How to Travel From Chiang Mai to Chiang Rai by Bus

Since arriving in Chiang Mai over 5 months ago we finally ventured little further afield. With everything that has been going on in terms of the pandemic we had been reluctant to travel too far from our newly adopted home of Chiang Mai. Since arriving in Chiang Mai we have actually not left the city and limited ourselves to exploring nearby locations.

Even though the journey is only 3 hours north, it felt like we were actually travelling and on the road again. It had been awhile since our email inbox had seen a hotel reservation. We took the weekend off teaching online to discover what Chiang Rai had to offer.

We decided to take the bus to Chiang Rai. Even though we recently got our bike, after doing some research we discovered that it is not recommended to make the 3 hour journey (in the mountains) with a 125cc scooter.

We booked our bus tickets with Green Bus. It was really easy, we just downloaded the app, entered our departure and return dates and collected our tickets at Chiang Mai Terminal 3. Green Bus has a VIP bus option that operates from Chiang Mai to Chiang Rai multiple times per day. The VIP buses have wide reclining padded seats that are actually quite comfortable for bus seats.

The website states the journey is 3 hours long and we were our departure time and arrival time was right on time. Our bus departed Chiang Mai Terminal 3 at 8:30am as schedules and we arrived at Chiang Rai Station 2 at 11:30am. The journey went smoothly and the views from out the window of the Northern Thailand mountains were stunning.

Once we got off the bus we crossed the road to hire a bike from Bikky. Bikky bike rental shop is conveniently located across the road from the bus station. We hired a 125cc scooter for 24 hours and it cost 250baht.

If you are travelling from Chiang Mai to Chiang Rai we recommend checking out Green Bus. The journey went smoothly and was on schedule. You might also be interested in researching some other alternatives. Usually there are a lot of private tour companies operating minivans between Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai. However, at the moment due to Covid-19 there are no foreign tourists in Thailand and these private minivans are not currently running.

Next blog we will outline our 24 hours in Chiang Rai. If you are interested in finding out what we saw, where we ate and where we stayed enter your email address below and subscribe to receive notifications when we post a new blog.


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