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How to get to Chiang Rai, Thailand

If you are thinking of traveling to the north of Thailand, one of the essential cities to visit is Chiang Rai, the city of the most extravagant temples.

Chiang Rai is a relatively small city that you can visit in one or two days. If you want to finish complementing your trip, you can add even one more day to get to know the Golden Triangle.

In this post I talk about how to get to Chiang Rai. You have several options, but the most common is that you arrive in Chiang Mai (an essential city to visit in northern Thailand) and from there you arrive in Chiang Rai, although it is not the only option.


Plane, a good option if you travel from the south of Thailand

Chiang Rai has an airport and manages domestic flights every day from different parts of Thailand. It is a good option if you are traveling from an island in Thailand or from Bangkok. From here you can get to Chiang Mai by road (an essential city to see in northern Thailand).

Bus or minivan to Chiang Rai, a good option to go from Chiang Mai to Chiang Rai

I always use an app to get around Asia. Too bad they don't give commission, because it would be rich from so many times that I have recommended it. The 12 go Asia website is a transfer and transport search engine that you can use to move around Asia (and now they also have more countries, from Europe and America...).

Putting your departure and arrival destinations, it offers you all the available transport options; plane, train, bus... And the prices.

If you do not travel in high season, you can improvise your trip a little and book even the day before.

Car rental, if you want to go around the north of Thailand on your own

At this point, if you want to go from Chiang Mai to Chiang Rai, forget about renting a motorcycle. This same commented to you to go to Pai. Well, the motorcycle option is very cheap and to move around the cities is ok, but for long distances it is not the most advisable.

Renting a motorcycle can cost you around 7 euros a day. And if you rent a car for about 11 or 12 euros per day.

Personally, if you have an international driving license (although some places turn a blind eye if you don't) I recommend renting a car. The north of Thailand is quiet, there is no horrible Bangkok traffic and you will have the opportunity to go at your own pace, lose yourself and find hidden wonders, which I will tell you about later.

The road that goes from Chiang Mai to Chiang Rai is one of the essential things to do in northern Thailand. Full of vegetation, rice fields, viewpoints where you get stunned taking photos... Also throughout the tour there are some signs (in Thai, I didn't understand a thing) that caught my attention. We wanted to deviate on some occasions finding small villages that are mainly dedicated to the cultivation of rice and tea. Do not expect spectacular temples here, the houses in the rural areas of northern Thailand are very simple, practically made of wood, bamboo and canes. The locals are very curious, especially the elderly and children. And very very friendly.

Chiang Rai Tours from Chiang Mai

If your time is limited, and you can only add one day to Chiang Rai, the best option is to choose an excursion. In this way you make sure that it includes transportation, meals, visits, guide... And you will go to the most popular places (the vast majority included in my list of essentials, but not all...)



I hope you enjoy your trip to Thailand very much and that this article has been useful to you. You can continue reading many more related articles on the blog.

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A hug and see you soon!


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