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Chiang Rai advice


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Booked the Nakhonchaiair overnight bus to Chiang Rai this Saturday and I'm looking for any hints and tips of the good places up there - bars, restaurants, tourist stuff etc.

I've read a good few blogs etc and it seems Jetyod Road and surrounds for bars, with a night market not too far east of there.  There's a so called Walking Street but I'm not sure what goes on there, and a Big C and Central Plaza about 30 minutes walk south on the main road if we need anything.  Got digs booked for the first couple of nights on Sampanard Road.

Are there any recent or not so recent visitors who can point me in the right direction?

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https://thailand-247.com/index.php?/topic/3431-chiang-mai-chiang-rai-5-days-in-february-2020/

 

I did a five day trip up there in February 2020.  I based myself in Chiang Mai, rather than Chiang Rai but the drive between the two places is quite manageable.  

The White Temple and the Blue Temple are both closer to Chiang Rai than Chiang Mai.  Tha museum is also relatively close to those temples.   The last set of photos are the temples actually in Chiang Mai.  It is comutable up to Golden Triangle (which I did not do on this trip) from either. 

Some great places around there and generally everything moves a little slower than Pattaya.  Prices generally a little lower than Pattaya.

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please take pics and share of your trip.  sounds brill and different as I, for one, have never been on a long distance bus here.  I was thinking and one day will, take the nigth train up and plane back just for fun tho

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I'll try, even if I'm not much of a writer or photographer.

Motocy up to the bus depot on Sukhumvit Road, handed cases over and just sat down to wait when the bus arrived.  Boarded and left 10 or 15 minutes earlier than the 18:25 scheduled time (the bus had started it's journey in Rayong).  30 seater First Class with 10 rows of 3.  Me and my travelling buddy both chose singles but if you want a double, go for 7 C & D for lots of leg room by the fire exit.  I'm sure the numbers above the seats are wrong, but the glamorous attendant assured us we're OK.

You can check seat availability on their website, and even book if you want to, but we had walked up to the depot a couple of days ago to do it as I wasn't convinced as to the reliabilty of their website.  You can also book some buses through 12Go or busonlineticket and some other sites, but in person is best IMO.

Snack (choc chip cookies), water and blankets handed out after we set off and full steam ahead to Chonburi for some more passengers and pick up the meals.  Apart from the rice I've no idea what it was so don't waste your time asking.

Google maps says we're on Highway #9, about level with Pathum Thani just now with just over 10 hours to travel.  Add in a couple of stops and it sounds about right for an 08:30 ish arrival in Chiang Rai.  Switching the laptop off just now as there's no mains power at the seat so I'll keep some battery in case I need it later.  Got USB power for kindle and phone as well as a battery bank if required.

The aforementioned meal.

CR Bus meal.jpg

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38 minutes ago, KWA said:

I'll try, even if I'm not much of a writer or photographer.

Motocy up to the bus depot on Sukhumvit Road, handed cases over and just sat down to wait when the bus arrived.  Boarded and left 10 or 15 minutes earlier than the 18:25 scheduled time (the bus had started it's journey in Rayong).  30 seater First Class with 10 rows of 3.  Me and my travelling buddy both chose singles but if you want a double, go for 7 C & D for lots of leg room by the fire exit.  I'm sure the numbers above the seats are wrong, but the glamorous attendant assured us we're OK.

You can check seat availability on their website, and even book if you want to, but we had walked up to the depot a couple of days ago to do it as I wasn't convinced as to the reliabilty of their website.  You can also book some buses through 12Go or busonlineticket and some other sites, but in person is best IMO.

Snack (choc chip cookies), water and blankets handed out after we set off and full steam ahead to Chonburi for some more passengers and pick up the meals.  Apart from the rice I've no idea what it was so don't waste your time asking.

Google maps says we're on Highway #9, about level with Pathum Thani just now with just over 10 hours to travel.  Add in a couple of stops and it sounds about right for an 08:30 ish arrival in Chiang Rai.  Switching the laptop off just now as there's no mains power at the seat so I'll keep some battery in case I need it later.  Got USB power for kindle and phone as well as a battery bank if required.

The aforementioned meal.

CR Bus meal.jpg

when i took that bus they had 2 USB ports per seat one in the enterainment screen to view your own movies and one in the very end of the arm rest to charge your phone or PC that one i found by mistake. You will arrive at Terminal 2 a bit ot of town go to the end of the terminal for a 20 baht blue baht bus type of truck that will take you to Terminal 1 where most of the hotels and guest houses and markets are 

15784469200009.jpg

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Been a long time,since up that way,was up twice,golden triangle area is worth a look,hire a bike,theres an opium museum on the way,its massive and so is the lovely gardens it sits in,ye could travel up to mai sai for a side trip,small market town on the border,crossed before into mynamar but wouldnt advise now might not get back in ! chang rai itself is ok small cluster of bars near end of market,maybe closed now,i was with my gf at the time so might be boring if you dont take a girl with you.

 

They have a place beside the market outdoor venue to watch thai bands,similar to pai mai in hua hin if youve been there,lots of food stalls beer stalls surrounding the eating and stage area,thats was the best thing about chang rai.

Edited by Phantom51red
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17 hours ago, Yesitisdakid said:

when i took that bus they had 2 USB ports per seat one in the enterainment screen to view your own movies and one in the very end of the arm rest to charge your phone or PC that one i found by mistake. You will arrive at Terminal 2 a bit ot of town go to the end of the terminal for a 20 baht blue baht bus type of truck that will take you to Terminal 1 where most of the hotels and guest houses and markets are

My armrest is different, but thanks for the info.

CR Bus seat.jpg

 

We never really stopped again until Lampang where most of the remaining seats filled up, including a group of four or five with twice that many huge bags they had trouble fitting into the bus storage.  We would come across them again later!  Phayao was the only other bus station stop off I remember, but I might have dozed through others.  Passed The White Temple on our left, I think and about an hour early arrived into Chiang Rai Bus Terminal 2.  A sandwich and a tin of cola had been handed out on the bus about 30 minutes before arrival.

CR Bus snack.jpg

 

We found the blue Song Taew's pick up point but were beaten to it by the girls with the huge bags.  Now Johnny Baht Bus wants as many in as he can so these bags, the girls and us were squashed in everywhere, including outside on the roof, to maximise his baht.  Terminal 1 in just a few minutes and a short walk to our digs, despite lots of encouragement from tuk tuk and taxi drivers to use their services.  We'd arranged early check in so it was a relief to get in and showered at that time in the morning.

A couple of questions for anyone still reading.

1)  Do the blue baht buses wait around for the return trip from bus terminal 1 to bus terminal 2, and if so, where?

2)  Can you go from Bus Terminal 1 to Chiang Mai.  I've read "yes" on line but couldn't work out how when we there briefly earlier.

 

Edited by KWA
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28 minutes ago, KWA said:

My armrest is different, but thanks for the info.

CR Bus seat.jpg

 

We never really stopped again until Lampang where most of the remaining seats filled up, including a group of four or five with twice that many huge bags they had trouble fitting into the bus storage.  We would come across them again later!  Phayao was the only other bus station stop off I remember, but I might have dozed through others.  Passed The White Temple on our left, I think and about an hour early arrived into Chiang Rai Bus Terminal 2.  A sandwich and a tin of cola had been handed out on the bus about 30 minutes before arrival.

CR Bus snack.jpg

 

We found the blue Song Taew's pick up point but were beaten to it by the girls with the huge bags.  Now Johnny Baht Bus wants as many in as he can so these bags, the girls and us were squashed in everywhere, including outside on the roof, to maximise his baht.  Terminal 1 in just a few minutes and a short walk to our digs, despite lots of encouragement from tuk tuk and taxi drivers to use their services.  We'd arranged early check in so it was a relief to get in and showered at that time in the morning.

A couple of questions for anyone still reading.

1)  Do the blue baht buses wait around for the return trip from bus terminal 1 to bus terminal 2, and if so, where?

2)  Can you go from Bus Terminal 1 to Chiang Mai.  I've read "yes" on line but couldn't work out how when we there briefly earlier.

 

https://12go.asia/en/travel/chiang-rai/chiang-mai

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2 hours ago, KWA said:

My armrest is different, but thanks for the info.

CR Bus seat.jpg

 

We never really stopped again until Lampang where most of the remaining seats filled up, including a group of four or five with twice that many huge bags they had trouble fitting into the bus storage.  We would come across them again later!  Phayao was the only other bus station stop off I remember, but I might have dozed through others.  Passed The White Temple on our left, I think and about an hour early arrived into Chiang Rai Bus Terminal 2.  A sandwich and a tin of cola had been handed out on the bus about 30 minutes before arrival.

CR Bus snack.jpg

 

We found the blue Song Taew's pick up point but were beaten to it by the girls with the huge bags.  Now Johnny Baht Bus wants as many in as he can so these bags, the girls and us were squashed in everywhere, including outside on the roof, to maximise his baht.  Terminal 1 in just a few minutes and a short walk to our digs, despite lots of encouragement from tuk tuk and taxi drivers to use their services.  We'd arranged early check in so it was a relief to get in and showered at that time in the morning.

A couple of questions for anyone still reading.

1)  Do the blue baht buses wait around for the return trip from bus terminal 1 to bus terminal 2, and if so, where?

2)  Can you go from Bus Terminal 1 to Chiang Mai.  I've read "yes" on line but couldn't work out how when we there briefly earlier.

 

yes behind the terminal you should see the blue baht buses and Green bus told me i had to go to terminal 2 for the chaing mai bus

Edited by Yesitisdakid
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Been drinking in the Siam Sports Bar and Tulip Bar.  Sports Bar is an expat bar and pleasant enough, but as with most places is pretty quiet.  We met the local SBS guy on our last evening.  Tulip Bar is a single shop unit beer bar with a couple of working girls if you're looking for that.  No English apart from "what's your name" etc and I spent most of my time talking to the boss lady.  Both are just off Jetyod Road.

There is apparently a bus that goes from the in town bus station to the main one as this pic shows (originates at the airport), but everybody in and around the bus station denied it and screwed us out of 20 baht each for the song taew.

bus chiang rai.jpg

 

Green Bus Co took us the 3.5 hour trip to Chiang Mai.  The road was a mess but it looks like it's being upgraded to dual carriageway and I'm sure it'll be OK when it's finished.  Only 4 days. 3 nights in Chiang Mai and I'd definitely go back.  It's got a nice relaxed vibe about it, the centre is quite compact and the people are friendly.

buddha 2.jpg

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15 hours ago, KWA said:

Been drinking in the Siam Sports Bar and Tulip Bar.  Sports Bar is an expat bar and pleasant enough, but as with most places is pretty quiet.  We met the local SBS guy on our last evening.  Tulip Bar is a single shop unit beer bar with a couple of working girls if you're looking for that.  No English apart from "what's your name" etc and I spent most of my time talking to the boss lady.  Both are just off Jetyod Road.

There is apparently a bus that goes from the in town bus station to the main one as this pic shows (originates at the airport), but everybody in and around the bus station denied it and screwed us out of 20 baht each for the song taew.

bus chiang rai.jpg

 

Green Bus Co took us the 3.5 hour trip to Chiang Mai.  The road was a mess but it looks like it's being upgraded to dual carriageway and I'm sure it'll be OK when it's finished.  Only 4 days. 3 nights in Chiang Mai and I'd definitely go back.  It's got a nice relaxed vibe about it, the centre is quite compact and the people are friendly.

buddha 2.jpg

yes that bus trip had some bad roads at one point crossing over a small river on a makeshift bridge that looked shaky but it made it. 

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  • 3 weeks later...

An update to the bus situation as I've been back in Chiang Rai the last few days, but the Greenbus now leaves from Bus Terminal 1 in the centre and the booking office there is open.  They moved back on 6th October.

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