Last updated: Aug 06, 2019


Overview | Motorbike | Bus | Flight


Motorbike, Bus or Flight from Pai to Chiang Mai?



How to get from Pai to Chiang Mai?

After spending a few days or a few weeks in Pai, it might be time to head back to Chiang Mai. Again, renting a motorbike is the most exhilarating experience but if you don’t want to sit on a bike for another 3-5 hours, you can also take the van or book a flight back to Chiang Mai.


Your options at a glance

Transport modeDurationCostsAvailability
Motorbike3,5 hoursdepends on the motorbike rentedCheck article for more info
Bus3 hours200 THB (€6)Check van tickets
Flight1 hour1.790 THB (€51)No online tickets

Are you a fast decision maker? Simply use the links above to book your tickets!

If you haven’t found your best transport option yet, no problem. This was just the intro. Below we share our step-by-step guide of how to get from Pai to Chiang Mai.


Motorbike icon

Motorbike from Pai to Chiang Mai

Duration: 3,5 hours

Costs: depends on the type of bike rented

Renting a motorbike is the best way to enjoy the ride from Pai to Chiang Mai. The drive allows you to enjoy a personal itinerary. However, be informed that the course can pose quite a challenge as it has 762 turns along the entire stretch of the road. If you’re not an experienced motorbike driver, it might be better to take the bus or van.

Aya Service and Tony’s Big Bikes are the 2 well-known motorbike rental shops in Chiang Mai. Both motorbike rental shops will help you with the directions.

To see more information about these two companies, visit our page from Chiang Mai to Pai.

Important Things to Remember When Renting a Motorbike

  • You need an international or Thai driver’s license (motorbike category) in order to be permitted to drive a motorbike. Bring this with you at all times as this can also serve as your ID on random checkpoints along the road.
  • Thai law mandates wearing a helmet. Make sure to wear your helmets at all times.
  • Motorbikes have a full tank when you claim them from the shops but you are responsible for re-filling the fuel. Always be mindful of the fuel level so you don’t run out on the middle of a mountain.
  • All vehicles bigger than a motorbike will always have priority. This means you have to give priority to buses, trucks vans or cars on the road and of course, always stay on the left side of the road.
  • Always drive with care. Though driving through the turns can be exhilarating, tone down on the adrenaline and prioritize safety.


Bus icon

Bus from Pai to Chiang Mai

Duration: 3 hours
Costs: 200 THB (€6)

Although there are several local buses departing to Pai, it is not easy to take a local bus from Pai to Chiang Mai. The most obvious choice is to take a van for this 4-hour journey.

Government-regulated Prem Precha vans have 10 trips daily starting from 7:00 until 14:30. Vans depart Pai every hour and the trip takes about 4 hours.

The cost of a single journey is 200 THB (€6). You can also book online so you are sure to have a seat. Booking online costs more but at the same time, you’re assured to have a seat. We provide the schedules below for your reference.

Bus OperatorDepartureDurationCosts
Prem PrachaEvery hour from 7:00 to
3h200 THB (€6)

Prem Precha

  • Departs from the Pai Bus Station in the city center
  • Arrives at the Arcade Bus Station, 5km northeast of the Old City

Prem Precha is a well-known and trusted transport company for this route. However, some travelers complain their drivers tend to drive too fast.

Book your van tickets online

Vans Operated by Local Travel Agencies

Vans operated by local travel agencies likely charge a higher fare per person, but include pick-up service. Expect to pay about 180 THB (€5) to 200 THB (€5,50).

Tip: Because of the endless number of turns on this route, many people suffer from motion sickness. Take an anti-motion sickness tablet before making this trip to prevent this internal rollercoaster.



Flight from Pai to Chiang Mai

Duration: 1 hour
Costs: 1.790 THB (€51)

Kan Airlines is known to provide flights from Pai to Chiang Mai but they have temporarily suspended their operations. In the meantime, a new airline has just started its operations for this route. They offer one-way flights form 1.790 THB (€51).

For more information, you can visit CNX P&P Travel Agency along Thapae Road, a few minutes walk from Tha Pae Gate or you can visit their official website.