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Getting to Chiang Mai

kc said...

Hi Fatboi,

when you are free pls give me some advice on my forthcoming journey to chiangmai..

what airline is best in terms of fares, shud i fly to chiangmai direct or bkk and take a train up north? i heard the journey by train is 12 hours, is it easy to find the station at mochit bkk? anything to pay attention to? is chiangmai an expensive place compared to bkk?

thanks for the heads up buddy.
4:29 AM


Got this comment for help in regarding Chiang Mai(CM). So I post it here so all could reference. But this guide is mainly for Singaporeans.

Sad to say, the only budget airlines that fly to CM is Tiger airways but they have canceled it recently. So the only airlines I currently knew (maybe got others) that flew direct from Singapore to CM are Thai Airways, SIA and Silkair. If you are going alone and want a cheap fare, just go Thai airways and book online. Price is about $700plus with all taxes included. Pretty expensive as it used to be only 500 plus. The recent hike in fuel surcharge are crazy.

The cheaper way as mentioned by kc is to fly to BKK and do a domestic transfer. The money you would save will depend on the flight you get. Can be much cheaper at around 500 plus if you buy the tix earlier for budget flights. My recommendation is to get Airasia. Then do the domestic transfer at the same new International airport (Surwahnabumi). Less money spend on the taxis to get to the old airport Don Meaung. But if you plan to stay in BKK for a night or 2. This method is plausible also and you can get even cheaper flights at Don Meaung.

I never tried the train before as its neither here or there. And its actually slower than the bus from what I heard from those who took it. So what I suggest is the bus. Its 11plus journey and you can get tickets easily. (Every hour got one departure). The bus station for the northern provinces are Mochit Mai. There's another station for all the Southern parts but I never been there so sorry, can't help on that. As mentioned by KC. (He researched well!) Just tell the taxi driver to Mochit Sathanni Rot Meh. If the driver asked Khang Lang(downstair) or Khang Bon(upstair). Tell him to go downstair or just tell him you are going CM. Mochit bus station is an interesting place itself. Its a huge huge bus station ... hehehe... Anyway, just go around the hundreds of counters and pick the most expensive one (now not sure, last time about 2 years ago, 900baht is the most expensive). They have English signboards on their destination so should not be a problem for us. Avoid those in Thai scripts as those are normally non-aircon ones. The reason to get the most expensive is because they are 24 seaters and they have less stops in between. The seat are also very comfortable. If not, get those in the range of 700 to 800 baht at least. Avoid those 600 or less. Thai people are small and if you as big as me, you would be in a hell hole. Hope this help for those who want to explore other part of Thailand.

PS. Never take the bus during the Song Krang Festival or Loi Krathong (coming Nov) I've tried once during Loi Krathong. BIG mistake. You can get buses but the crowd and queue is damn packed. You don't even have a spot to stand on the bus pavements. Now I wonder how I ever survived that.......

6 comments:

kc said...

i have been curious about how you travelled from mae sai to Suvarnabhumi as mentioned in your previous posts; now i know. luckily i consulted you first as i have intended to visit during Loi Krathong. thanks so much for the tippy.

cheers fatboi ;-)

FatBoi IN MaeSai said...

Hmm, if you are going Maesai, you should take the plane to Chiang Rai instead. Not Chiang Mai. No direct flights for Chiang Rai even for Thai Airways. If you plan to travel to Chiang Mai then to Maesai. The bus station to Chiang Rai is called Arcade Rot Dip. Its the main bus station for inter province travel for CM.

Its good if you plan ahead for Loi Krathong. I'm doing so as I'm going back in Nov too. :) Try to plan to reach there 2 or 3 days earlier so you won't get swarmed. Book early too, especially for these major holidays.

xiaojeppon said...

I had been to Mae Sai for a number of times, on a few occasion, I took budget airasia which is cheaper to chiangmai. At Chiangmai, I took a private taxi which was about 3000baht per way for a family of 4 or 5 in a saloon car that took almost 4hrs to arrive. Recently, on my last trip there, i took Silkair direct to Chiangmai and booked a taxi in advance to reach Mae Sai. I found out that there is a budget airline going to chiangrai from Chiangmai, but consider that the taxi fare to Mae Sai from chiangrai is about 800baht or 1200 depending on the availability of the taxi and time of departure. From past experience, try to get a flight to the nearest airport from Mae Sai, this way you can save on travel as well as accomodation.

FatBoi IN MaeSai said...

From past experience, try to get a flight to the nearest airport from Mae Sai, this way you can save on travel as well as accomodation.

That's definitely true. :) So here's my secret most efficient (but not cheapest or fastest route). Buy Jetstar (not airasia, as they do not serve such an early morning flight, so you will miss the afternoon domestic flights) air ticket for the
0730am flight and return 2050pm flight. Then try to catch the afternoon domestic flights for airasia to Chiang Rai. Take a cab for 800 baht to Maesai. If you take the correct plane and time. the taxi should be 800baht. If you arrived at Chiang Rai after 5pm, the drivers will charge 1200. So you have to plan correctly :). So total damage? All prices inclusive of taxes.
Jetstar To and Fro from SG to BKK -$300 or less, (me average $260 as I booked early)
Domestic flight To and Fro from BKK to CEI (Chiang Rai) - 2600B($120 SGD)
Taxi - 1600B ($80)
total = $460 and surprising you will reach Maesai earlier than Thai Airways as the transit wait at BKK is 4 hours.

FatBoi IN MaeSai said...

At Chiangmai, I took a private taxi which was about 3000baht per way for a family of 4 or 5 in a saloon car that took almost 4hrs to arrive.

You should have try the bus. Its much more cheaper and the time is almost the same. to and fro 3k is a killer man!! The most expensive 24 seater VIP bus is only 330B. the 2nd class is only 298B. Don't take the cab from the Taxi stand. Walk out of the airport and get a Sawng Tiao or Tuk tuk to Arcade Bus station. Only 60baht max! Try it next time. :)

kc said...

hope we all can have coffee over there someday.. hahha