Chiang Rai Bus Terminal 1 is the old bus station of Chiang Rai. Bus station is located right in the center of the city, next to Chiang Rai Night Bazaar. Chiang Rai Bus Terminal 1 is mostly serviced by local buses connecting Chiang Rai with other towns in the province.
Bus Terminal Facilities
Chiang Rai Bus Terminal 1 is not large but all the main facilities can be found there. There are paid toilets (costs 3 THB) and left luggage office at the bus station. Actually the same person seems to be taking care of both things but if you need to drop your back for a while, you have such an opportunity here.
At Chiang Rai Bus Terminal 1 you can also find a minimart with a café inside of it, so you can grab some food, snacks and beverages for your trip or just wait for your bus sipping your cup of iced coffee.
There’s also a waiting area for passengers at the station but it’s open-air and not air-conditioned.
There are ticket counters of two companies at Chiang Rai Bus Terminal 1 – Greenbus and Kor. Sahakij Transport.
For all local buses that run to the destinations in Chiang Rai province, you can buy a ticket on board. Only the tickets for Greenbus need to be bought from the company’s counter.
If you have a specific time of Greenbus bus departure in your plans, book your tickets in advance because during high season tickets on the most popular routes sell out quite fast. We had to wait a couple of hours at the bus terminal for getting on the next bus to Chiang Mai.
Bus tickets can also be booked by using this form.
Buses & Minivans
At Chiang Rai Bus Terminal 1, you will find bus ticket counters of the bus company Greenbus, which is the only company, offering interprovincial bus routes from this terminal. Greenbus is offering 3 types of buses: VIP Buses with fewer seats, 1st Class Air-Conditioned Buses and 2nd Class Air-Conditioned Buses that generally have more frequent stops to pick up passengers and have no toilet on board.
The majority of buses used on the routes starting from Chiang Rai Bus Terminal 1 are old buses with no air-conditioning, offering very little legroom and stopping very often on the way. Taking such a bus can be quite uncomfortable but that’s the real local travel experience.
There are also several minibuses departing from this terminal.
Departure times of bus from Chiang Rai to Chiang Mai:
- VIP Bus – 9:00, 11:15, 12:00, 12:45, 15:30, 18:00
- 1st Class Bus – 8:15, 10:15, 10:40, 12:00, 13:45, 14:15, 15:00, 16:00, 16:30, 18:45, 19:30
- 2nd Class Bus – 6:15, 8:00, 13:15, 15:45, 17:15
Some of the buses are available only on Fridays and Sundays. Bus schedule can also be changed anytime without notice.
VIP bus ticket currently costs 280 THB, 1st Class bus – 180 THB, 2nd Class bus – 140 THB.
The trip from Chiang Rai to Chiang Mai by bus can take anywhere from about 3 to 4 hours, depending on the type of the bus and traffic conditions.
Greenbus is also offering direct bus route from Chiang Rai Bus Terminal 1 to Lampang. There is only one daily bus departing from Chiang Rai at 13:00 and arriving to Lampang at about 17:40.
White Temple is the most popular tourist attraction in Chiang Rai. If you are staying not far from Chiang Rai Night Bazaar, you can just walk to the bus terminal and get on one of local buses that stop at the temple. You will find a bus easily as all buses going that way have sign “White temple” on their windows. Buses going to White Temple can be found on Platform 4 and Platform 8 of Chiang Rai Bus Terminal 1.
Buses depart from 06:15 to 17:50 and the frequency is about every 30 minutes to 1 hour, depending on the time of the day.
Bus ticket for a trip from Chiang Rai to White Temple costs only 20 THB.
Chiang Khong (Laos border)
Buses from Chiang Rai to Chiang Khong, the town near the border with Laos, depart from two different platforms of Chiang Rai Bus Terminal 1.
From Platform 6 buses leave every hour from 6:00 to 17:00.
From Platform 9 buses leave every hour from 6:30 to 16:30.
So in general, buses to Chiang Khong – Huay Xai border crossing, where Thai-Lao Friendship Bridge is located, depart from Chiang Rai every 30 minutes. Bus ticket costs 65 THB. The journey to the border town should take about 2 hours.
Chiang Saen (Golden Triangle)
Golden Triangle, where 3 countries - Thailand, Myanmar and Laos meet, is another popular tourist attraction in Chiang Rai province. If you want to visit it independently, you can take a bus from Chiang Rai Bus Terminal 1 (Platform 10) to Chiang Saen which is located just 9 kilometers from Golden Triangle.
Mae Sai (Myanmar border)
Mae Sai is a town near the border with Myanmar. Buses from Chiang Rai to Mae Sai depart from Platform 7 of Chiang Rai Bus Terminal 1.
How to get there
Chiang Rai Bus Terminal 1 is centrally located so it’s easily reachable from various areas of Chiang Rai. If you are staying in the center of the city, you might decide just to walk there or take a songtaew or tuk-tuk.