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Bangkok to Chiang Mai, train or fly?

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I'm debating what the best option is to travel between the two cities.

I arrive in Bangkok on a Thursday night, I will stay one day (two nights) before I travel to Chiang Mai. I've read about the weekend markets in CM and would like to visit them (although shopping isn't of importance).

What is the overnight train like on this route? Am I better off flying? If so, which is the better option, Air Asia, Bangkok Airways or Thai. I am aware Air Asia operates from the old international airport and the other airlines fly from BKK.

One other thought that crossed my mind........I will be in CM for three days (whether I travel by train or air). If I fly, is it a good idea to travel from Bangkok - CM - Chiang Rai - Bangkok. If so, I'd remove a day from Bangkok.

Elephant rides and trekking are of no interest. I'm interested in some temples (including the White Temple in CR) and the long neck tribes or hill tribes.

Thoughts?

Thanks.

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