Chiang Mai to Sukhothai

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How to get from Chiang Mai to Sukhothai

Located in the northern part of Thailand, Sukhothai boasts plenty of historical and cultural sites. With plenty of ruins, wats, and museums, it offers a glimpse of the golden age of ancient Thai civilization.

The distance between Chiang Mai and Sukhothai is 310 km (190 miles). Here, we compare the 3 best options to travel from Chiang Mai to Sukhothai: by bus (6 hours), by a combination of train and bus (7-8.5 hours) and by plane (5-11.5 hours). Tickets range from 270 THB ($7.50) to 2,435 THB ($67).

3 ways to get from Chiang Mai to Sukhothai

Transport modeDurationCostsAvailability
Bus6 hours270 THB ($7.50)Check Bus Tickets
Train + Bus7–8.5 hours275 THB ($7.50)Read article for more info
Flight5-11.5 hours2,435 THB ($67) Check Flights

We recommend the bus when travelling from Chiang Mai to Sukhothai. Aside from the cheap bus fare, this option is also the most comfortable because this is a direct ride.

Travelling from Chiang Mai to Sukhothai by a combination of train and bus takes longer than the bus. For the first leg, you need to take a train from Chiang Mai to Phitsanulok and then continue by bus to Sukhothai.

Unfortunately, there are no direct flights from Chiang Mai to Sukhothai. The only option to fly is taking an indirect flight from Chiang Mai to Bangkok and then transferring to another flight from Bangkok to Sukhothai. Not only that this increases your carbon footprint, but it also takes longer than the bus or train rides.

TIP: If you decide to travel by plane, please consider including a carbon compensation fee to help reduce your impact on the environment.

Old vs New Sukhothai

The city of Sukhothai is divided into two areas: New Sukhothai and Old Sukhothai.

Old Sukhothai is best known for its 11,852-hectare historical park featuring many temples dating back to the 13th century. You will find a few accommodations here, and there is not much to do besides exploring the historical park.

If you plan to stay for only a night, Old Sukhothai is probably the best place to stay. If you want to stay a few days more, New Sukhothai is a better choice as it is the livelier part of Sukhothai.

Luckily, it’s only about a 20 to 30-minute ride between both parts of the city so travelling back and forth will be easy for you.

Itinerary from Chiang Mai to Sukhothai

Chiang Mai to Sukhothai by Bus

Duration: 6 hours
Cost: 270 THB ($7.50)
Duration: 6 hours
Cost: 270 THB ($7.50)

Sukhothai Wintour is a well-known company that connects Bangkok and Chiang Mai with the historical city of Sukhothai.

Tickets cost 270 THB ($7.50) for the buses on the Chiang Mai to Sukhothai route.

Departure station

Pre-pandemic, Wintour used to have several departures a day going to both Old and New Sukhothai. The last time we checked (April 2022), their services are limited to only one departure a day.

Buses depart from Chiang Mai Bus Terminal 2 (Arcade Bus Terminal).

Bus schedule from Chiang Mai to Sukhothai

Bus OperatorScheduleCosts
Sukhothai Wintour
(to Old Sukhothai)
12:50-18:50270 THB ($7.50)
Check Bus Tickets

The total bus journey from Chiang Mai to Sukhothai takes about 6 hours, including a 20-min stop for food and bathroom breaks.

Arrival station

Buses park at the Sukhothai Historical Park, 13 km west of New Sukhothai. Hotels in this area are located along the perimeter of the Historical Park.

If you booked your hotel in the New Sukhothai, you can take the songthaew. The price for each trip ranges from 20 THB ($0.55) to 30 THB ($0.80). You can find the blue songthaews operating between Old and New Sukhothai just outside the bus station.

A tuk-tuk can also take you from the Sukhothai Historical Park to the New Sukhothai for about 150 THB ($4.15). Though it costs more, they will drop you off directly at your hotel in New Sukhothai.

To avoid any misunderstanding, give the driver the full address or show the location of your hotel on Google Maps. This will save you both time and energy in figuring out the best direction.

Chiang Mai to Sukhothai by Train*

Duration: 7-8.5 hours
Cost: 275 THB ($7.50)
Duration: 7-8.5 hours
Cost: 275 THB ($7.50)

The nearest train station to Sukhothai is located in Phitsanulok, which is 68 km southeast of Sukhothai.

If you want to travel by train to Sukhothai, you need to book a train ticket from Chiang Mai to Phitsanulok and then continue by bus to Sukhothai.

*COVID UPDATE: The last time we checked (April 2022), there are no buses operating between Phitsanulok and Sukhothai. For this reason, you will need to take a taxi from Phitsanulok to Sukhothai instead.

Step 1: Chiang Mai to Phitsanulok by Train

Duration: 5-7 hours
Cost: 175 THB ($4.85)
Duration: 5-7 hours
Cost: 175 THB ($4.85)

Trains going from Chiang Mai Railway Station to Phitsanulok Train Station are available in the morning and the evening. However, we only included the morning trips for this route guide.

The last bus that connects Phitsanulok and Sukhothai leaves at 18:10. If you take a train from Chiang Mai in the afternoon, you won’t be able to catch the latest bus to Sukhothai anymore.

We recommend booking a ticket on train SP8 as it’s the fastest train, equipped with air conditioning. Expect to pay around 470 THB ($13) for a one-way journey, which includes a simple lunch.

If you want to save a couple of dollars and don’t mind being on a train without air conditioning, you can book the RP 102 train. A 2nd class fan seat is slightly pricier but it is comfier than a 3rd class seat that costs 175 THB ($4.85).

Train schedule from Chiang Mai to Phitsanulok

TrainScheduleCosts
RP 102
(3rd class fan seats)
06:30-13:16175 THB ($4.85)
Check Train Tickets
RP102
(2nd class fan seats)
06:30-13:16260 THB ($7)
Check Train Tickets
SP8
(2nd class AC seats)
08:50-14:34470 THB ($13)
Check Train Tickets

TIP: Train tickets are sold up to 90 days before the day of departure. Book your ticket in advance as they tend to sell out fast! 

When you arrive at Phitsanulok train station, take a tuk-tuk to Phitsanulok Bus Terminal 1. This terminal is located 2.3 km away and the ride will cost you about 60 THB ($1.65).

From there you can continue your journey to Sukhothai by bus or taxi (step 2).

Step 2: Phitsanulok to Sukhothai

Duration: 1.5 hours
Cost: 40 THB ($1.10)
Duration: 1.5 hours
Cost: 40 THB ($1.10)

The bus used to be an easy option to travel from Phitsanulok to Sukhothai, but due to the pandemic, the only good option is by taxi.

Phitsanulok to Sukhothai by Bus

Duration: 1.5 hours
Cost: 40 THB ($1.10)
Duration: 1.5 hours
Cost: 40 THB ($1.10)

Previously, well-known bus operators Sukhothai Wintour and Phitsanulok Yanyon serviced this route hourly from 06:00-18:10. However, due to the pandemic, they seized their operations for this route.

The last time we checked (April 2022), these companies are unavailable, but you can always check their Facebook pages for the latest updates.

Both buses depart from Phitsanulok Bus Terminal 1, about 2.3 km from the train station. The 1.5-hour-long journey ends at Sukhothai Bus Terminal, which is 2 km from the New Sukhothai city centre.

Phitsanulok to Sukhothai by Taxi

Duration: 1.5 hours
Cost: 2,400 THB ($66)
Duration: 1.5 hours
Cost: 2,400 THB ($66)

Since the buses are unavailable, the best option is to take a taxi from Phitsanulok to Sukhothai.

This option is also much more convenient than the bus because they can drop you off at your hotel in New or Old Sukhothai.

Expect to pay at least 2,600 THB ($72) for the 1.5-hour journey when you hail a taxi at the railway station.

You can also book the taxi online with Smart En Plus for only 2,400 THB ($66). They receive excellent ratings and will drop you off at your hotel in either Old or New Sukhothai.

Check Private Transfers on 12GoAsia

Phitsanulok to Sukhothai by Tuk-tuk

If you were thinking of getting a tuk-tuk straight from Phitsanulok to Sukhothai, better reconsider your idea. Travelling this 63 km distance by tuk-tuk will take much longer and it will be an extremely hot and bumpy ride. Taking a taxi is much safer for such a long trip.

Chiang Mai to Sukhothai via Bangkok by Flight

Duration: 5 – 11.5 hours
Cost: 2,435 THB ($67)
Duration: 5 – 11.5 hours
Cost: 2,435 THB ($67)

There are no direct flights from Chiang Mai to Sukhothai.

All flights route through Bangkok. You can expect the entire trip to take more than 5 hours, including the stopover at Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok.

If you add the time spent travelling from and to the airport, waiting and check-in time, it will end up being the slowest of all options. That’s also why we don’t recommend travelling this distance by plane.

While numerous airlines are flying from Chiang Mai to Bangkok, Bangkok Airways is the only airline flying to Sukhothai.

Indirect flights from Chiang Mai to Sukhothai start from 2,435 THB ($67).

Check Flights on Skyscanner

Sukhothai Airport

Sukhothai Airport (THS) is located about 30 km north of New Sukhothai. This drive will take around 45 minutes from the Sukhothai Airport to Old or New Sukhothai.

Bangkok Airways provides a shuttle service for a fee. Contact them directly for more information on pricing, schedule, and availability.

You can also check with your hotel because they may offer a free or cheap transfer from the airport too.

 

Our favourite places to stay in Sukhothai

Resting Place Hostel

Located in Old Sukhothai just steps away from the Sukhothai Historical Park, this hostel is in an ideal location. There is a restaurant on-site and breakfast is included with your stay. Private rooms are equipped with private balconies overlooking the surrounding area. The hostel is very clean and the staff is extremely helpful.

  • Perfect location
  • Private balcony 
  • Breakfast included
  • Clean and comfortable

Private room starts at $14 per night

Read more

Mango House

Mango House is centrally located in Sukhothai, just a few minute’s walk to downtown New Sukhothai and a few meters from the bus to Old Sukhothai. Cool off in the outdoor swimming pool and enjoy the garden and terrace area for relaxing.  A wonderful breakfast is included with your stay and hosts are exceptionally friendly and helpful.

  • Ideal location
  • Swimming pool
  • Breakfast included
  • Walking distance to shops and restaurants

Private rooms start at $25 per night

Read more

Scent of Sukhothai Resort

If you’re looking for something a little more luxurious, then be sure to check out the Scent of Sukhothai Resort. This resort offers a stunning garden and lovely outdoor swimming. Breakfast is included daily with your stay. Located near the Historical Park, you can easily ride your bike there or hop in a taxi for a short ride. 

  • Swimming pool
  • Near Historical Park
  • Outdoor garden area
  • Breakfast included

Private rooms start at $43 per night

Read more

   

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