Getting there & away
Buses to Chiang Mai leave regularly from 6.30am to 6pm from Chiang Rai’s bus terminal, behind the night market. The journey takes around three hours. The fare is 100B ordinary (one departure a day at 7.45am, four hours), 140B 2nd-class air-con, 180B 1st-class air-con or 280B for VIP. Buses from Chiang Mai to Chiang Rai leave from Chiang Mai’s Arcade bus terminal. Buses on this route are sometimes stopped for drug searches.
Another way to reach Chiang Rai is by boat on Mae Nam Kok from Tha Ton.
For boats heading upriver, go to the pier in the northwest corner of town. Boats embark daily at 10.30am. Long boats from Chiang Rai leave at times approximate for ideal river conditions.
You can charter a boat to Ban Ruammit for 700B or all the way to Tha Ton for 2000B at the pier.
Chiang Rai Airport (0 5379 3048-57) is 8km north of the city. Currently, there are just daily connections to Bangkok. The terminal has restaurants, a money exchange, a post office (open 7am to 7pm) and car-rental booths.
In town, Air Agent (0 5374 0445; 863/3 Th Phahonyothin; 8.30am-9pm) can book domestic and international flights in advance. Alternatively, book online or go directly to the airport offices listed below:
Thai Airways Th Phahonyothin (0 5371 1179; www.thaiair.com; 870 Th Phahonyothin; 8am-5pm Mon-Fri); airport office (0 5379 8202-3;8am-8pm daily) Does flights to/from Bangkok (3345B, 1¼ hours) four times daily.
Taxis run into town from the airport and cost 200B. Out to the airport you can get a túk-túk for 100B.