Chiang Rai - Transportation


Route 1 runs from Bangkok through Chiang Rai to Mae Sai on the Burma border. Chiang Rai is 839 kilometers from Bangkok, about 14 hours by car or by bus. According to official bus schedules, the bus ride to Chiang Rai from Chiang Mai takes approximately an hour and 30 minutes, however the 175 km trip most often takes at least two and a half hours. All of these times should take into account the rainy season which lasts from about June to late October, this can severely inhibit travel with road sections often completely flooded and even washed out.

Several flights are available to and from Bangkok daily. Chiang Rai International Airport flight time is about 1 hour and 30 minutes. There are several major operators including Thai airways, Air Asia, Nok air and One to go.

There is scheduled boat service between Chiang Rai and Thaton in Chiang Mai province daily this journey will last about 3–4 hours and is a pleasant alternative to the bus ride through the mountains.

There are currently no rail services to Chiang Rai as the railway line from Bangkok ends at Chiang Mai. There have been talks of extending the rail line from Den Chai to Chiang Rai in the near future, but this is unlikely to happen as the city's population is well below 1 million and there aren't as many international tourists visiting Chiang Rai as Chiang Mai. Also there are no major industrial complexes in the region as it is largely a rural economy.

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