Sukhothai to Chiang Mai

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How to get from Sukhothai to Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai, the capital of Northern Thailand, is notable for its unique culture, history, temples, and local food. It also hosts many festivals that attract local and foreign visitors alike.

Even on an ordinary day, you will never run out of things to do in this city as it is also home to several night markets and ethical elephant sanctuaries.

3 ways to get from Sukhothai to Chiang Mai

Transport modeDurationCostsAvailability
Bus4.5 hours350 THB ($9.50)Check Bus Tickets
Train7-9 hours590 THB ($16)Read article for more info
Flight4-14 hours2,550 THB ($70)Check Flights

The distance between Sukhothai and Chiang Mai is 300 km (90 miles). In this post, we compare the 3 best options to travel from Sukhothai to Chiang Mai: by bus (4.5 hours), by a combination of train + bus (7-9 hours), and by plane (4-11 hours). Ticket cost ranges between 350 THB ($9.50) to 2,550 THB ($70).

Taking the bus is the most practical option because you only need to pay 350 THB ($9.50) for a 4.5-hour trip.

If you want to save on accommodation and don’t mind extending your journey up to 9 hours, you can travel by train. The nearest train station is in Phitsanulok, about 1.5 hours away from Sukhothai, which you can reach by bus. The total cost of the journey is around 590 THB ($16).

With no direct flight from Sukhothai to Chiang Mai, the plane ends up being the slowest and most expensive as it costs at least 2,550 THB ($70). Factoring in the layover in Bangkok, the entire journey can take between 4-14 hours.

Itinerary from Sukhothai to Chiang Mai

Sukhothai to Chiang Mai by Bus

Duration: 4.5 hours
Cost: 350 THB ($9.50)
Duration: 4.5 hours
Cost: 350 THB ($9.50)

Before the pandemic, Sukhothai Wintour used to have six direct buses from Sukhothai to Chiang Mai every day.

Nowadays, the bus company only provides one trip daily and the ticket costs 350 THB ($9.50). It departs from the Sukhothai Bus Terminal at 09:30 and arrives at the Chiang Mai Bus Terminal 2 at 13:35.

New Sukhothai to Sukhothai Bus Terminal

From the New Sukhothai city centre going to the Sukhothai Bus Terminal, you can either take the songthaew or tuk-tuk.

A songthaew costs 15 THB ($0.40), while a tuk-tuk ride is around 50 THB ($1.35).

Old Sukhothai to Sukhothai Bus Terminal

Pre-pandemic, the buses from Sukhothai Bus Terminal pick up passengers from the Sukhothai Wintour Office. Now, though, you need to go to the bus terminal directly.

You can hop on a songthaew and pay about 20 THB ($0.55) to 30 THB ($0.80) to take you to the Sukhothai Bus Terminal. Another way is to ride a tuk-tuk for 150 THB ($4.15).

Bus Schedule from Sukhothai to Chiang Mai

Bus OperatorScheduleCosts
Sukhothai Wintour
(to Old Sukhothai)
09:30-13:35350 THB ($9.50)
Check Bus Tickets

Sukhothai Wintour

  • Departs from the Sukhothai Bus Terminal, located 2 km northwest of the New Sukhothai city centre
  • Arrives at the Chiang Mai Bus Terminal 2 (Arcade), located 5 km northeast of the Old City

Sukhothai Wintour buses are popular for providing good trips along this route.

You can buy tickets online, at the bus station, or at the Sukhothai Wintour office in the Old Sukhothai area.

Though it’s a little pricier, we recommend buying tickets online in advance, especially during the peak season when the buses get fully booked quickly.

Sukhothai to Chiang Mai by Train*

Duration: 7 – 9 hours
Cost: 590 THB ($16)
Duration: 7 – 9 hours
Cost: 590 THB ($16)

*COVID UPDATE: The last time we checked (April 2022), the buses operating between Sukhothai and Phitsanulok are unavailable. For this reason, you will need to take a taxi from Sukhothai to Phitsanulok instead.

To travel by train from Sukhothai to Chiang Mai, you first need to go to Phitsanulok, where the nearest train station is located. From there, you can take the train to Chiang Mai.

Step 1: Sukhothai to Phitsanulok

Duration: 1.5 hours
Cost: 60 THB ($1.65)
Duration: 1.5 hours
Cost: 60 THB ($1.65)

Buses plying between Sukhothai and Phitsanulok used to be widely available. Because of the pandemic, taking a taxi is a better option.

Sukhothai to Phitsanulok by Bus

Pre-pandemic, Sukhothai Wintour used to have buses servicing the 1.5-hour journey from Sukhothai to Phitsanulok.

If you are leaving from the Sukhothai Bus Terminal, the ticket would cost around 60 THB ($1.65). Meanwhile, those departing from the Historical Park would usually pay 90 THB ($2.50) per ticket.

The last time we checked (April 2022), the buses are still unavailable. For updates, you can always check their Facebook page.

If you are coming from the New Sukhothai city centre, you need to take a tuk-tuk to get to the bus terminal. One ride costs 60 THB ($1.65).

Sukhothai to Phitsanulok by Taxi

An alternative to the bus is a taxi from Sukhothai to Phitsanulok. You can take a taxi from your hotel in either New or Old Sukhothai straight to the Phitsanulok Railway Station.

Kim Transfers Thailand offers competitive rates, starting from 2,300 THB ($63). You can compare the taxi fares of Kim Transfers with other taxi operators via the link below.

Check Private Transfers

Sukhothai to Phitsanulok by Tuk-tuk

The distance between Sukhothai and Phitsanulok is around 63 km, so travelling by tuk-tuk is not worth considering. Although possible, the open frame of the tuk-tuk will expose you to the intense summer heat or the rain.

Taking a taxi is far more comfortable, especially on a 1.5-hour-long ride.

Step 2: Phitsanulok to Chiang Mai by Train

Duration: 6-7.5 hours
Cost: 470 THB ($13)
Duration: 6-7.5 hours
Cost: 470 THB ($13)

Several trains ply from Phitsanulok to Chiang Mai daily.

If you took the bus from Sukhothai to Phitsanulok, you can take a 10-minute tuk-tuk ride to the train station and it costs 60 THB ($1.65).

For those who arrive at Phitsanulok around noon, we recommend train #7 departing at 13:22. A 2nd class seat in the air-conditioned car costs 470 THB ($13).

Those travelling at night can go for sleeper trains. If you want a good rest while in transit, we recommend boarding the #9 train that leaves at midnight.

Note that some coaches are designated women-only.

Train Schedule from Phitsanulok to Chiang Mai

TrainScheduleCosts
#713:22-19:30470 THB ($13)
Check Train Tickets
#10920:37-04:05610 THB ($16.50)
Check Train Tickets
#900:18-07:15880 THB ($24)
Check Train Tickets
#1301:47-08:40690 THB ($19)
Check Train Tickets

Tip: Train tickets are sold up to 90 days prior to the day of departure so book your ticket in advance! 

Sukhothai to Chiang Mai via Bangkok by Flight

Duration: 4-14 hours
Cost: 2,550 THB ($70)
Duration: 4-14 hours
Cost: 2,550 THB ($70)

There are no direct flights between Sukhothai and Chiang Mai. All flights have a layover in Bangkok.

Bangkok Airways is the only airline flying from and to Sukhothai. Flights are quite expensive starting from 2,550 THB ($70). Try booking in advance to find a lower price.

Check Flights on Skyscanner

Chiang Mai International Airport

The Chiang Mai International Airport (CNX) is located about 5 km away from the city centre. From here, you can take a taxi, airport shuttle, or public transportation from Chiang Mai Airport to get to your hotel.

Don’t forget to check with your hotel to see if they offer a free or low-cost transfer from the airport.

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