travel from Bangkok to Chiang Rai

Traveling from Chiang Mai to Bangkok is a popular route for those looking to explore the vibrant culture and stunning attractions of Thailand. With several transportation options available, it’s important to consider factors such as travel time, cost, and convenience when planning your journey. To help you make an informed decision, here’s a quick overview of the main ways to get from Chiang Mai to Bangkok:

  • For the fastest travel time, fly from Chiang Mai to Bangkok.
  • If you’re on a tight budget, take a bus or train.
  • For a scenic and authentic Thai experience, opt for the train.
  • If comfort and convenience are your top priorities, book a private taxi.

Now, let’s dive into the details of each travel method to help you choose the best option for your needs and preferences.

Taking a Flight from Chiang Mai to Bangkok

Flight from Chiang Mai to Bangkok
Chiang Mai International Airport with Doi Suthep Mountain in the background. © Phuong D. Nguyen /

Flying is the quickest way to get from Chiang Mai to Bangkok, with a flight time of just over an hour. Several airlines operate on this route, offering a wide range of departure times and ticket prices.

Most flights arrive at Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport, while some low-cost carriers like Thai AirAsia use the older Don Mueang Airport. Consider your destination in Bangkok when choosing which airport to fly into.

Pros of Flying:

  • Fastest travel time
  • Frequent flights throughout the day
  • Convenient for those with limited time

Cons of Flying:

  • More expensive than bus or train
  • Less scenic than ground transportation
  • Baggage restrictions and potential for delays

Getting from Bangkok Airports to the City Center

Airport Rail Link from Suvarnabhumi Airport to Bangkok
Airport Rail Link often gets very crowded © Issa_tan /

Both of Bangkok’s airports have transportation options to get you into the city center. At Suvarnabhumi, you can take the Airport Rail Link, a bus, a taxi, or book a private transfer van. More details can be found in our guide to getting from Suvarnabhumi Airport to central Bangkok.

Don Mueang has public buses, taxis, and ride-sharing services available. The cheapest way is to take a bus to the Mo Chit BTS station, then connect to the Skytrain.

Flying from Chiang Mai to Bangkoks Suvarnabhumi Airport

Suvarnabhumi Airport
Suvarnabhumi Airport used by Thai Airways and hub for most long distance flights from Bangkok

Thai Airways, Bangkok Air, Thai Vietjet, and Thai AirAsia offer direct flights from Chiang Mai to Bangkok’s main international Suvarnabhumi Airport. Thai Vietjet tends to have the cheapest fares, but their tickets do not include checked luggage.

Flying from Chiang Mai to Don Mueang Airport

For flights to Bangkok’s older Don Mueang Airport, your airline options are Thai AirAsia, Thai Lion Air and Nok Air. Baggage allowance is not included in the ticket price. Often the earliest morning flights will have the lowest prices.

Chiang Mai to Bangkok by Bus

Chiang Mai to Bangkok by Bus
Sombat Tour buses at Chiang Mai bus station 3 © nitinut380 /

Traveling by bus is the most budget-friendly way to travel from Chiang Mai to Bangkok, with fares starting under 700 baht. Both daytime and overnight buses are available, taking between 9.5 to 12 hours. Read our full guide on taking the bus from Chiang Mai to Bangkok for more details.

Bus TypePrice (THB)Amenities
Standard Bus 🚌650 – 800AC, toilet
Express Bus 🚌700 – 800AC, toilet, snacks
VIP Bus 🚌750 – 1,000AC, toilet, food, blanket

VIP and 1st class buses are more comfortable with reclining seats and more space. Express and standard class buses are a bit less luxurious but cheaper.

There are many departure points in Chiang Mai for buses to Bangkok, with the most popular being the Arcade Bus Station (Terminal 2 & 3) and Chiang Mai Gate.

Pros of Bus Travel:

  • Most affordable option
  • Opportunity to see the countryside
  • Various bus types to suit different budgets and preferences

Cons of Bus Travel:

  • Longest travel time
  • Potential for traffic delays
  • Less comfortable than other options

Traveling by Train from Chiang Mai to Bangkok

The Train from Chiang Mai to Bangkok
The train from Chiang Mai to Bangkok passing the white bridge (Thachompu) in Lamphun, northern part of Thailand © Pawarin Prapukdee /

Traveling by train offers a unique and scenic way to journey from Chiang Mai to Bangkok. The State Railway of Thailand operates several trains daily on this route, with options for both daytime and overnight travel. For a more in-depth look at train travel on this route, check out our full guide to taking the train from Chiang Mai to Bangkok.

Train TypePrice (THB)Amenities
2nd Class Seat 🚂280 – 850AC, food available
2nd Class Sleeper 🚂1,100AC, bed, food available
1st Class Sleeper 🚂1,300AC, private cabin, bed, food

Trains depart from Chiang Mai Railway Station and arrive at Bangkok’s Hua Lamphong Station.

Pros of Train Travel:

  • Scenic route through the Thai countryside
  • Comfortable sleeper options for overnight travel
  • Opportunity to interact with locals and fellow travelers

Cons of Train Travel:

  • Longer travel time than flying
  • Potential for delays
  • Less frequent departures compared to buses

Chiang Mai to Bangkok by Taxi

Bangkoktaxi24 car
Bangkoktaxi24 SUV can be booked through 12go.

Taking a taxi from Chiang Mai to Bangkok offers the convenience of door-to-door service, though it is significantly more expensive than flying or taking a bus or train. The journey by car takes around 9 hours, depending on traffic conditions.

Pros of Private Taxi:

  • Comfort and convenience
  • Flexible departure times
  • Ability to make stops along the way
  • Ideal for groups or families

Cons of Private Taxi:

  • Most expensive option
  • Potential for traffic delays
  • Less eco-friendly than public transportation

Tips for a Smooth Journey from Chiang Mai to Bangkok

  • Check the latest travel advisories and restrictions before your trip.
  • Book your tickets in advance to secure your preferred travel date and time.
  • Pack light to avoid excessive baggage fees and to make your journey more manageable.
  • Bring snacks, water, and entertainment for the journey, especially if traveling by bus or train.
  • Allow extra time for traffic or delays, particularly when traveling by road.
  • Carry a copy of your travel documents and keep valuables secure during your trip.

By considering these factors and following these tips, you’ll be well-prepared for a memorable and enjoyable journey from Chiang Mai to Bangkok. Happy travels!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best time of year to travel from Chiang Mai to Bangkok?

The best time to make the journey from Chiang Mai to Bangkok is during the cool, dry season from November to February. Temperatures are milder and there is little rain, making for more pleasant travel conditions.

March to May is the hot season, with temperatures often exceeding 40°C (104°F). The rainy season runs from June to October, with frequent downpours and high humidity. However, this is also the low tourist season so you may find cheaper deals on flights and accommodation.

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Kamolchat Thanaditsayakun
About Kamolchat Thanaditsayakun

My name is Kamolchat - a writer with a passion for travel who loves sharing stories of new destinations and unforgettable adventures. I was born and raised in Thailand and I have always been captivated by the beauty and diversity of my homeland which inspired me to venture out and discover the world.

Over the years, I have had the pleasure of contributing to various travel publications and websites, such as Lonely Planet and Viator. I strive to provide an authentic representation of the places I visit, get into the heart of local cultures and finding authentic experiences that nourishes the soul.

As I continue to journey across the globe, I want you to join me in experiencing the wonders of our world through my stories. Together, we can learn, grow, and be inspired by the incredible people, places, and cultures that make our planet such an extraordinary place to explore.