How to travel from Chiang Mai to Phuket?

Chiang Mai and Phuket are two popular destinations in Thailand that many travelers choose to visit. If you are planning Thailand tours 2021, let us introduce to you the best way to get from Chiang Mai to Phuket in this article below.


Phuket island
Phuket – A paradise island in Thailand

An introduction of Chiang Mai and Phuket

If you are finding a quiet and friendly atmosphere to get away from busy Bangkok, Chiang Mai is absolutely a good choice. Some of the best things to do in Chiang Mai are visiting beautiful temples such as Doi Suthep, discovering the backstreet of Chiang Mai at night, spending a day at an elephant sanctuary, or attending a monk chat. After exploring all the highlights of Chiang Mai, you should travel south to Phuket to enjoy the most popular beach in the country. Not only famous for beautiful beaches, but Phuket is also well known for nightlife, bars, and entertainment.


elephant sanctuaries in thailand
Elephant Caring Day – an interesting experience in Chiang Mai

How to get from Chiang Mai to Phuket

There are two main ways to travel from Chiang Mai to Phuket which are by plane and by bus. Based on your travel planned budget and your travel interest, you can choose the most suitable way for you.

By plane

Traveling by plane is definitely the fastest way. The flight from Chiang Mai to Phuket would take nearly two hours. Direct flights are run daily with many departure times. You can find your flights with these following carriers: Air Asia, Thai Smile, Thai Airways, and Bangkok Airlines. The price would vary very much based on the time you booked and your travel dates. The cost is ranging from US$ 90 to US$ 160/ ticket.

The drive from Chiang Mai center to Chiang Mai airport would take less than 30 minutes. You can be at the airport 1 hour before departure time. Even though the airport is quite small with only one terminal, I would suggest showing off a least one and a half hours for check-in. Therefore, you don’t need to rush around as there are often long lines at both Chiang Mai and Phuket airport.


Direct flights from Chiang Mai to Phuket
There are direct flights running daily from Chiang Mai to Phuket

By bus

Phuket is an island, it is however connected with the mainland by the bridge. Therefore, you could reach the island by bus.

In the past, there was no direct bus running between Chiang Mai and Phuket. It has just changed a couple of years ago when Green Bus began offering a direct bus from Chiang Mai to Phuket. However, please note that the journey could take a very long time, up to 24 hours. Even though the bus will stop several times for you to stretch your legs and having meals, it would not be comfortable to spend such a long time on the bus.

The Green Bus at Chiang Mai Bus station is only one available bus trip every day; leaving at 12:30 pm from Chiang Mai Bus Terminal 3 and arriving at Phuket Bus Terminal 2 around midday the following day. Please note that from your hotel, you would need to take a local taxi to get to the bus station, and upon arrival, depending on your hotel location, a short transfer is needed to bring you to your accommodation.

The Green Bus is quite a modern bus with modern facilities including air conditioners, toilets; and even bus seats are fitted with small TVs. I am not sure if there is an English language program available but it would be interesting to find out!

The advantage of taking a bus is that it would cost less than a flight ticket (around US$ 62) and you will get to see more beautiful Thai countryside on your road trip. Similar to flight tickets, you should book the bus ticket beforehand to avoid it get fully booked. You can easily book online or go to the bus station one or two days before your departure date and by on spot.


Green Bus – from Chiang Mai to Phuket
Green Bus – from Chiang Mai to Phuket

Travel ideas for your Thailand tours

Depending on your planned time frame, you may add to other destinations such as Bangkok or Kanachaburi on your trip. One of the most popular trips is Classic Thailand 7 days. You could add on at least 3 days in Phuket after this trip for relaxation.

To conclude, you can opt for traveling by plane or by bus, depending on your budget and travel preferences. If you are willing to pay extra, flights would be the quickest and easiest way to travel. If you are elderly people or family traveling with kids, there is no need to think much as flight should be the best option. On the other hand, if you are young, energetic, and keen on adventure, going by bus is not a bad idea at all.


Van Do – Travel Specialist

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