As a major tourist center, the city of Chiang Mai is well served with several travel options. Visitors can arrival by planes, buses, cars and trains daily.
You can hire a car for getting to Chiang Mai; driving in Thailand is on the left hand side, roads are in good conditions but driving habits are poor, you should get a good road map and plan to visit some attractions on the way.
The total distance from Bangkok to Chiang Mai is 696 kilometers approximately; the journey takes about 8 hours; follow Highway N° 1 through Phahonyothin area to Asian Highway (Route N° 32) passing the provinces of Ayutthaya, Ang Thong and Nakhon Sawan, then take Highway N° 117 to Phitsanulok, after drive on to Highway N° 11 to Lampang, Lamphun and finally Chiang Mai. From Nakhon Sawan, drivers can follow Highway N° 1 passing Kamphaeng Phet, Tak, Lampang, and finally Chiang Mai.
There are many and varied buses from Bangkok to Chiang Mai, from ordinary, 2nd class to 1st class air-conditioned with fully reclining seats. Buses ply the route daily, several times a day, from 8:00 am to 9:00 pm, most air-conditioned buses leave between 20:00 and 22:00 hours and trip takes between 10 and 12 hours depending on traffic.
From Bangkok, buses depart from Moh Chit 2 Bus Terminal on Kamphaeng Phet 2 Road (Tel: 0-2936-3600 or 0-2937-8055) and arrive at the Arcade Bus Station (telephone: 0 5324 2664) on Kaeo Nawarat Road, 3 kilometers northeast of the Tha Pae Gate. Few buses arrive at the Chang Puak station, north of the Chang Puak Gate on Chotana Road.
Chiang Mai also has good bus connections to practically everywhere in the North Thailand, and major destinations in the North East (Issan). There are frequent service between Chiang Mai and places like Golden Triangle, Lampang, Chiang Rai, Chiang Saen, Khon Kaen, Mae Hong Son, Mae Sai, Nan, Pattaya, Phitsanulok, Rayong, Sukhotai and more.
Getting to Chiang Mai by train is a popular option with budget travelers; this is very safe and one has the chance to see a lot of Thailand during the long ride of course if one has enough time.
The State Railway of Thailand (Telephone: 1690) operate daily services for Chiang Mai from Hua Lamphong Train Station in Bangkok. The trip takes about 11-12 hours for express trains depending on the service selected; there are 6 daily trains, of differing classes and speeds, from 8:00 am – 10:00 pm.
Trains, especially in the second and first class, are quite comfortable, first class includes a private, air-conditioned compartment with its own bathroom, second class consists of fold-out upper and lower bunks, overnight trains are very popular, safe, and comfortable with full food services onboard
Hua Lamphong Train Station
Address: Rama IV road (outskirts of Chinatown)
Telephone: +66 (02) 223 3762, +66 (02) 220 4444, +66 (02) 223 7010
Chiang Mai Train Station
Address: 473 Charoen Muang road, east of the city, across the river.
Telephone: 0-5324-2094, 0-5324-5363
Chiang Mai International Airport (CNX) is some 3 kilometers out of town, about 20 minutes by car. The airport has connections to and from Thailand's major cities (Bangkok, Phuket, Samui, Chiang Rai, Pai, Mae Hong Son and more), as well as from major cities throughout the region (Singapore, Luang Prabang, Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur, Taipei, Kunming, Rangoon, Mandalay, Chittagong and more).
The Chiang Mai – Bangkok route is one of the busiest of the country, there are least 30 flights a day between Chiang Mai and Bangkok on a variety of airlines (Thai Airways flies 10 times daily), a Bangkok-Chiang Mai flight takes about one hour. The best prices are usually offered a couple of weeks in advance.
Chiang Mai International Airport is served by just about every domestic airline in Thailand, including Thai Airways, Bangkok Airways, Air Asia, Nok Air, One Two GO, SGA Airlines, as well as a few international airlines based in the region such as Singapore Airlines, Tiger airways, China Airlines, Hong Kong Express, Air Mandalay, Lao Airlines, SilkAir.
Thai Airways operates domestic flights from Chiang Mai to Bangkok, Mae Hong Son, Chiang Rai, Phuket and other northern Thai cities. Thai Air also operates direct flights to and from Chittagong, Luang Phrabang, Khunming (China), Mandalay (Burma), Yangon and Narita (Japan).
Address: 240 Prapokkloa Road. Amper Mueng, Chiang Mai 52000
Bangkok Airways offers 2 daily flights on the Bangkok-Chiang Mai route. Additionally, Bangkok Airways have daily flights on the Chiang Mai-Sukhothai route. International routes to and from Male, Jinghong, Xi’an, Yangon are also available.
Address: 153 Sridonchai Rd., Changklarn, Muang District, Chiang Mai 50100
Telephone: +66 (53) 276 176
Telephone: +66 2 515 9999
Nok Air operates flights from Chiang Mai to Udon Thani and Bangkok.
Address: Moo 3, Airport Road, Suthep, Mueang, Chiang Mai 50200
Telephone: +66 (53) 922 183
One Two GO Airlines
Address: 1 Floor, 60 Mahidol Road, Tambon Suthep, Amphur Mueang, Chiang Mai 50200
Telephone: +66 (22) 294 100-1
Siam General Aviation (SGA Airlines)
Address: 19/18-19 Royal City Avenue Block A, Rama 9 Road, Kwang Bangkapi, Huay Kwang, Bangkok 10310
Telephone: +66 (26) 646 099
Address: 12th Floor, Silom Center Building, 2 Silom Road, Bangrak, Bangkok 10500
Telephone: +66 (23) 536 000
Tiger Airways operate flights to Perth and Singapore.
Telephone: +66 (23) 518 333
Address: Chiang Mai International Airport 60 Moo 3 T. Suthep A Muang, Chiang Mai 50200
Telephone: +66 (53) 201 268-9
Air Mandalay operates limited flights to and from Yangon and Mandalay in Myanmar (Burma).
Address: Doi Ping Mansion (107), 148 Charoen Prathet Road, Chiang Mai 50100
Telephone: +66 (53) 818 049
Lao Airlines connects Chiang Mai to Luang Phrabang and Vientiane three times each week (Tuesday, Friday and Sunday).
Address: 2/107 Rajchapuak, Huaykew Road, Amper Muang, Chaiang Mai 50300
Telephone: +66 (53) 223 401
SilkAir, the regional arm of Singapore Airlines connect Chiang Mai with Singapore three times a week (Tuesday, Friday and Sunday).
Telephone: +66 (53) 904 985-7