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Transportation from Bangkok to Chiang Rai

  • xgeneration

    Joined Travelfish
    9th August, 2012
    Posts: 16

    Hi all, I am planning to take a flight from Hong Kong to Bangkok on Oct 16, and go straight to Chiang Rai after I landed in Bangkok. My plan is to take a over-night sleeper train from Bangkok to Chiang Mai (www.seat61.com), then bus from Chiang Mai to Chiang Rai. I should be arriving in the afternoon on Oct. 17. My questions are,

    1) Is there usually a delay on the over-night train? My friend told me there is usually a 3 hrs delay on the train, is that true?

    2) What are the better bus services from Chiang Mai to Chiang Rai and how long does it take? Where can I take it after I get off from the Chiang Mai train station.

    Thank you.

    #1 Posted: 12/9/2012 - 08:21

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  • Captain_Bob

    Click here to learn more about Captain_Bob
    Joined Travelfish
    27th May, 2006
    Location Thailand
    Posts: 1787

    Yes it's fairly common for trains to arrive late by 1-2 even 3 hours. If it arrives on time consider yourself lucky. The best and most frequent buses to Chiang Rai are with a company called Green Bus. Go to the Chiang Mai Arcade bus station which is about a 50 baht 10-minute tuk tuk ride from the train station. The latest timetable I have is here.

    Note: if you're going farther north from Chiang Rai (Chiang Khong, Mae Sai, etc.) these buses depart from the older bus terminal in town near the night bazaar and most of the cheap guesthouses. Transfer between stations by shared pickup taxi is 10 baht.

    #2 Posted: 12/9/2012 - 09:47

  • xgeneration

    Joined Travelfish
    9th August, 2012
    Posts: 16

    I was told that the air-conditioned sleeper seats on the Bangkok-Chiang Mai train gone fast, is it true? Can I book it in advance?

    #3 Posted: 12/9/2012 - 12:52

  • Tilapia

    Click here to learn more about Tilapia
    Joined Travelfish
    21st April, 2006
    Location Canada
    Posts: 1478
    Total reviews: 15
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    At least 113

    Yes, they do go quickly depending on the time of the year. Sometimes there are last minute cancellations that open up the odd berth or two, but no point in risking it. If you know when you are going you can book in advance on this site ...


    #4 Posted: 12/9/2012 - 15:02

  • xgeneration

    Joined Travelfish
    9th August, 2012
    Posts: 16

    Thank you very much Captain_Bob and Tilapia

    #5 Posted: 13/9/2012 - 14:10

  • LannaCountr-

    Joined Travelfish
    16th September, 2012
    Posts: 3

    My experience traveling on the overnight train from Bangkok to Chiang Mai has been quite punctual. Yes, the best bus service to Chiang Rai is the Green Bus from Arcade Bus Terminal not that far from the train station. It takes a bout 3 hours. The VIP bus is non-stop costs a few dollars more. The seats are comfortable. I prefer the 1st class aircon bus as it stop half way at Mae Krachan.

    #6 Posted: 16/9/2012 - 09:59

  • xgeneration

    Joined Travelfish
    9th August, 2012
    Posts: 16

    thank you!

    #7 Posted: 16/9/2012 - 15:41

  • captainbkk

    Joined Travelfish
    16th February, 2012
    Posts: 472

    people with a little more sense and doing it the normal Thai way: dontbother with trains for transfers-as these also involve across town rides. Simply go to the behemoth of BKks bus transport, the Mochit and find any of dozens of companies offering overnight buses to C-Rai-or even to many smaller towns around, if thats where you actually aim for. only go via CMX IF you also want to spend a few days there. you are mislaid by that seat61 site and the idea tha any long-distacne trans is by train. You save more as half a day that way.

    #8 Posted: 17/9/2012 - 05:42

  • xgeneration

    Joined Travelfish
    9th August, 2012
    Posts: 16

    Yes I will be staying in Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai for quite a few days.

    #9 Posted: 17/9/2012 - 11:16

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