Handling in excess of five million passengers annually, Chiang Mai International is one of Thailand’s five busiest airports. The airport was established in the 1920s and carries the IATA code of CNX. It is located conveniently close for travel to central Chiang Mai and is just two kilometres by road from the southwest corner of the Old City moat.
Chiang Mai Airport is a hub facility for airlines including national carrier Thai Airways and Thai AirAsia. It has direct flights from domestic locations such as Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi and Don Mueang airports, Phuket, Krabi, Hat Yai and Udon Thani. International carriers like Korean Air, HK Express and SilkAir fly from Asian cities including Seoul, Hong Kong and Singapore to Chiang Mai.
The two passenger terminals at Chiang Mai are connected. Domestic is the northernmost of the two. In both terminals, the check-in desks and Arrivals are on the ground floor. The gates for Departures are on the first floor. The terminals offer a full collection of services and facilities.
The What’s Up guide to Chiang Mai Airport has comprehensive information about the amenities. These range from ATMs and currency exchange booths to car rental and a good choice of shopping and dining outlets. We have also included sections on getting to and from the airport and recommended hotels in the local area.
FACILITIES AND SERVICES
Currency Exchange Booths and ATMs
There are plenty of ATMs and currency exchange offices in the terminals of the airport. All the Thai banks have ATMs dotted around the ground floor of the buildings. A group of bureau de change kiosks is located at the south end of the international Arrivals hall.
Information offices are located in each terminal in the public area.
Baggage Wrapping Services
There is one luggage wrapping and sealing station on the ground floor of each terminal.
There are left luggage lockers in the public zone of the airport. Opening times are 07:00 to 21:00 daily.
Lost and Found Centre
Thai Airways has a lost and found office on the ground floor of international Arrivals. Passengers travelling with other airlines need to contact local staff directly if they lose their luggage.
Airline and Other Lounges
Thai Airways has two lounges at Chiang Mai Airport while Bangkok Airways maintains one. Coral Executive Lounge offers VIP treatment including fast-tracking through immigration checkpoints. There is also a VIP lounge between the two terminals which offers group meeting facilities. The lounges are in the upper floor domestic Departures area.
The post office at Chiang Mai Airport provides everything from stamps to registered postal services. It also sells postcards and collectors’ stamps. The post office opens every day between 08:30 and 20:00 and is situated on the ground floor of the terminal.
Emergencies and Medical Service
The airport first aid clinic is on the first floor of the passenger building and is open from 08:00 to 23:00.
Spa and Massage
Three locations in the passenger building provide massage and other wellness treatments for passengers. There is one each in the Departure areas and another in international Arrivals. Charming Do is near the airline passenger lounges on the first floor.
Re-entry Permit Office
At Chiang Mai Airport, re-entry permits are only available in the airside international Departures area. There is a small office just before the passport control booths and after the security checkpoints.
Visa on Arrival
There are two counters alongside each other in the international Arrivals hall at which travellers can obtain visas on arrival. They are before the passport control desks.
Smoking zones at the front of the passenger building are signposted and have ashtrays. There is one smoking room in the airside international Departures hall.
A room for Buddhist monks to pray in is located on the first floor where the Arrivals and Departures terminals connect. There are also reserved seating areas for monks near departure gates. The prayer room for Muslims is close to the one for Buddhists.
Although shopping opportunities at Chiang Mai Airport are not as diverse as at Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport, the choice of souvenirs available from around 10 outlets will satisfy most. Shops such as Gold Swiss, Happy Gems and Doi Tung sell jewellery and fashion accessories plus all the lacquerware, woodcarvings, silk clothing, Bo Sang fans, toys and dolls Chiang mai is renowned for. King Power Duty Free shops are located in the international airside Arrivals and Departures zones.
Shops are in the public and airside areas of the terminals. Narai Pan is beside the airport post office and sells an exciting range of souvenirs. A couple of outlets sell delicacies in sealed packages. These provide the means for visitors to take the likes of keb moo crispy pork, dried and preserved mangoes, locally grown Arabica coffee beans and Doi Mae Salong tea home with them.
A couple of convenience stores and a pharmacy in the public zones of the terminals stock basic medicines, sweets and drinks. Booksmith and Bookazine shops sell Thai and English language books, magazines and newspapers as well as limited selections in other languages.
Khao Soi House is located in the public Departures area and has a good menu featuring Thai signature dishes. Noodle House, Burger King, McDonald’s and Subway Sandwiches all have outlets in the terminals. In the secure airside Departures halls, a Bill Bentley Pub, A Black Canyon Coffee Shop and a small bakery are the main choices.
Chiang Mai Airport and Chiang Mai Airport are so near to each there is not much demand for accommodation nearby. The What’s Up guide to accommodation is linked here and provides our recommendations on where to stay in the city and its surroundings. For those who do want to be near the airport, there are several hotels within a few minutes by taxi. Details about a few of the popular Chiang Mai Airport hotels follow.
VC@Suanpaak Hotel and Serviced Apartments
VC@Suanpaak is the nearest accommodation choice to the airport and is located beside Airport Road. This elegant premises comes with a swimming pool and beautiful gardens. Room amenities include large TVs, personal safes, minibars, kettles, verandas and free wireless internet…more info & booking
Another good choice, Noble Place is in a side street about 300 metres from the Airport Plaza shopping and lifestyle mall. The Noble offers a 24/7 reception, shuttle services to and from the airport, massage services, wireless internet, a car park and a dining room for buffet meals. Highlights of the well-appointed rooms are air-conditioning, satellite enabled televisions and minibars…more info & booking
Chiang Mai Hipster Mini Hotel
The Chiang Mai Hipster is a stylish boutique hotel offering budget friendly rooms which are modern and have conveniences such as air-conditioning, cable TVs, refrigerators and wireless internet. Breakfast is included in the room rates and there is a small convenience store onsite. The Hipster enjoys a convenient location just 500 metres south of the airport exit road…more info & booking
3b Boutique Bed & Breakfast
Located on Highway 108 and only five minutes from Chiang Mai Airport, the 3b Boutique is a homely establishment loaded up with facilities. It boasts a coffee-shop, business and massage centres, and bicycle hire. Colourful rooms are the epitome of style and provide air-conditioning, satellite televisions, minibars, wireless internet and even hairdryers…more info & booking
B2 Airport Hotel
The B2 is about 1.5kms from the airport and a short distance from the inner ring road. Economically priced rooms are equipped with all modern conveniences which include media players, cable television, work desks, wireless internet, air-conditioners and minibars…more info & booking
The TL is a 60-room premises one kilometre from the airport. The rooms are clean and nicely furnished with bonuses ranging from minibars to cable television and air-conditioning. There is a public coffee area and the Airport Plaza Mall is within a few minutes’ walk…more info & booking
There are two kiosks in the terminals for taxis to Chiang Mai downtown and other locations. These taxis are licensed to operate at the airport. Fares are fixed and passengers know what they will pay when they leave the airport counter. There is a booking office for songthaew shared taxis at the south end of the buildings. Tuktuk drivers are allowed to drop passengers off at the airport, but not to pick up passengers.
The limousine service booking office is also located on the ground floor of the passenger building. Like taxis, limousine rates are fixed to specific destinations.
Airport Shuttle Buses
Passenger vans operate on three routes from the airport. The first goes to the Night Bazaar zone and drops passengers at hotels including the Imperial Mae Ping, Le Meridien and the Lanna Palace. The second is to the Chiang Mai Convention Centre and the third to the 700 Year Anniversary Stadium and the Dhara Devi Resort Chiang Mai. The departure point is outside the international terminal.
Airport Car Rental
Avis, Budget, Europcar, Sixt and several local suppliers provide car hire at Chiang Mai Airport services. Pre-booking guarantees the best rates and ensures the vehicle model you want is available.
The car park at the front of the passenger building has spaces for 440 cars. Parking rates are charged by the hour. Daily rates apply to vehicles left in the car park for more than three hours.