How to Travel on the Bangkok to Chiang Mai Bus

A popular way to travel to the North of Thailand is to catch a Bangkok to Chiang Mai bus.

Travelling by bus is faster than the train and there are many bus companies to choose from, with various classes and ticket prices, including 1st Class, Express, VIP...



photo of a Bangkok to Chiang Mai bus

Bus from Bangkok to Chiang Mai

If you decide to travel by bus from Bangkok to Chiang Mai, you should make sure that you are leaving from the right bus terminal.

There are three main bus stations in Bangkok, but only one that operates buses to Chiang Mai - Mo Chit Northern Bus Terminal.

Mo Chit Bus Terminal for the Bangkok to Chiang Mai busMo Chit Bus Terminal

Buying Bus Tickets for the Bus from Mo Chit to Chiang Mai

At Mo Chit, the ticket selling counters for Chiang Mai are located outside on the 1st floor (ground floor).

At first it can be quite confusing as there are so many different bus companies to choose from.

To make it simple you should know that basically all these companies offer the same kind of services:

Bus trips General details
Types of Buses A/C double-decker buses with TV and toilets on board / Some companies have single deck buses
Departure times From 06.00 to 14.00 and from 16.00 to 23.00
Frequency From every 30 minutes to every hour
Travelling times VIP buses = 9 h 30 minutes / Other types of buses = from 9 h 30 minutes up to 11 hours
Stopovers Most buses stop at the major cities en route / VIP buses make less stopovers and some even go direct without stopping
Food / Drinks Small snacks and drinks are served on board / Most buses stop for 20 mins. at a roadside restaurant near Kamphaeng Phet / VIP bus tickets include a meal at this restaurant (rice + one choice) or a drink / Some companies don't stop at a roadside restaurant and instead serve hot meals on board
Fares Government bus company: VIP Buses = 876THB / 1st Class = 563THB / 2nd Class = 438THB


To get more detailed information (timetables, fares...) about the different companies operating buses to / from Bangkok to Chiang Mai see below>>>

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Arrival / Departure from Chiang Mai

Arcade Bus Station (Terminal 3)Arcade Bus Station (Terminal 3)
Bus coming from Bangkok at Arcade stationBus arriving at Arcade Bus Station

In Chiang Mai you will arrive at, or depart from the Arcade Bus Station, which is the long distance bus station located a few kilometres east of the "Old City".

The station is divided in 2 distinctive terminals (number 2 and number 3) which stand only a few metres apart, with a road running in between them.

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Bus Companies from Bangkok to Chiang Mai

Below you will find some detailed information about three different bus companies that we have used in the past and that offer bus services to and from Mo Chit in Bangkok to Chiang Mai Arcade Bus Station.

The Transport Company  - “ บริษัท ขนส่ง “

The Transport Company is the government bus company (under the Thai Ministry of Transport).

It is often referred by Thai people by its initial letters บขส (pronounce: Baaw-Khaaw-Saaw) or just as 99 or 999.

Buses :

It offers three types of buses from Bangkok to Chiang Mai:

-         VIP Bus = double-decker bus, 32 massage seats (adjustable at 135 degrees), 1st Class A/C, snacks and drinks, TV and lavatory / toilet on board.

Travelling time 9h30 / Ticket fare = 876THB

-         1st Class Bus = double-decker bus,  50 massage seats (adjustable at 135 degrees), 1st Class A/C, snacks and drinks, TV and lavatory on board.

Travelling time 9h30 / Ticket fare = 563THB

-         2nd Class Bus = double-decker bus, 55 seats (adjustable at 115 degrees), 2nd Class A/C, no lavatory.

Travelling time 11 hours / Ticket fare = 438THB

The Transport Company Bangkok Chiang Mai 2nd Class bus2nd class bus
Seats inside The Transport Company 2nd Class busSeats inside The Transport Company 2nd Class bus

The Transport Company - Bangkok to Chiang Mai Bus Timetable

Bangkok Chiang Mai Bus Type
05.40 16.40 2nd Class Bus
07.25 18.25 2nd Class Bus
08.50 19.50 2nd Class Bus
09.00 18.30 VIP Bus
10.30 21.30 2nd Class Bus
12.30 23.30 2nd Class Bus
14.30 01.30 2nd Class Bus
19.50 06.50 2nd Class Bus
20.00 05.30 VIP Bus
21.00 06.30 VIP Bus / No stop - Hot meals served on board
21.30 07.00 VIP Bus
21.40 07.15 1st Class Bus
23.00 08.30 1st Class Bus

The Transport Company - Chiang Mai to Bangkok Bus Timetable

Chiang Mai Bangkok Bus Type
06.30 17.30 2nd Class Bus
09.00 20.00 2nd Class Bus
09.00 18.30 VIP Bus
11.30 22.30 2nd Class Bus
16.00 03.00 2nd Class Bus
18.00 05.00 2nd Class Bus
19.00 04.30 1st Class Bus
19.00 04.30 VIP Bus
20.00 07.00 2nd Class Bus
20.00 05.30 1st Class Bus
20.00 05.30 VIP Bus
21.00 08.00 2nd Class Bus
21.00 06.30 VIP Bus / No stop - Hot meals served on board

Ticketing :

The Transport Company counters at Mo ChitThe Transport Company counters at Mo Chit

At Mo Chit outside on the 1st floor The Transport Company has a huge orange stand spreading from counter #23 to counter #31.

Tickets can be purchased up to 60 days before the departure date directly at Mo Chit.

You can also book your tickets by phoning their call centres:

Phone: 1490 (pay and collect your tickets using your ref. number at any Thai Ticket Major cinema in Thailand).

Phone: 02-8721777 (pay and collect your tickets using your ref.number at any 7/11 shop in Thailand).



To know more about The Transport Company contact their call centre at 1490 or go to their website (partially in English):

www.home.transport.co.th

Sombat Tour – “สมบัติทัวร์”

Buses :

Sombat Tour Bus to Chiang MaiSombat Tour Bus

This private company offers three different classes of buses on its Bangkok – Chiang Mai route:



-         VIP Supreme Class = A/C double-decker bus, 32 seats, snacks and drinks, TV and lavatory on board.

Travelling time 9h30 / Ticket fare = 876THB

-         Super Class = A/C double-decker bus, 40 seats, snacks and drinks, TV and lavatory on board.

Travelling time 9h30 / Ticket fare = 657THB

-         Star Class = A/C single deck bus, 40 seats, snacks, TV and lavatory on board.

Travelling time 9h30 / Ticket fare = 563THB


Sombat Tour - Schedule of Buses from Bangkok to Chiang Mai

Bangkok Chiang Mai Bus Type
07.00 16.30 VIP Supreme Class
08.00 17.30 Star Class
09.00 18.30 Super Class
09.20 18.50 VIP Supreme Class
13.00 22.30 Star Class
14.00 23.30 Star Class
16.00 01.30 Star Class
18.00 03.30 Star Class
19.25 04.55 VIP Supreme Class
20.10* 05.40 Super Class
20.25 05.55 Star Class
21.00 06.30 VIP Supreme Class
21.39 07.09 VIP Supreme Class
22.05 07.35 Star Class

*On Fri. and Sun. this bus is reserved for women.

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Sombat Tour - Schedule of Buses from Chiang Mai to Bangkok

Chiang Mai Bangkok Bus Type
07.30 17.00 VIP Supreme Class
08.00 17.30 Super Class
09.00 18.30 Star Class
10.00 19.30 VIP Supreme Class
12.45 22.15 Star Class
13.30 23.00 Star Class
17.30 03.00 Star Class
19.00 04.30 VIP Supreme Class
19.30 05.00 Star Class
19.45 05.15 VIP Supreme Class
20.00 05.30 Star Class
20.15* 05.45 Super Class
20.30 06.00 VIP Supreme Class
21.00 06.30 VIP Supreme Class
21.00 06.30 Star Class
21.15 06.45 Super Class
21.30 07.00 Star Class
21.35 07.05 VIP Supreme Class
21.50 07.20 VIP Supreme Class

*On Fri. and Sun. this bus is reserved for women.

Note that Sombat Tour operates a twice a week  “Lady bus” which are strictly reserved for women.

It leaves every Friday and Sunday at 20.10 on the Bangkok to Chiang Mai bus route and at 20.15 on the Chiang Mai to Bangkok bus route.


Ticketing :

Sombat counters 15 16 17 on 1st Floor outsideSombat counters


Tickets can be purchased up to 30 days in advance directly at the Sombat Tour counters at Mo Chit Bus Station (outside 1st Floor / counters A2, 1, 15, 16 and 17).


To know more go to www.sombattour.com or telephone their call centre on: 027921444.


Nakhonchai Air – “นครชัยแอร์”

This is another private bus company and our favorite because of its modern bus fleet, its punctuality and safety standards.

Buses :

Their Bangkok to Chiang Mai bus service offers 2 different kinds of single deck buses:

-         First Class = A/C single deck bus,  21 or 30 massage seats, individual TV screens, snacks and drinks, hot meals served on board, lavatory.

Travelling time 9 hours / Ticket fare = 876THB
 

-         Gold Class = A/C single deck bus, 32 massage seats, TV on board, snacks, hot meals served on board, lavatory.

Travelling time 9 hours / Ticket fare = 657THB

Nakhonchai Air single deck bus at Mo Chit bus terminalNakhonchai Air Bus
Inside a First Class busInside a First Class bus

Nakhonchai Air - Bus Timetable from Bangkok to Chiang Mai

Departure Time Arrival Time Bus Type
07.15 16.30 Gold Class
09.00 18.15 Gold Class
10.00 19.00 First Class
12.00 21.00 Gold Class
19.00 04.20 Gold Class
19.30 04.50 Gold Class
20.00 05.20 Gold Class
20.30 05.50 Gold Class
21.00 06.20 Gold Class
21.30 06.40 Gold Class
21.45 06.55 Gold Class
22.00 07.10 Gold Class
22.30 07.40 First Class
23.30 08.40 Gold Class

Nakhonchai Air - Bus Timetable from Chiang Mai to Bangkok

Departure Time Arrival Time Bus Type
07.15 16.05 Gold Class
09.00 17.50 Gold Class
10.00 18.55 First Class
10.30 19.25 First Class
12.00 20.55 Gold Class
13.15 22.10 Gold Class
19.00 04.10 Gold Class
19.30 04.40 Gold Class
20.00 05.10 Gold Class
20.30 05.40 Gold Class
21.00 06.10 Gold Class
21.20 06.25 First Class
21.30 06.35 Gold Class
22.00 07.05 Gold Class
22.30 07.35 First Class
23.00 08.05 Gold Class

Ticketing :

Tickets can be bought up to 30 days in advance at their ticket selling counter at Mo Chit Bus Terminal (ground floor outside counter 22A).

Nakhonchai Air counters at Mo chitNakhonchai Air counters at Mo chit
Nakhonchai Air small stationNakhonchai Air small station

You can also purchased your Bangkok to Chiang Mai bus tickets directly at the Nakhonchai Air small station which is located along Kamphaeng Phet 2 Road (about 1.5 km south from Mo Chit).

Actually, you can also board your bus there, as all their buses leave from this small station first and then make a stop at the nearby Mo Chit Bus Terminal to pick up more passengers before leaving for Chiang Mai.

Tickets can also be purchased by phoning their call centre: 1624 at least 12 hours before departure time.

Pay and collect your tickets using your given reference number at any 7/11 shop in Thailand.

To know more go to www.nca.co.th (in Thai only) or phone 029394999 ext. 1125, 1126

Buying Bus Tickets from a Bangkok Travel Agency

If you choose to buy your Bangkok to Chiang Mai bus tickets at one of the travel agencies found in Bangkok, you will obviously have to pay an extra charge.

Considering that it is quite easy and cheap to go to the Northern Bus Terminal on your own, we don't really advise you to go through a travel agent.

To know how to go to the Northern Bus Terminal click here>>>

If you purchase your tickets at one of the Khaosan Road travel agencies, there are a few things that you should know about these tourist buses:
 
- Khao San Road bus fares can be cheaper than in Mo Chit, but you will travel in a run-down double-decker bus with other foreign tourists (no Thai people).

- There are only evening departures (18.00 / 19.00 / 20.00) and the buses leave from Khaosan Road area and not from Mo Chit.

- The Khao San Road Bangkok to Chiang Mai bus is usually packed to the limit and doesn’t offer as much comfort (legroom) or as many on-board services (snacks and drinks) than the scheduled buses leaving from Mo Chit.

Many people still however use them, as they are cheap and they leave from the Koh San Road where many foreigners stay.


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