Traveling with friends is great especially when you can travel together. This is why getting a private minivan to get from Sukhothai to Chiang Mai lets you chat and have fun with friends along the way.
The most comfortable and relaxing trip can be achieved by taking a private and modern car from Sukhothai to Chiang Mai. You have the option to request for mini breaks along the way too.
Most travelers prefer a comfortable and affordable journey. By taking the bus from Sukhothai to Chiang Mai, this will really be the best option for that, plus getting to see countryside views too!
It's really easy to jump on a VIP or Express tourist bus from Sukhothai to Chiang Mai. Usually there are around three buses heading north each day. However, you can also book a hire car or minivan, and driver, and leave at a time and place that suits you.
The ride to Chiang Mai from Sukhothai by road can take anything from four hours and 30 minutes to five hours and 30 minutes. The distance by air is 217 kilometers (134 miles) however, on land it's a lot more twisty and turny, and traffic can get a bit congested on the approach to Chiang Mai.
Choosing between a VIP bus or an Express bus usually comes down to comfort. Both buses are air-conditioned but VIP buses have more facilities such as onboard washrooms and USB charge points. VIP buses also tend to be slightly more modern and will arrive 30 minutes ahead of Express buses.
There's not really that much difference in the price between a VIP and Express. Prices per person start from $13 for VIP and just $10 for Express. It's pretty affordable whichever way you travel. There will also be one or two comfort breaks and food stops along the route.
Both bus types also have reclining seats. However, if you want even more comfort you might want to opt for a 9-person minivan. This is a really safe and secure ride, and ideal if you're traveling in a small group. You can also book a seat in a minivan and share the journey with other travelers.
Booking an entire air-conditioned minivan allows you to leave Sukhothani for Chiang Mai whenever you like. If you're jumping in with other travelers you might all have to get picked up at a certain time. Hotel pick ups are available so this can come in handy if you've got a lot of luggage.
Minivans are pretty speedy and can comfortably complete the trip in four hours and 30 minutes. This is roughly the same time it takes a private hire car to travel from Sukhothai to Chiang Mai. They’ll also stop along the way for comfort and food breaks.
A nine person minivan costs from US$194. Other vans can accommodate up to 12 passengers. It’s an efficient and affordable way to travel if you’re in a small group.
Taking a taxi is always going to be quite an expensive option but you pay for comfort and privacy. You can also ask the driver to stop along the way if there's something you want to see as you travel north to Chiang Mai from Sukhothai. Taxi rides usually start from $239 for a couple
Train travel is a less expensive option although you will need to travel 62 kilometers (38 miles) by taxi to Phitsanulok first before you can board the train to Chiang Mai. The additional taxi fare will bump up the price but if you prefer rail to road, this is a great option for enjoying the scenery.
Of course, if you'd rather cut out the scenery altogether, why not fly? There are several flights leaving from Sukhothai to Chiang Mai every day. Planes are modern and service is always friendly. You might even get some food as part of the 90 minute flight.
Making the trip north by road will give you quite a lot to see from the window of your bus, minivan or private hire car. It's a long(ish) ride so you might be able to catch some sleep but, in the main, you can expect to see the countryside when leaving Sukhothai followed by vehicles on the highway.
On the approach to Chiang Mai things start to get interesting again. This is where you might catch your first glimpse of mountains and forested hills. Although, mainly, you'll be greeted by the suburban outskirts of the city as high rise flats and street scenes appear before your window.
Traveling by train promises a much more scenic, and slower, experience. Taking a train from Sukhothai to Chiang Mai also invites many more opportunities to get to know local folk, too. From families and students to commuters and holidaymakers, you never know who you'll meet.
Taking a bus
Long-distance bus travel is just what you do in Thailand. The ride from Sukhothai to Chiang Mai is no different. You have two types of bus: VIP or Express. Both are air-conditioned, comfortable and have reclining seats. You will need to keep to the bus schedule but that's the only drawback.
The bus ride usually takes under five and a half hours, and will include one or two rest breaks along the way. It's a good opportunity to chat to a few of your fellow travelers or just try to get some rest in readiness for the bright lights of Chiang Mai's night bazaar. Tickets start from $10 – $13.
Taking a minivan or car
Taking a minivan or private car to Chiang Mai from Sukhothai is the easiest way to travel. Hotel pick ups mean you just have to wait in the lobby for your ride to arrive. It's a good option for those with lots of bags. Minivans are air-conditioned and can comfortably accommodate nine passengers.
It’s an efficient and affordable way for a small group to travel the 217 kilometer (134 mile) distance north. Prices start from US$194 for a 9-person minivan. Private car prices are roughly the same as a minivan.
Taking a train
Taking a train is possible from Sukhothai although you will need to take a taxi to the train station at Phitsanulok first. As the train ride is around eight hours, this can make for a whole day of traveling.
Once you're safely on board, train travel in Thailand is rather lovely. Just make sure you're happy to go with the flow and smile and nod when asked any questions from your cabin companions. Trains are air-conditioned, quite modern, and great places to find out more about real Thai culture.
Taking a flight
It's totally possible to fly from Chiang Mai to Sukhothai. It's the quickest option by far and actually not as expensive as hiring a private car or minivan. You will, however, have to take a taxi or local bus to Chiang Mai Airport (CNX) and then the same again when you reach Sukhothai Airport (THS).