We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Driving Time/distance from Bangkok to Chiang Mai

San Francisco...
1 post
Save Topic
Driving Time/distance from Bangkok to Chiang Mai

We are considering our options to travel from Bangkok to Chiang Mai. Has anyone rented a car and driven it? How long does it take and is it a better way to go vs. flying?

Bangkok
Level Contributor
420 posts
54 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Driving Time/distance from Bangkok to Chiang Mai

Not recommended for 1st timer in Thailand..

The distance is about 700km. If you leave Bangkok around 5am, you'll get there before noon. But if you leave BKK after 6 or 7am, it might take you an hour extra for more traffic within the first 150km driving. It will be more fun, if you get used to travelling here and spend couple days driving and sight seeing along the way.

For the first timer, flying is easy and better.

Good luck !!

Bangkok, Thailand
Level Contributor
1,673 posts
Save Reply
2. Re: Driving Time/distance from Bangkok to Chiang Mai

If you want an experience I would suggest the train.

Several options: overnight in a sleeper, during the day in a first class air conditioned or open carrage.

Check trains here

http://www.asia-discovery.com/train.htm

or

http://www.amazing-thailand.com/SRT.html

enjoy your trip

Bangkok
Level Contributor
420 posts
54 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Driving Time/distance from Bangkok to Chiang Mai

Also agree with Breconion..

The train is fun when you have extra time, seeing the way of living in the countryside without fatique.

Try it.

USA
Level Contributor
222 posts
9 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Driving Time/distance from Bangkok to Chiang Mai

Depends on how quickly you learn right-hand driving, i.e., being on the left side of the road and how adept you are at reading road signs in Thai. Slow traffic to the left, turning left into the near lane, looking the proper way when turning across traffic, etc. Not to mention the fact that "rules of the road" tend to be treated as suggestions. On 2-lane roads, you will of course, pull out into the right hand lane. Don't be surprised at seeing someone, oncoming, do the same thing, ignoring your presence. We had hired drivers in TL and this was always pretty exciting from the passenger's seat.

Then, there is the problem of getting out of the "parking lot" that is BKK. Even in a taxi, being surrounded by dozens of scooters, revving their motors is pretty unnerving.

You might consider observing Thai traffic before making self-drive plans. If you do decide to drive, please make a point of posting your experiences, though.