Last updated: Aug 06, 2019


Overview | Bus | Flight


How To Get From Chiang Rai to Chiang Mai?

The best way to travel the 190 km distance from Chiang Rai to Chiang Mai is overland. The bus takes only about 3.5 hour and tickets start from $6.50. When you want to fly, you will need to fly back to Bangkok what doesn’t make sense.

Even worse, taking the flight will be the most polluting way of transport you can imagine for this route. Taking off and landing accounts for more than 25% of all flight emissions and having a stopover double this amount. This comes on top of the emissions that are already about 10 times higher than the bus.

Transport modeDurationCostsAvailability
Bus3-3.5 hours185 THB - 290 THB ($6.50- $9.50)Check bus tickets
Flight4-8 hours1,500 THB ($49)Check flights


View itinerary from Chiang Rai to Chiang Mai


Bus icon

Chiang Rai to Chiang Mai by Bus

Duration: 3 – 3.5 hours
Costs: 185 THB – 290 THB ($6.50- $9.50)

Going from Chiang Rai to Chiang Mai is pretty straightforward. You can easily hop on the bus and enjoy the views along the way.

Green bus tends to be the most popular bus company in both Chiang Rai and Chiang Mai. They operate 3 different types of buses for your convenience; VIP, 1st class and 2nd class.

The classifications refer to the differences in the seat size, the better the class the bigger the seat. The VIP buses are typically the only buses with a toilet on board. However, 1st and 2nd class buses will make a stop halfway through the journey for a bathroom break.

Keep in mind that this extra stop will increase the travel time by approximately 15-30 minutes. The VIP buses normally don’t make a stop making them the fastest option.

You can purchase your tickets online or at the bus station before boarding the bus. Ticket prices at the bus station range from 185 THB – 290 THB ($6.50- $9.50). We recommend booking your ticket in advance as tickets sell out fast, especially during holidays and peak season.

We have provided the schedules below to help you plan your trip. If you want more information, you can also check the Green Bus website. Fares displayed are a little higher due to online booking fees.

Bus OperatorScheduleDurationCosts
Green Bus - VIP09:00-12:10
3h 10m360 THB ($12)
Green Bus - 1st Class08:15-11:45
3h 30m270 THB ($8.50)
Green Bus - 2nd Class06:15-09:50
3h 35m230 THB ($8)

Green Bus

  • Departs from the Chiang Rai Bus Terminal 1 in the city center, next to Chiang Rai Night Bazaar
  • Arrives at the Arcade Bus Station in Chiang Mai, located 5km northeast of the Old City

This bus is popular among travelers for the Chiang Rai to Chiang Mai route and vise versa.

Check Available Bus Tickets



Chiang Rai to Chiang Mai by Flight via Bangkok

Duration: 4 – 8 hours
Costs:1,500 THB ($49)

All flights from Chiang Rai to Chiang Mai route through Bangkok and take a minimum of 4 hours.

In addition to the extra time it will take, flying produces approximately 10x more (unneeded) emissions.

One-way tickets range from 1,500 THB ($49) to 3,000 THB ($98) and increase the later you book. If you choose to fly, we suggest booking your flight well in advance to save a few dollars.

Feel free to check the flights with the button below.

Check Flights on Skyscanner