The main method of getting from Chiang Mai to Chiang Rai is via bus, with Greenbus Thailand being one of the most popular buses for tourists. If you don’t want to get the bus, you can get a taxi, although that is much more expensive. Trains travel from Bangkok to Chiang Mai, but at the moment don’t travel as far as Chiang Rai. However, a new rail line is being built between Den Chai and Chiang Khong, so from either 2022 or 2023 you’ll be able to get a train from Chiang Mai to Chiang Rai – see below for further details. Click here to book a great hotel in Chiang Rai.
Chiang Mai To Chiang Rai By Bus
As mentioned above, the most popular bus service is Greenbus. This leaves from Chiang Mai Bus Terminal 3 and travels to Chiang Rai Bus Terminal 1. Greenbus operates 19 buses per day on this route, with an extra two buses on Friday and Sundays.
The first bus of the day leaves Chiang Mai at 6:45 and arrives in Chiang Rai at 9:45. The last bus leaves at 18:00 and arrives at 21:00. The extra two buses on Fridays and Sundays depart at 18:30 and 19:00. Buses depart throughout the day.
Ticket prices are as follows:
- V-Class 258 baht
- X-Class 166 baht
- A-Class 129 baht
You can see full details of the timetable here.
You can buy tickets at the bus station or at many places around Chiang Mai. See here for a full list, or just ask at your hotel. You can also book tickets online at 12go.asia/en/travel/chiang-mai/chiang-rai.
Chiang Mai To Chiang Rai By Taxi
If you prefer to take a taxi, these are also readily available. You can either book via your hotel or via 12go.asia/en/travel/chiang-mai/chiang-rai.
Typical costs are around 3,800 to 5,500 baht. Much more expensive than the bus, but more convenient for some people. If there are four of you sharing a taxi, then the price could be under 1,000 baht per person, so not too bad.
Chiang Mai To Chiang Rai By Train
As already mentioned there isn’t a train service running between Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai at the moment, although a route is planned to open in 2022 or 2023. A new line is being built from Den Chai to Chiang Khong (via Chiang Rai). Once this is open you’ll be able to get a train from Chiang Mai to Den Chai and then from there to Chiang Rai.
Where To Stay In Chiang Rai
Agoda has some great places to stay in Chiang Rai. Click here to book a great hotel in Chiang Rai.