Il Vip night bus from Bangkok to Chiang Mai it was one of the most fascinating moments of the whole trip. Nothing exciting, but it was really nice to cross half of Thailand in complete darkness while it was pouring outside and our bus whizzed on a desolate highway.
YOU WILL GO FROM BANGKOK TO CHIANG MAI: HAVE YOU READ THESE POST?
- What to see in Bangkok in two days
- What to see in Chiang Mai between temples and bazaars
- Visit Doi Suthep from Chiang Mai in DIY mode
There are several ways to achieve the beautiful city of Chiang Mai and of all the comments I had found around the plane was the most popular. The options are: bus, plane or night train.
Strangely, in terms of costs, we are there.
By plane you can leave from the airport Don Mueang of Bangkok with carriers like AirAsia or Nok Air and the figure is really negligible, it is around 30 euros for just one hour of flight.
With train, if you book it with the Thai railways website, you can start from Hualamphong Railway Station and travel at night or in berths or in simple seats. Also in this case the prices are around 30 euros.
The duration varies according to the train you take. We didn't find out too much about this vehicle, but talking to some Italian guys who had taken it they told us it was about 15 hours.
Maybe the Vip bus it would have been anyone's third choice, actually for us it was the first choice.
We evaluate the pros and cons of the various means to go to Chiang Mai
air: surely it is the faster moving to go from Bangkok to Chiang Mai. It is clean, but if you have luggage there is the problem of getting to the airport in time to have it loaded on the plane. Furthermore, in order not to break the day it would be better to leave in the morning, this means getting out of bed very early and hoping that the taxi driver does not get stuck in traffic. It is also necessary to consider the cost of the taxi and the cost of the night in the hotel. But it does allow you to rest in a bed, which is a plus.
Night train: allows you to save one night and wake up in the morning directly in Chiang Mai, an excellent solution. Unfortunately, the journey is very long and some Italian guys we met in Chiang Mai told us it was a bit dirty with some not too nice insects. However, you arrive rested and ready for another busy day.
Vip Bus: best choice. We wanted a medium that would take us there led to Chiang Mai at night in order to optimize our movements and avoid wasting precious time. Also, traveling at night allowed us to save the cost of the hotel. The duration is much shorter than the train, it leaves at 21.00 and arrives at 6.30 in Chiang Mai. In the next lines I will describe everything about this solution.
* Update 2019: you can also use this search form to find the best travel solutions for you, and you can also buy them directly on the site without having to go to the ticket office.
The Vip Bus from Bangkok to Chiang Mai
Let's start by saying that to reach the destinations of Northern Thailand, the Vip Buses and buses in general depart from Mo Chit Station. In the thousand readings of the thousand blogs that I visited before leaving, I never found anyone who explained to me in detail how to go from Bangkok to the Mo Chit station, so I'll explain it to you. Take note.
You can go there directly by taxi from Bangkok but it is not the cheapest solution.
The advice I give you is:
- Take the BTS Sukhumvit up to the terminus in the North or up to Mochit, or the MRT (blue metro on the map) to Chatuchak Park.
- Once you get out of the subway or the BTS do not get caught up in the desire to walk in the park that you are in front of and reach the bus station on foot. The undersigned, given the experience in the field, recommends that you call a nice taxi. Have him turn on his nice meter and take you to Mo Chit station. If he doesn't understand show him the map.
- Don't get caught up in the taxi driver, in the sense that during the journey he will ask you where you are going and will propose you to use the other buses from a nearby station. Instead, go straight to Mo Chit station, don't listen to him.
- At this point you will have to take the ticket from Bangkok to Chiang Mai, head to the cash desks that you are immediately in front of where the taxi driver will drop you off.
- Given that even the employees of the bus station are unfamiliar with basic English, the words "Chiang Mai" and "Vip Bus" can understand them, the rest will be your lot. It will ask you which seats you want, the time etc… Between a yes, a yeah, a boh and a kap khun ka, you will try to take your tickets home. Come on, come on, I'm making it a little hard but it won't be that hard. Indeed, at the end of the "battle" you will notice a certain satisfaction in the eyes of the girl who will give you the ticket and will also be so kind as to indicate on the sheet which will be yours departure terminal for Chiang Mai and seating.
- There are different companies and different types of travel, obviously different costs. VIP night buses from Bangkok to Chiang Mai they leave at 19 or 21 pm.
At Mo Chit Station there are several starting platform but you will see that it will be quite easy to find your own bus. While you wait you can do some shopping at the various 7eleven that are in the waiting room rather than refresh yourself in the two food centers.
Here a problem arises. You find yourself in front of numerous "stations" where they cook food, lots of soups, lots of dishes but the appearance is not the best (I state that we often ate street food during the trip and therefore we have no problem). What is inside the various dishes is not known, or at least it is impossible to know. You are relatively far from Bangkok, you are on the outskirts and the English may not even know what it is. Mimicry comes to your aid, it is your only source of salvation. If mimicry doesn't work, KFC exists: point your finger and you're done.
I wanted to focus on mimicry and on balance I must say that I have earned it. Rice and chicken boiled with spicy broth on the side. It was like going back to when I was little and I had the flu. An amarcord experience!
Oh well, let's get back to serious things.
I forgot to tell you the cost of the ticket for the journey from Bangkok to Chiang Mai. The Vip Bus cost us 837 baht each (about 22 euros) against 500 and something of the normal bus (always at night but not Vip Bus). Among other things, the 837 baht are inclusive of evening meal and breakfast, in fact as soon as you leave they bring you a tray with rice, croissants, water and juice.
How is the night VIP bus from Bangkok to Chiang Mai?
The Vip Bus is a double-decker bus with 32 seats, this means that they are much wider than average, they recline almost completely and a nice cover is also included in the “kit”. For obvious reasons there are two drivers and there is also a hostess. The air conditioning as usual is on the ball but there is very little that can be done about this.
Our trip was very nice, the Vip Bus was not very crowded, maybe we reached 10 people, this means: tranquility, the possibility of fully reclining the seat and above all it means REST.
The duration is about 9 hours and a half and around one or two in the morning he stops for a stop at a motorway restaurant where you can use the bathrooms or buy some snacks. During the trip the lights are completely turned off and there is only the possibility of turning on the classic personal light located above your heads.
The Vip Bus continues its run in the Thai darkness and arrives in Chiang Mai around 6.30. Take that into account the bus station in Chiang Mai is slightly out of the center.
There will be many here waiting for you Songthaew (reads Songteo), or gods collective taxis, basically covered pick-ups set up with benches. And from this moment you will begin the negotiation to have you taken to the hotel or in any case to the place you want.
In conclusion: highly recommend this solution of the Vip Night Bus. With a very low cost you can kill two birds with one stone. You save a night in a hotel and travel more than comfortable, also arriving in the morning and this allows you to have the whole day at your disposal.