Chiang Rai Bus Terminal 2 is the main bus station of Chiang Rai province. Bus terminal is located about 6 km south from the city center. Chiang Rai Bus Terminal 2 is serviced by buses and minivans running to various destinations in Northern Thailand as well as a number of daily buses going to Bangkok.
Bus Station Facilities
Chiang Rai Bus Terminal 2 is quite compact but you can still find the main facilities there. At the bus terminal you will find public toilets and a couple of minimarts where you can stock up with food, snacks and beverages for your trip.
Bus station’s waiting area is open-air so waiting here long might be uncomfortable for the ones who can hardly stand the heat.
Various bus companies have ticket offices at Chiang Rai Bus Terminal 2. Bus routes are also displayed in English so it shouldn't be difficult to find the right counter for buying your desired ticket.
In most cases you can just come and buy a ticket from ticket counters at the bus terminal. Arriving one hour before the time of bus departure is normally enough for getting a ticket on a normal day.
However, if you are planning to take a long distance bus to Bangkok or Southern Thailand, booking a ticket in advance is highly recommended. There are plenty of daily buses going from Chiang Rai to Bangkok so even without booking you might be able to get on one after an hour or few of extra waiting. Getting on a bus to Phuket might be a much more difficult challenge if you won’t book a ticket in advance.
Booking a ticket in advance for the night buses during the high season and all buses during holiday periods such as New Year and Songkran Festival in April is almost mandatory as buses quickly fill up and getting a ticket at the counter might be complicated.
You can book your bus tickets for buses departing from Chiang Rai Bus Terminal by using this form.
At Chiang Rai Bus Terminal 2, you will find bus ticket offices of governmental bus company 999 Bus and several private bus companies.
Governmental bus company 999 Bus, also called “Bor.Kor.Sor.” in Thai, has several routes starting from Chiang Rai Bus Terminal 2. This company offers a number of daily VIP and 1st Class buses from Chiang Rai to Bangkok and international buses to Luang Prabang and Bokeo province in Laos.
Greenbus is the main private bus company in Northern Thailand and not surprisingly it has the widest supply of routes starting from Chiang Rai. Greenbus offers a big number of daily buses to Chiang Mai. Buses of this company also go to various popular destinations in Chiang Rai province, such as Golden Triangle, Mae Sai, Chiang Saen and Chiang Khong. Other cities in the north such as Lampang, Tak, Mae Sot, Phayao can also be reached from Chiang Rai.
Greenbus partners serve the routes from Chiang Rai to Bangkok, several destinations in Southern Thailand (Phuket, Surat Thani, Chumphon, Hat Yai) and Northeast Thailand (Khon Kaen, Udon Thani, Nong Khai, Bueng Kan).
Blue 9, subsidiary company of Greenbus, offer minivans from Chiang Rai to Bangkok via Phayao and Phitsanulok.
Other bus companies operating at Chiang Rai Bus Terminal 2: Cherdchai Tour (company offering several different routes from Chiang Rai to Bangkok via Tak, Phrae or Phitsanulok), Kingdom Tour (company offering buses from Chiang Rai to Phitsanulok and Nakhon Sawan), Esan Tour (serving the route to Khon Kaen in Northeast Thailand) and many others.
Buses & Minivans
There are 3 types of buses operating at Chiang Rai Bus Terminal 2: VIP Buses with fewer seats, 1st Class Air-Conditioned Buses offering direct service and 2nd Class Air-Conditioned Buses that generally have frequent stops to pick up passengers so the journey on such a bus might take a bit longer.
Minivans also operate at the bus terminal.
Governmental 999 Bus from Chiang Rai Bus Terminal 2 to Bangkok run 5 times a day. VIP bus departs from Chiang Rai to Mo Chit Bus Terminal at 8:30 and 19:10. There are also 3 first-class buses departing at 17:00, 18:30 and 18:40.
Other companies also operate buses between Chiang Rai and Bangkok. Most of the buses to Bangkok depart in the evening as taking an overnight bus is the most popular option for covering this route.
The journey from Chiang Rai to Bangkok takes about 13 hours.
Greenbus has many daily buses going to Chiang Mai. Most of these buses depart from Chiang Rai Bus Terminal 1 15 minutes earlier and then make a stop at Terminal 2 on the way. If you are staying in the center of Chiang Rai, you don’t need to go to Terminal 2 for taking a bus to Chiang Mai unless you are willing to take one of the buses not visiting Terminal 1 (e.g. VIP bus at 7:45).
Departure times of bus from Chiang Rai Bus Terminal 2 to Chiang Mai:
- VIP Bus – 7:45, 9:15, 11:30, 13:00, 15:45, 17:15, 18:15
- 1st Class Bus – 8:30, 10:00, 10:30, 10:55, 12:15, 14:30, 15:15, 16:15, 17:45, 18:45, 19:30
- 2nd Class Bus – 6:30, 8:15, 13:30, 16:00, 17:30
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.
Phuket & Southern Thailand
VIP bus from Chiang Rai to Phuket departs at 15:00. However, the trip can take more than 1 day as the bus is scheduled to arrive at Phuket bus terminal the next day at 16:00.
Another bus from Chiang Rai travels even further south to Hat Yai and Dannok.
Greenbus also serves two bus routes passing Lampang. Bus route 672 goes from Chiang Rai to Tak and Mae Sot via Lampang. Bus route 150 from Golden Triangle to Chiang Mai also goes to Lampang after stopping at Chiang Rai Bus Terminal 2 first.
Mae Sai (Myanmar border)
Mae Sai is a town near the border with Myanmar. Buses from Chiang Rai to Mae Sai are offered by Greenbus and several other companies.
Golden Triangle & Chiang Saen
Golden Triangle, where 3 countries - Thailand, Myanmar and Laos - meet, is also served by Greenbus (bus route 150). Bus stops at Chiang Saen on the way.
Chiang Khong (Laos border)
Buses from Chiang Rai Bus Terminal 2 to Chiang Khong, the town near the border with Laos, are also offered by Greenbus (bus route 1663). However, local buses departing from Terminal 1 are much more frequent as they depart every 30 minutes and costs only 65 THB.
Luang Prabang / Laos
There should be bus from Chiang Rai to Bokeo at 9:00 and 16:30 but the schedule is changing so you should double check it when planning your trip. Ticket costs 220 THB.
Bus from Chiang Rai to Luang Prabang departs at 12:30 on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday. Bus stops at Luang Namtha and Udom Xai on the way. Bus ticket from Chiang Rai to Luang Namtha costs 500 THB, to Udom Xai – 675 THB, to Luang Prabang – 900 THB.
How to get there
Chiang Rai Bus Terminal 2 is located is located a bit out of the center of Chiang Rai. If you are staying in the center of the city, you can try to hop on a songtaew running that way or just take a taxi or tuk-tuk.
However, there is another cheap and convenient way for getting there from the city center as you can use CR Bus that goes to the bus terminal from Chiang Rai Airport and passes various landmarks of Chiang Rai City, including the centrally located Chiang Rai Bus Terminal 1.
Discover the best of the city and province by including these Chiang Rai tourist attractions in your Thailand's must-visit list.