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Train or Bus from Chaing Rai to Chaing Mai

Train or Bus from Chaing Rai to Chaing Mai

Old Mar 6th, 2010, 07:11 AM
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Train or Bus from Chaing Rai to Chaing Mai

I am traveling with some friends of mine to Thailand and Bali during April 2010 and we would like a little transportation help/guidance. Right now there are for sure two of us possibly three and we're in our late 30's and early 40's. We are what some may call extreme travelers in the sense that we try to cram as much into our vacation as we can, and we always try to see and do as much as possible on our trips. That being said....here is our pending itinerary.
Night 1- arrive to Bangkok
Day 2-spend the day in Bangkok
Day 3-fly to Chaing Rei from Bangkok in the Morning
Day 4- Chaing Rei & Golden Triangle area
Day 5- go to Chaing Mai (HOW??? Bus or Train or Hire Driver)
Day 6-Chaing Mai
Day 7-fly to Phuket in the afternoon
Day 8-Phuket
Day 9-go to Phi Phi island
Days 10-11 Phi Phi island
Day 12-fly that night out of Phuket to Bangkok
Day 13-fly to Bali early morning
Days 14-18 in Bali
Day 19- we have a night layover in Taipei Taiwan with about 6 hours to explore during the morning and afternoon.

Yes it is a whirlwind vacation and we are going and going the entire time...but we want to see as much as we can in the short time we have.
We welcome any tips or recommendations any of you may have, but in particular we'd like transportation recommendations from Chaing Rei to Chain Mai and also moving from Phuket to the Phi Phi islands (by ferry, speedboat, or an overnight tour option?)

Thanks very much to you all in advance.
LynnAzul is offline  
Old Mar 6th, 2010, 07:25 AM
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First thing - you should be aware that the Thai New Year fall in the middle of April, from April 12 - 15th but most people take that whole week off. Plane, train and hotels are very full from around April 10th - 18th.

You can easily find a comfortable "VIP" A/C bus from Chiang Rai to Chiang Mai for around 250 - 300 Baht one way and the travel time should be around 3 - 3.5 hours. Note again that travel during the Thai New Year period will be very difficult.

One of the more luxury VIP bus company for the North of Thailand is the Green Bus Company: http://www.greenbusthailand.com/chai...file/index.jsp
Hanuman is offline  
Old Mar 6th, 2010, 08:14 AM
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I just realize that there's no English page for the link I've given you. Here are the relevant information for your travel.

Exact fare for the Chiang Rai - Chiang Mai bus:

Non A/C fan bus = 94 Baht.
A/C bus = 132 Baht.
VIP bus = 263 Baht.

Departure time for the fan bus: 10:15 ,11:45 ,12:30 ,14:00 ,14:30 ,15:15 ,16:30 ,17:45 ,18:45 ,19:30
Departure time for the A/C bus: 06:30 ,11:15 ,13:30 ,17:30 ,15:45
Departure time for the VIP bus: 09:15 ,13:00 ,15:30 ,17:15 ,18:15
Hanuman is offline  
Old Mar 6th, 2010, 08:54 AM
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For PhiPhi, the speedboat transfer is fast but expensive. The ferry is slower and much cheaper. I can think of no reason to do an overnight tour. Book everything yourself. It will cost less and you'll get exactly what you want.
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Old Mar 6th, 2010, 09:09 AM
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Great, Thanks to both of you for your help. As we'll probably be traveling from Chiang Rei to Chiang Mai during the very last part of the New Year Celebration, would there be anyway to double check with the "Greenbus" to see if they will for sure be operating and if we can buy our ticket in advance? Also....do you know of a web-site that would have the New Year activities with dates and times listed for Chiang Rei & Chiang Mai during these festivities? Or is it something that we should totally try to avoid instead of enjoy?
Thanks again
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Old Mar 6th, 2010, 09:35 AM
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There will be a lot of people on the move but it never hurt if you try and buy your tickets early. All the bus, train, airline companies etc usually put or offer more capacity during the New Year. I just use Google translate for the Green Bus web site and it work quite well and you should be able to find more information on how to buy the tickets online.

New Year activity for Chiang Mai is pretty much one mad water fight around town, especially around the city moat or city wall area. The surrounding towns will hold more authentic celebration, like the bathing of the Buddha statues at most Wats, parades and processions etc.
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