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Chiang Mai to Chiang Rai?

  • Boohoo

    Joined Travelfish
    21st July, 2013
    Posts: 10

    Hi,

    I'm currently in Chiang Mai and thinking about my next move.

    I had thought of Chiang Rai as its on the way to Chiang Khong for the border crossing and slow boat.

    Wondering if there are any alternatives worth considering other than Chiang Rai. If anyone can suggest some other options I'd love to hear about them.

    I am looking to leave here on Wednesday and would like to be on the slow boat by/over next weekend.

    Although I do frequent the bars at night I'm not really interested in a massively huge nightlife, I'm more interested in getting to see the country.

    Oh, and if someone could tell me the best way to get to Chaing Rai or any other suggested place I'd appreciate it. I read somewhere to steer clear of the green bus company??

    Much appreciated.

    Thanks all.

    #1 Posted: 11/11/2013 - 05:20

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  • Captain_Bob

    Click here to learn more about Captain_Bob
    Joined Travelfish
    27th May, 2006
    Location Thailand
    Posts: 1625

    Green Bus is the best actually. They have standard, aircon, and VIP buses running throughout the day. The VIPs are great, like flying business class. Go to Arcade bus station on the NE edge of Chiang Mai city, with the first VIP going at 8am, takes 2h50m. Then get a red truck into Chiang Rai city, most of the cheap guesthouses are near Jed Yod street a block west of the downtown bus station (where you get buses to the border) and night bazaar area. Maybe do day trips up to Mae Salong, Thaton, Phu Chi Faa, go see Wat Rong Khun white temple, etc. Chiang Khong is also worth a day strolling along the river, too many people just transit through quickly to the Laos boats.

    #2 Posted: 11/11/2013 - 07:39

  • Boohoo

    Joined Travelfish
    21st July, 2013
    Posts: 10

    Thanks Captain Bob. I did reply last night but where why message went is anyones guess.

    So can I just turn up at arcade around 7.30am and get a ticket or do they sell out in advance?

    How much does the VIP bus cost?

    Btw, easy enough to get accommodation on arrival or with it being festival time is it worth a pre book?

    Thanks again

    #3 Posted: 11/11/2013 - 19:55

  • Captain_Bob

    Click here to learn more about Captain_Bob
    Joined Travelfish
    27th May, 2006
    Location Thailand
    Posts: 1625

    See timetables here and here
    Just show up at Arcade that morning and if the bus you want is full there are plenty of others going. VIP should be around 300 baht. Things will start getting busy for Loy Krathong in both CM and CR closer to the weekend. If you go on Wednesday you should be ok finding a room but Friday-Sunday it will fill up so make sure your room is locked down or move on to Chiang Khong.

    #4 Posted: 11/11/2013 - 23:22

  • Boohoo

    Joined Travelfish
    21st July, 2013
    Posts: 10

    Ticket was 288baht. Seems pretty reasonable for the VIP bus. The 8am bus was sold out, I didn't get to Arcade until 7.50am so I'm on the next one. Thanks for your help.

    #5 Posted: 12/11/2013 - 20:23

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