Taking the bus to and from Chiang Mai is an easy option and comes with a range of choices to suit all budgets. Travellers looking for a spot of luxury and pampering will find VIP coaches a good choice while cheaper buses get you from A to B and with the added bonus of being able to enjoy the scenery on the way.
Thailand’s railway network only has four main routes. The nation’s transport companies have compensated for this by adding bus routes which criss-cross the nation. Chiang Mai alone has multiple bus choices when travelling from Bangkok. It has direct bus services from other major locations including Udon Thani, Ubon Ratchahani, Pattaya, Hua Hin and Phuket too. Information of buses to and from Chiang Mai, bus timetables and bus companies are available on the What’s Up Bus Timetables page.
In the north, locations with bus connections to Chiang Mai are Mae Hong Son, Pai, Fang, Chiang Rai, Mae Sai and Chang Khong. Standard size buses are complemented on some of the major routes in the north by smaller passenger vans and songthaews which tend to depart more frequently and get there more quickly.
Chiang Mai has three intercity bus terminals, but most of the buses depart from the new Arcade Bus Terminal on the east side of the city. The following gives basic information about the three main bus stations in Chiang Mai.
CHIANG MAI BUS TERMINAL 1 [CHANG PHUAK]
Chiang Mai Bus Terminal 1 is also called ‘Chang Phuak Bus Station’. This station is located a little to the north of Chang Phuak Gate. There are four main routes from this station. The first is north to Chiang Dao, the access road for Doi Ang Khang, Fang and Tha Ton. The second route is in the same direction, but goes to Phrao. The other routes from Chang Phuak go via Warorot Market to Samoeng and the southern highway to Hangdong and Hot.
Chang Phuak Bus Station: #108/27, Chang Phuak Rd., T. Sri Phum, A. Muang, Chiang Mai 50200 | Open: 04:00-21:00 (Daily) | Tel: +66 53 211 586, +66 53 223 900 | Map
CHIANG MAI BUS TERMINAL 2
Chiang Mai Bus Terminal 2 is the older of two bus terminals collectively grouped as the Arcade Bus Station. The Arcade is east of the Ping River and about three kilometres from Thapae Gate. The old terminal only has limited departures and mostly to nearby locations. Nakhon Chai Air has its own terminal behind Terminal 2 and its buses for Bangkok, Pattaya and Nakhon Ratchasima arrive at and depart from here.
Chiang Mai Bus Station #2: #165, Soi 5, Kaew Nawarat Rd., T. Wat Gate, A. Muang, Chiang Mai 50000 | Open: 04:00-22:30 (Daily) | Tel: +66 53 246 501, +66 53 241 449 | Map
CHIANG MAI BUS TERMINAL 3
Chiang Mai Bus Terminal 3 is the Arcade Bus Station’s new building and the arrivals and departure point for most Chiang Mai intercity buses. Numerous bus companies such as Sombat Tours, Green Bus and Siam First operate from and have ticket offices in the main building. Buses from the south including those from Hua Hin and Phuket, as well as from Bangkok, the eastern Esarn region of Thailand and the north use this terminal. There is even an international route from Terminal 3 which connects to the Laos heritage town of Luang Prabang.
Chiang Mai Bus Station #3: – Super Highway, Chiang Mai-Lampang Rd., T. Wat Gate, A. Muang, Chiang Mai 50000 | Open: 04:00-22:30 (Daily) | Tel: +66 53 246 501, +66 53 241 449 | Map
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• Trains To/From Chiang Mai