Right now the most common google phrases that send people to my blog are phrases and questions concerning taking a bus from Bangkok to Chiang Mai or from Chiang Mai to Bangkok. Since there seems to be many people googling it (and I did as well before going) I thought I would write up a proper entry about how I got to Chiang Mai.
Since my trip to Chiang Mai was spontaneous (to say the least) I hadn’t booked anything before hand. It turned out okay for me, but of course I can’t promise you never have to book ahead. Right now it’s still rainy season here in Thailand and most people aboard the same buses I took where Thai so I don’t think the tourists has gotten here yet. Anyway, on the way north I took a taxi from Rangsit to Mo Chit where the buses heading north leave from. If you’re coming from Bangkok with the skytrain, you have to take a taxi from Mo Chit the skytrain station (which is Mo Chit 1) to Mo Chit the bus station (Mo Chit 2). It’s not far, shouldn’t be more than 50 baht (don’t decide on a price before the trip, make sure the driver uses the meter).
At the Mo Chit bus station we just asked for a bus that would take us to Chiang Mai. We got there at 9.30 pm and before half an hour had passed we had found a company that would take us there. We paid roughly 500 baht per person. Make sure not to fall for the VIP signs, all buses seem to be pretty much the same standard.
I can’t remember the company name of the bus that took us north, but it was nice. Got a blanket and about halfway there was a stop for going to the toilet. We left Mo Chit at 11.30 pm and because of the bad weather it took an extra two hours for us to get to Chiang Mai, but we were there by 9 am and I slept the whole way. Me and my friend got the seat in the front on the top floor, and we had the best seats in the bus. Lot’s of space! With the air-con it got kind of cold, so even if we got blankets I was glad to have packed a longsleeved shirt and a pair of socks in my carry on luggage.
On the way south I went to the Chiang Mai bus terminal about two hours before I wanted to catch a bus. Once again I hadn’t booked anything beforehand. I ended up catching a bus from the company Sombat Tour. I paid 563 baht for the ticket, and I’m very happy with the bus ride. During the ride I got snack and drinks, halfway we stopped for food and if it hadn’t been because of an accident with a truck blocking the road, we would have been in time. Ended up coming to Bangkok about 11 hours after we started in Mo Chit.
All in all I can definitively recommend taking the bus between Bangkok and Chiang Mai.