Airplane, Chiang Mai
The straight answer is yes. The easiest and fastest way to go about that is probably to contact Thai airways and have them set up a taxi for you from Chiang Mai airport to Chiang Rai. But this is by far not the cheapest. You could try and get a taxi from the street to take you if you can negotiate a good price, and then there is always a hotel taxi. Any hotel taxi could take you but there again it's not going to be too cheap.
I don't know if you "have" to go to Chiang Mai? Why not just fly direct from Bangkok to Chiang Rai?? If you are in that much of a hurry it doesn't sound as if you need to go to Chiang Mai. Nok air I think can do it for about 4000baht. Thai air also but for about 6000Baht+. Try www.thailandday.com/Tickets/Airtickets/Flightticket
I shopped around to find a cheap flight from Bangkok and I was spolit for choice with airlines. Only an hours flight it is a quick and easy way to get to Chiang Mai and the Chiang Mai airport is close to town so you don't have far to travel once you get there.
We ended up flying with Thai Airways as surprisingly they were the cheapest at the time: 200B one way. Not bad!!
If you're short on time then fly, it's cheap and easy!
I flew from Bangkok to Chiang Mai with Thai Air International (a Star Alliance member). Service on this airline is very good, with friendly and efficient staff.
The flight takes about an hour.
Chiang Mai airport is quite small and easy to negotiate. It only takes about 15 minutes to central Chiang Mai.
The airport is situated at the southwest corner of Chiang Mai town. It is just a 15-minute drive from the city centre. Purchase your taxi coupon from the counter right at the Arrival Hall.
A small airport with all the basic facilities. You can sign up for tour or exchange some currencies at the Arrival Hall. At the Departure Hall, there's one shop for foot massage. A good relief for those aching soles.
We decided to treat ourselves to a flight from Pai to Chang Mai on a 12 Seater Cessna prop plane. This is not for a nervous flyer. We had great views over Pai and Chang Mai. Our seats were directly behind the pilots. The flight took 25 minutes with a 20 minute checkin. You do feel like you are really flying. An experience that I won't forget in a hurry.
We flew with SGA who are associated with Nok air. Don't bother about booking through the website, it doesn't work and travel agents in Pai will charge you the same amount anyway. Costs 1450B a person one way.
Yes we decided to fly with Laos airlines despite its previous safety record (although it's still the safest way still to travel in Laos). The flight was fine (never have been keen on small planes). Food wasn't bad and free beer Laos. Also saved us spending two days on a boat.
Laos airlines is the only carrier to do this flight. Cost us 88 dollars each.
Nok Air is one of the major budget carriers in Thailand. They are pretty reliable, and their staff is usually young and quite friendly.
Nok Air normally has 4 flights daily between BKK and Chiang Mai. Depending on time of departure and how far ahead you book your ticket, a one-way flight (1h10min) will cost you as little as $25.
Bottom-line: For the budget traveler, Nok Air is a great way to quickly travel between major towns in Thailand.
We booked several one way tickets from Bangkok to Chiang Mai for the one hour non-stop flight. Get a window seat because the scenery into Chiang Mai is fabulous with views of the surrounding mountains, the Ping River, and vast stretches of rice fields. Air Asia is new airline out of Malaysia witch seems to cater to budget travelers, young families, etc. I liked flying with them and have no complaints. You'll board the aircraft from the tarmac and a waiting bus will take you to & from the terminal. It's an easy flight north and cost us about $30 one way. The reason we bought one way tickets was to allow us to continue north overland and fly back to Bangkok from Chiang Rai.
I returned from Chiang Mai to Bangkok by Air Asia. There are 3 low costs airlines now in Thailand and Air Asia is the most comfortable. The booking system via website is the best among the rivals. If book early, get the cheap fare. That's great deal.
08Jan2004 (Thur). I flew from Hong Kong to Bangkok to Chiang Mai with the Orient Thai Airline, the transit in Bangkok was a complete nightmare! I had only 30 minutes for the transit move, without any signs, instructions nor helping staff. I literally had to run through the terminals to make the connecting flight. Even computer at the airport do not have information about this connecion flight from Bangkok to Chiangmai!!! I finally arrived in Chiang Mai with 2 hours delay, but my rucksack did not.
The city does have a very small airport. If you can't get a direct flight into Chiang Mai, you'd most probably be likely to transit over in Bangkok. A flight from Bangkok will take about an hour. There is a very nice executive lounge for Thai business class passengers...hehe. Free drinks and snacks i must add! Lol!
The domestic fares in Thailand are very cheap in comparing with other countries, for your infos approx. exchange rate for Bank- Notes :
1 EURO=THB 46.-; 1 USD = THB 41.-
(as at March 2003).
There are many flights daily from and to Bangkok with Thai Airways, 2 directflights from/to Chiangrei, another 3 flights to/from Chianrai vis Mae Hong Sorn.
The Oneway Fare from Bangkok is THB 1,900 plus the airport and security taxes.
The Oneway Fare from/to Mae Hong Sorn is THB 420.- plus the airport and security taxes.
The Oneway directfare from/to Chiangrei costs same as to/from Mae Hong Sorn.
But the Onewayfare from/to Chiangrai via or stop Mae Hong Sorn costs THB 505.- plus the airport and security taxes.
There are also the flight offer from another airline "The Bangkok Airways" offering flight to Sukhothai and to Bangkok via Sukhothai.
In Winter Thai Airways offers direct flight to Phuket.
...as usual, the earlier you book, the cheaper the ticket from BKK to Chiangmai is via Airasia.
The flight from BKK to Chiangmai takes a little over an hour and cost me about THB1,300 (one-way)
The easiest way to Chiang Mai was to fly, the local airport is just outside the city, only few minutes by taxi ride, depends on the traffic.