Posts Tagged ‘chiang mai’

  • Well, the short and obvious answer is by plane. Thai Airways, AirAsia, Nok Air, 1 2 Go etc etc all make regular trips up to the north. But this is also one of the most expensive, boring and environmentally un-friendly options, all be it the quickest. Cheap deals are regularly advertised in the Bangkok Post but as a rule you might want to factor in about 1,800 baht for a one-way trip by air (generally more if it’s Thai Airways). 
  • More in keeping with the spirit of travelling is the train. Trains from Bangkok’s Hua Lamphong station to Chiang Mai run about 6 times a day and take upwards of 12 hours. Fares for the slow meandering journey cost from under 300 baht in 3rd class to just shy of 1,400 baht for a first class sleeper, one-way. Trains in Thailand are not famous for their reliability or luxuriousness but they offer the chance to travel in a time-honoured fashion at an affordable rate and with some excellent views. 
  • Or, if you like the idea of the train but not squalor and you have some seriously deep pockets you might fancy a stab at the Eastern and Oriental Express. This hotel on rails is SE Asia’s answer to the Venice Simplon-Orient Express and is the only train that makes the full journey from Singapore to Thailand. Conditions are luxurious and the price tag hefty. Bangkok to Chiang Mai will set you back between US$1,370 and US$2,400, depending on how much pampering you require.
  • Competing with the regular trains, but not as enjoyable, is the coach. Coaches leave regularly from various points around Bangkok and of course Khao San Road. Prices vary depending on the company you choose and level of service you require but an air-con seat will cost you in the region of 400 baht and take slightly less time than the train. A word of warning though: Thai bus drivers tend to work long spells without a break and rely on cigarettes and caffeine drinks to keep them awake. 
  • And finally you can always drive yourself. Hiring a car and making your own way is arguably a lot more fun than jumping on a plane or sleeping on a train but costs for hiring, insurance, fuel and extra accommodation will make this option second in price only to the Eastern and Oriental Express. 

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