CR Bus is a shuttle bus service running from Mae Fah Luang - Chiang Rai International Airport (CEI) to City Center and Chiang Rai Bus Terminal 2. Taking CR Bus is the cheapest way for getting from the airport into Chiang Rai.
Chiang Rai Airport Bus - CR Bus
As public transportation system in Chiang Rai still mostly depends on songtaew (pickup trucks with seating for passengers) with taxis and tuk-tuk being only other options for getting around the city, CR Bus is a surprisingly convenient addition to Chiang Rai public transport.
New brightly colored air-conditioned buses serve the route from Chiang Rai Airport to city center and both bus terminals, making a journey from the airport to the city not only economic but also comfortable.
Chiang Rai Airport Bus Route
Chiang Rai airport bus route connects Mae Fah Luang - Chiang Rai International Airport (CEI) with City Center and Chiang Rai Bus Terminal 2 (city’s main bus terminal for long distance buses). Important landmarks that are passed by CR Bus route:
- Chiang Rai International Airport
- Chiang Rai Provincial Government Office
- King Mengrai Monument
- Chiang Rai Police Station
- Chiang Rai Provincial Court
- Chiang Rai Night Bazaar
- Chiang Rai Bus Terminal 1 (for provincial buses)
- Central Plaza Shopping Mall
- Chiang Rai Bus Terminal 2 (for long distance buses)
Chiang Rai Airport shuttle bus has only several designated bus stops in the city so it normally can be just flagged down anywhere along its route.
Chiang Rai Airport Bus Fare
Chiang Rai Airport bus fare is 20 THB (~0.7 USD) per person.
The fare should be paid on board the bus. You need to have coins for paying the fare when boarding the bus as you will need to insert coins into a metal box which can be found near the driver.
However, if you will have no coins, you can just put banknote into the basket found on top of that metal box. At least locals often do like that.
Make sure to have plenty of coins or small banknotes for paying the fare as possibility to get change from a large bill will depend on the content of the basket that might just be empty.
Chiang Rai Airport Bus Timetable
Currently Chiang Rai public bus is operating from 06:00 to 22:30 (bus service from Bus Terminal 2 terminates 2 hours earlier), with departures scheduled every 30 minutes. Current CR Bus timetable is listed below.
Scheduled departures from Chiang Rai Airport:
- 06:20; 06:50
- 07:20; 07:50
- 08:20; 08:50
- 09:20; 09:50
- 10:20; 10:50
- 11:20; 11:50
- 12:20; 12:50
- 13:20; 13:50
- 14:20; 14:50
- 15:20; 15:50
- 16:20; 16:50
- 17:20; 17:50
- 18:20; 18:50
- 19:20; 19:50
- 20:20; 20:50
- 21:20; 21:50
Scheduled departures from Chiang Rai Bus Terminal 2:
- 06:00; 06:40
- 07:10; 07:40
- 08:10; 08:40
- 09:10; 09:40
- 10:10; 10:40
- 11:10; 11:40
- 12:10; 12:40
- 13:10; 13:40
- 14:10; 14:40
- 15:10; 15:40
- 16:10; 16:40
- 17:10; 17:40
- 18:10; 18:40
- 19:10; 19:40
- 20:10; 20:40
Bus frequency at the bus stops on the way may vary a bit depending on traffic conditions but at least from the starting point Chiang Rai Airport shuttle bus tends to leave as scheduled.
Length of Journey
The distance between Chiang Rai Airport and City Center is about 10 km. It can take about 30 minutes or a bit more to reach Chiang Rai Night Bazaar area from the airport.
Chiang Rai Airport Bus Stops
At Chiang Rai Airport
Once out of the terminal of Chiang Rai Airport, simply turn right and walk the sidewalk down to the end of the building and you’ll see the CR Bus. Chiang Rai Airport is not big, so you won’t have trouble to notice these brightly colored buses as there’s always one or few parked there.
At Chiang Rai Bus Terminal 1
CR Bus normally parks at Platform 1 of the centrally located Chiang Rai Bus Terminal 1, so boarding the bus there might be the most convenient when planning a trip from city center to the airport. If the platform is occupied, it might just stop anywhere inside the parking lot of the bus terminal.
Direction of the bus (Airport or Bus Terminal 2) is normally displayed on the front window of the bus. If you are not sure about it, just ask the driver.
At Chiang Rai Bus Terminal 2
Purple city buses park at Platform 1 and 2 of Chiang Rai Bus Terminal 2. Once arrived, just look around the bus terminal and you will notice one or two CR buses waiting for passengers.
In Chiang Rai City
You need to know the exact route of the bus so you could flag CR Bus down while it’s passing Chiang Rai City Center. If you are not sure about the correct direction and route, just go to Chiang Rai Bus Terminal 1 and board the bus there. This bus terminal is conveniently located in the center of the city, next to Chiang Rai Night Bazaar.
If taking Chiang Rai Airport bus seems not convenient enough for you, book a private transfer from/to Chiang Rai Airport and enjoy hassle-free traveling between the airport and the center of Chiang Rai.