How to get from Chiang Rai to Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai was formerly the kingdom’s capital when it was known as the Lanna Kingdom. As a result, both its history and its culture are exceptionally well preserved. The city is jam-packed with sights and activities that you may participate in throughout your visit, and it is set against a mountainous backdrop that will make you lose your breath. If you are already in Chiang Rai but have not yet been to Chiang Mai, it makes the most sense to head straight there because the distance between the two cities is so short. Chiang Mai is simply too near to Chiang Rai to be missed.

In this post, we will provide you with all the information you must know on how to get from Chiang Rai to Chiang Mai.

How to get from Chiang Rai to Chiang Mai?

The distance between two cities is around 200 kilometres, which indicates that the travel is a short one that you will be able to quickly do and that will not take too much time. You are free to leave and return at any time during the day. There are a variety of transportation choices available for this, such as a private taxi or minivan, a vehicle, a scooter, or a bus. It is not possible to get to Chiang Rai via rail since the station that is located closest to Chiang Mai is the one that serves Chiang Rai. Keep reading if you wish to obtain further information.

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Transport to go from ​Chiang Rai to ​Chiang Mai:

  • ​Bus – ​It is without a doubt the one that offers the best balance of cost and convenience. The one that is recommended the most.
  • ​Taxi or private minivan – The most expensive choice, but one that guarantees complete discretion.
  • ​Car or scooter – ​Those with prior driving experience can rent a vehicle or scooter and embark on their own journey.

How to go to Chiang Mai by bus

This choice allows you to peacefully appreciate the mountainous vistas that will arise along the journey without having to worry about driving or deciding which direction to go. The price is extremely reasonable, and it gives you this opportunity. Buses operate on the hour, and some of them run even more regularly than that depending on the bus class you take. Greenbus is the most well-known and dependable of all the companies. We strongly suggest that you purchase your ticket in advance if you are going to be travelling during the busy travel season, since this is the option that sees the highest demand.

  • Distance:  ​​​183 kilometers.
  • Duration:  ​3 – 4 hours.
  • Price: ​Between 200 and 400 bahts, although it may vary according to the class of bus you choose and its amenities.
  • Departure area: Chiang Rai Bus Terminal 1. 

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How to go to Chiang Mai by private taxi or minivan

You might not want to drive, but you definitely don’t want to carpool with a large number of people you don’t know. If this is the case for you, then there are a number of different travel firms that provide this choice; thus, you should go through reviews and rates to choose the one that is most convenient for you. You should consider renting a minivan if you are going on a trip with a big family since they will be able to occupy an entire car without having to share it, and they will be able to divide the cost of the journey amongst themselves. Remember that selecting this alternative will result in higher overall costs than selecting the more costly bus option.

  • Distance:  ​​197.2 kilometers along highway 118.
  • Duration:  ​About 1 hour and 15 minutes.
  • Price: ​From 3,500 to 8,000 baht, depending on the vehicle’s dimensions.
  • Starting area: ​Not determined.

How to go to Chiang Mai by car or scooter

If you are travelling on your own, the 118 is the road that will get you there the quickest and most directly. If you want to walk a little further and become familiar with diverse landscapes, you can go on a somewhat longer excursion by taking Highway 118 and Highway 1, which is slightly further. This choice lengthens the trip by roughly 55 kilometres and adds approximately 50 minutes to the total travel time compared to the prior option. Renting a vehicle or scooter gives you the freedom to pick your own adventure, which is one of the many advantages of doing so.

In addition, you will be free to make as many photo stops as you like to capture the breathtaking alpine scenery the region has to offer. However, if you do not have previous driving expertise in Asia, you should not choose this option since it is a highly busy and fast route with hilly curves that are frequently congested by buses and trucks.

  • Distance:  ​​​197.2 kilometers along highway 118.
  • Duration:  ​About 1 hour and 15 minutes, although it will depend on traffic.
  • Price: ​Not determined.
  • Starting area: ​Not determined.
Olivia Ashly

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