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 by bus. The bus takes about 3.5 hours and tickets start from $12.50. There are no direct flights from Chiang Rai to Chiang Mai. All flights make a stopover in Bangkok and take 4 to 5.5 hours.

Taking the bus is an easy, fast and cheap way to travel from Chiang Rai to Chiang Mai. The journey takes about 3.5 hours and an express bus ticket costs only $12.50.

Bus or Flight?

Transport modeDurationCostsAvailability
Bus3h 10m - 3h 35m220 THB ($7.50)Check bus tickets
Flight4 - 5.5 hrsfrom 2,050 THB ($68)Check flights

Flying from Chiang Rai to Chiang Mai will create much more pollution compared to taking the bus. Flight take-offs and landings account for more than 25% of all flight emissions and having a stopover doubles this amount. This is in addition to the emissions which are already about 10 times higher than the bus.


Itinerary from Chiang Rai to Chiang Mai


Bus icon

Chiang Rai to Chiang Mai by Bus

Duration: 3h 10m – 3h 35m
Cost: 220 THB ($7.50)

Going from Chiang Rai to Chiang Mai is very simple, you can easily hop on the bus and enjoy the views along the way.

Green Bus is the most popular bus company in both Chiang Rai and Chiang Mai. They operate 2 different types of buses for your convenience: VIP and express.

VIP buses feature bigger and more comfortable seats. They also have a toilet on board. Express buses, on the other hand, make a stop halfway through the journey for a bathroom break.

Keep in mind that this extra stop increases the travel time by 15-30 minutes. The VIP buses rarely stop along the way, making them the faster option.

You can purchase your tickets online or at the bus station before boarding the bus. Ticket prices from Chiang Rai to Chiang Mai start at 220 THB ($7.50) for the express bus and 360 THB ($12) for the VIP. We recommend booking in advance as tickets sell out quickly, 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 - Express06:15-09:50
3h 35m
3h 30m
3h 30m
3h 30m
3h 30m
3h 30m
3h 35m
3h 30m
3h 35m
220 THB ($7.50)
260 THB ($8.50)
260 THB ($8.50)
260 THB ($8.50)
260 THB ($8.50)
260 THB ($8.50)
220 THB ($7.50)
260 THB ($8.50)
220 THB ($7.50)

Green Bus

  • Departs from Chiang Rai Bus Terminal 1 in the city centre, next to the Chiang Rai Night Bazaar
  • Arrives at Chiang Mai Bus Terminal 3, located 6km east of the Old City

This bus is popular among travellers for the Chiang Rai to Chiang Mai route and vice versa.

Check Available Bus Tickets



Chiang Rai to Chiang Mai by Flight via Bangkok

Duration: 4 – 5.5 hrs
Cost: from 2,050 THB ($68)

All flights from Chiang Rai to Chiang Mai make a stopover at 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 start at 2,050 THB ($68) 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 airfares from Chiang Rai to Chiang Mai through the button below.

Check Flights on Skyscanner


More routes to Chiang Mai

Bangkok to Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai Airport

Chiang Mai Railway Station

Luang Prabang to Chiang Mai

Pai to Chiang Mai

Sukhothai to Chiang Mai

More routes from Chiang Rai

Chiang Rai to Pai

Most popular routes in Thailand

Bangkok to Chiang Mai

Bangkok to Koh Phangan

Bangkok to Koh Tao

Bangkok to Phuket

Koh Samui to Koh tao

Koh Phangan to Koh Tao

Phuket to Krabi


Was this post helpful?

Click on a star to rate it!

Average rating 5 / 5. Vote count: 4

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this post.

As you found this post useful...

Follow us on social media!

We are sorry that this post was not useful for you!

Let us improve this post!

Tell us how we can improve this post?

COVID-19 Limitations: Transportation services have limited availability and schedules might be less frequent. Please check our recommended booking websites for the most recent schedules.
COVID-19 UPDATE: Due to recent travel restrictions, most of the transportation services are currently unavailable or subject to change.