How exciting! We were finally going to Chiang Rai. And stopping there for a few days. This is how we did it.
Chiang Rai is just over three hours north of Chiang Mai. We have gone through Chiang Rai a number of times when doing visa runs to Tachilek in Myanmar. We know the road well. It is quite a windy drive but very smooth. Quite enjoyable actually. Especially when you get to ride in a good bus.
Green Bus is the bus company who goes from Chiang Mai to Chiang Rai. All the buses are very clean and well looked after. This makes a huge difference when you know you are to sit on a bus for an extended period of time. Check out the map at the end of this post to see where the Green Bus Bus Station is in Chiang Mai.
There is no real need to book tickets in advance to Chiang Rai. You can just turn up on the day and pretty much buy a ticket for the next available bus. There is at least one bus going every hour.
Go up to the Green Bus Ticket Counter. On the right hand side there is a touch screen machine - choose "Buy Ticket Today" and wait for your number to be called.
Tickets range from 132 Baht - 169 Baht - 263 Baht for a seat on a Standard - Airconditioned - VIP Bus. We caught the 169 Baht bus. It was air conditioned that was all that mattered.
Grab yourself some snacks, go to the toilet one last time and wait for your bus to come along. Once it does, show your ticket, jump on and enjoy the ride. It is such a lovely ride.
There is not much to say about the ride on the bus as such. It is just a pretty ride and pleasant. The air-conditioning works very well so bring a jumper to keep warm. Include a novel and a podcast or three and you will be happy.
Once you get to Chiang Rai, they will stop at two bus stations. The first bus station they stop at will be out of town. The second is right in town. Stay on the bus. Welcome to Chiang Rai. It really was that easy!
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