Want to know how to get from Sukhothai to Chiang Mai? In this post, we’ll share a summary of the three ways to get there and compare each option on duration, costs and level of comfort. For each option, we go into more detail to help you decide which transport provider to book with and where to buy your tickets.
What to expect when visiting Chiang Mai
Chiang Mai is Thailand’s northernmost city, an intriguing fusion of new and old. Its hundreds of temples, striking Old City and delicious local dishes tell the story of Chiang Mai’s culture and history. On the other hand, its cafe culture, friendly coworking spaces and nightlife attract digital nomads from across the globe.
Surrounded by mountains, the city offers plenty of adventures with nature. But if you can, we recommend travelling to Chiang Mai in time for one of its many festivals — like Loy Krathong (Lantern Festival) in November and Songkran (Water Splashing Festival) in April.
3 ways to get from Sukhothai to Chiang Mai
There are three ways to travel the distance of 300 km (186 miles) from Sukhothai to Chiang Mai: by bus (4h5m), train* (11h8m-12h28m) and flight (4-14 hours). The journey takes between 4-14 hours and the quickest way is by flight. The lowest priced tickets start from 350 THB ($9.50) for the bus.
*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
Costs: 60 THB ($1.60)
Duration: 1.5 hours
Costs: 60 THB ($1.60)
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 ($1.60). Meanwhile, those departing from the Historical Park would usually pay 90 THB ($2.40) 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 ($1.60).
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 ($63.00). You can compare the taxi fares of Kim Transfers with other taxi operators via the link below.
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.
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.
TIP: If you decide to travel by plane, please consider including a carbon compensation fee to reduce your impact on the environment.
Chiang Mai can be tiring exploring all of the temples and going on day trips, so there’s nothing better than coming back to a luxurious and beautiful hotel. Rimping Village feels like a mini resort nestled in the middle of Chiang Mai.
The exceptional breakfast served in the gardens each morning is likely to be one of the highlights of your trip. What a way to start the day! Then go for a dip in their beautiful outdoor swimming pool or head back to your spacious room.
Everything about POR Daowadung feels like a top-quality luxury hotel. Whether it’s the ultra-modern but comfortable designs of the rooms or the outdoor swimming pool and sunloungers actually in the pool!
The hotel is in a great location, every room has its own balcony and a delicious breakfast is included every morning. Can you ask for much more from an accommodation?
The star of the show at Chada Mantra Hotel has to be its outdoor swimming pool, which is extremely refreshing after a day spent exploring the city. Located within Chiang Mai Old City, just 700m from the Pae gate, this hotel is perfectly located.
The hotel offers free breakfast, wifi in all rooms and common areas, as well as an onsite bar. Here you’ll find beautiful clean rooms with city views and very comfortable beds. The staff are well known to be extremely helpful, always going the extra mile to assist their guests in any way possible.
It’s hard to believe that Asa Hotel is a budget-friendly accommodation, but a night here will cost you less than $30 for two people. The hotel is ultra-modern with a beautiful outdoor swimming pool and sun loungers for you to enjoy.
The staff are incredibly friendly and will help you with anything. The hotel also offers free coffee, tea and water in glass bottles to reduce the use of plastic. Here you’re a 15-minute walk from the Old Town.
Frequently Asked Questions about Sukhothai to Chiang Mai
What is the distance from Sukhothai to Chiang Mai?
The distance from Sukhothai to Chiang Mai is 300 km (186 miles).
What is the fastest way to get from Sukhothai to Chiang Mai?
The fastest way to get from Sukhothai to Chiang Mai is by flight and takes 4-14 hours.
What is the cheapest way to get from Sukhothai to Chiang Mai?
The cheapest way to get from Sukhothai to Chiang Mai is by bus with ticket costs starting from 350 THB ($9.50).
Rounding it up
We hope this guide was helpful in planning how to get from Sukhothai to Chiang Mai. If there's anything else you're wondering about, drop us a comment and we'll do our best to answer you within a few days.
PS: If you've recently travelled this route, share your experience with fellow travellers and help us improve this post. Thanks for helping out our travel community!
Based in Bali, Maarten’s passion for travel is undeniable. In 2016, he decided to quit his job as a stock analyst and started doing what he always dreamed of: travelling through South East Asia and helping other people plan their trips. When he is not working on Gecko Routes, you’ll find him surfing in the ocean or exploring the best gems of Indonesia.
Abby is a writer who finds joy in mountains, beaches, and road trips. She considers her solo backpacking trip to the rice terraces of Bontoc one of the most fulfilling moments in her life. She’s loyal to the islands of her home country, the Philippines, but Thailand’s beaches also have a special place in her heart.