Want to know how to get from Chiang Mai to Bangkok? In this post, we’ll share a summary of the three ways to get there and compare each option on duration, costs and level of comfort. For each option, we go into more detail to help you decide which transport provider to book with and where to buy your tickets.
What to expect when visiting Bangkok
Bangkok, the capital of Thailand, is one of the most visited cities in the world. There’s something about the constant buzz and energy floating through its streets at all hours of the day, giving it the name of the city that never sleeps!
Its main attractions include the Grand Palace, Wat Arun, and Wat Pho. But ancient temples aren’t the only reason people flock to this vibrant city. From jam-packed shopping areas to mouthwatering street food and the wild nightlife of Khao San Road, there are so many things you can do in Bangkok.
3 ways to get from Chiang Mai to Bangkok
There are three ways to travel the distance of 695 km (432 miles) from Chiang Mai to Bangkok: by bus (7h45m-10h30m), train (12h50m-13h55m) and flight (1-1.5 hours). The journey takes between 1h - 13h55m and the quickest way is by flight. The lowest priced tickets start from 530 THB ($14.50) for the bus.
We suggest taking a night bus to catch up on some rest and ensure you are ready to explore the Capital City when you arrive.
However, keep in mind that the bus won’t provide you with a bed as the night train does. If you book a VIP bus, you will still be rewarded with comfortable reclining seats which will at least help to get close to the same experience.
Departure and arrival stations
All buses depart from Chiang Mai Bus Terminal 2. The terminal is located about 4 km east of Chiang Mai old Town. There are several buses, minivans, and taxis that could take you to the terminal.
The buses arrive at Bangkok Bus Terminal (Chatuchak – Mochit). You can ride a taxi from the terminal to go to the Bangkok centre. The taxi drive from Mochit terminal to the city just takes about 20-30 minutes.
The table below shows an overview of the different bus companies operating from Chiang Mai to Bangkok.
Flying from Chiang Mai to Bangkok is the quickest option because it only takes 1-1.5 hours. Also, flights offered by low-cost carriers don’t cost much more than taking the bus or train.
There are several airlines operating on this route which include Vietjet Air, Thai Lion Air, Nok Air, Air Asia, and Thai Airways. These low-cost carriers offer several flights daily with prices starting at 700 THB ($19.50).
We recommend checking Skyscanner for the best flight offers:
All flights depart from Chiang Mai Airport (CNX). The airport is just a 15-minute drive from the centre. There are numerous buses, taxis, songthaew, and tuk-tuks that could take you to Chiang Mai Airport.
We suggest booking a flight in advance to avoid last-minute price increases. If you are able to book a promo flight, it can even be incredibly cheaper.
TIP: If you decide to travel by plane, please consider including a carbon compensation fee to reduce your impact on the environment.
Chiang Mai to Bangkok by Train
Starts from: 820 THB ($23.00)
Cost: 820 THB ($23.00)
Travelling via train from Chiang Mai to Bangkok is the slowest option. However, there are several trains travelling from Chiang Mai to Bangkok daily to choose from. You can also save a night of accommodation if you choose to travel by night train.
Departure from Chiang Mai
To go from Chiang Mai to Bangkok via train, you need to go to Chiang Mai Railway Station. This train station is located 6 km from the centre of Chiang Mai. You can hail taxis, songthaew or tuk-tuk that could take you to the train station from your hotel.
We suggest taking night trains with 2nd class berth with airconditioning for a more comfortable journey.
*All quoted prices are for 2nd class sleeper berths.
After a 13 to 14-hour journey, the train will arrive at Hua Lamphong Train Station. The railway station is about 5 km from the centre and the travel time is about 15 minutes depending on the traffic. To get to your hotel in Bangkok, you can take a taxi, tuk-tuk, MRT, BTS or bus.
Take note that train tickets are sold up to 90 days prior to departure. Book your ticket in advance because train tickets tend to sell out fast!
Our favourite places to stay in Bangkok
Bangkok is a big and bustling city with each neighbourhood offering something different to the next. Covering nearly 1600 km² and offering over a thousand accommodation options, it can be slightly daunting picking where to stay. Here is a quick rundown of our favourite areas to stay in Bangkok:
Khao San Road— is one of the most famous areas in Bangkok, known for its party reputation. This area attracts a lot of backpackers that are looking for cheap accommodation and a place to party.
Sukhumvit — has a more relaxed nightlife, centred around sophisticated restaurants and rooftop bars as opposed to travellers dancing on tables. It’s a great jumping-off point to explore the jam-packed city, thanks to the good connections via public transport.
Riverside — along the Chao Phraya River, you’ll find an area rich in history and culture, hosting many of the popular sights of Bangkok, including the Royal Palace and Wat Pho – the Reclining Buddha.
Check out our favourite accommodations in Bangkok:
dusitD2 Samyan is one of the most unique hotels in Bangkok with its tiered appearance overlooking the city. You can take a refreshing dip in their sky swimming pool and enjoy the panoramic views. Or head to the gym and take them in whilst working up a sweat.
The floor-to-ceiling windows throughout the hotel create a bright and modern feel. The rooms are stunning, and decorated to an extremely high standard. This is one of the best hotels in Bangkok.
The One Smart Living offers incredible value for money. The rooms are beautiful and feel extremely luxurious. You won’t want to leave your room it’s so nice!
It’s a great choice if you want to be close to the airport, but not so close that you’re constantly hearing planes above your head. The staff are incredibly helpful and super friendly. It’s hard to fault this place.
Naga Residence feels less like a hotel and more like a home — just a very beautifully designed home that’s exceptionally clean. The rooms are very spacious and all of them have a private balcony overlooking the city.
There’s also an onsite gym, garden and terrace area for you to enjoy. And when you venture out of the hotel there are plenty of restaurants, shops and cafes nearby.
It will be hard to find another hotel in Bangkok like Phranakorn-Nornlen. This hotel is like a piece of art, with every room decorated differently and boasting a unique theme. Make sure to pick your room wisely.
The staff takes your stay here to another level. They are incredibly friendly and helpful. They’ll give you great recommendations for the local neighbourhood which is full of cosy cafes and local restaurants.
As you’ve probably already guessed, Greenery Hostel has a green theme both inside and outside. It actually creates a really tranquil vibe inside a busy city.
The rooms are simple but great value for money. Plus there are nice chill-out spaces throughout the hostel with a swing, games and comfy chairs. It’s in a great location, close to lots of Bangkok’s attractions.
Frequently Asked Questions about Chiang Mai to Bangkok
What is the distance from Chiang Mai to Bangkok?
The distance from Chiang Mai to Bangkok is 695 km (432 miles).
What is the fastest way to get from Chiang Mai to Bangkok?
The fastest way to get from Chiang Mai to Bangkok is by flight and takes 1-1.5 hours.
What is the cheapest way to get from Chiang Mai to Bangkok?
The cheapest way to get from Chiang Mai to Bangkok is by bus with ticket costs starting from 530 THB ($14.50).
Rounding it up
We hope this guide was helpful in planning how to get from Chiang Mai to Bangkok. If there's anything else you're wondering about, drop us a comment and we'll do our best to answer you within a few days.
PS: If you've recently travelled this route, share your experience with fellow travellers and help us improve this post. Thanks for helping out our travel community!
Based in Bali, Maarten’s passion for travel is undeniable. In 2016, he decided to quit his job as a stock analyst and started doing what he always dreamed of: travelling through South East Asia and helping other people plan their trips. When he is not working on Gecko Routes, you’ll find him surfing in the ocean or exploring the best gems of Indonesia.
Abby is a writer who finds joy in mountains, beaches, and road trips. She considers her solo backpacking trip to the rice terraces of Bontoc one of the most fulfilling moments in her life. She’s loyal to the islands of her home country, the Philippines, but Thailand’s beaches also have a special place in her heart.