How To Get To Chiang Mai
From Bangkok, drive to Nakhon Sawan using Highway 32, then Highway 1 through Kamphaeng Phet and Tak to Lampang. From there, take Highway 11 to Chiang Mai. Total distance: 695km.
Many bus companies run the route from Bangkok to Chiang Mai. Total journey time is about 10 hours. Both air-conditioned coaches and non-air-conditioned buses depart from the Northern Bus Terminal (Mo Chit 2). The local Chiang Mai people recommends Nakornchai Air (www.nca.co.th). Their website is only available in Thai.
You should arrive in Chiang Mai’s Arcade Bus Station. To get to your hotel or guesthouse, you can either follow the locals and share a red songtaew (pick up) that will be around 20 baht per person. Or you can take a tuk-tuk for anything between 60-80 baht.
The State Railways of Thailand operates daily services from Bangkok’s Hua Lamphong Railway Station. Overnight sleepers are available too and they are quite popular. Trains leave for Chiang Mai 6 times a day between 08.30 to 22.00. Air-conditioned seats/sleepers range from 500 to 1300 baht. Check train schedules and prices with: www.railway.co.th
Train journey time: 12-14 hours.
On arrival, from Chiang Mai train station on Charoen Muang Road, again you can take either a tuk-tuk or songtaew to get to your hotel. From here into town will take approximately 10 minutes.
There is a good choice of many domestic and international flights to Chiang Mai International Airport (CNX). These airlines include:
You can do your currency exchange at the Thai bank counters in the airport. The rates are quite reasonable. If you exchange in town, you may get slightly better rates, but usually not more than 1% better.
To get into town, there is a taxi/limousine counter where you exit the baggage area. The fare anywhere into town is about120 baht. The Airport Authority does not allow tuk-tuks or songtaews to wait in the airport. But you can hop onto one that has just dropped a passenger off. There is also a public bus but the fixed route may not be suitable to get you to your guesthouse.