If you want to get from Bangkok to Chiang Mai, you have two options: Take a touristic bus at Khao San Road for about 500 baht, or take a regular bus from the northern station for 200 baht (you will have to pay the transportation to get there anyways).
- Non-stop 24/32-seaters and 1st class buses such as Nokhonchai Air provide larger seats and snacks; making the long trip more comfortable. They manage the trip around 9 hours and cost around 550 baht. Be cautious about the so-called “VIP” buses touted on Khao San Rd. They may be cheaper, but you may end up crammed into a 2nd class bus or worse.
- A variety of daily buses leave frequently from Bangkok’s Northern Bus Terminal (Mo Chit), offering varying choices of price, comfort and speed. Rattling government buses make frequent stops at every minor township. The journey takes around 12 hrs and costs 200 baht.
At Arcade Bus Station, where you’ll arrive in Chiang Mai, public songthaews wait nearer Terminal 3, adjacent to the road that bisects the two terminals. Look for local people getting into them, and ask the driver if he goes to your destination (if the songthaew is empty, don’t forget to confirm the price). A shared trip to Tha Phae Gate (south edge of the old town) should cost 20 baht each, though you may have to wait for a driver who agrees. Virtually all songthaews will pass Warorot Market (city centre, just after crossing the river), from where it’s just 1 km walk to Tha Phae Gate, or numerous (see “Get around” section) songthaews to other areas.
Alternatively, you can charter the whole songthaew or take a tuk-tuk. The drivers will approach you once you’ve arrived and will ask as much as 80-100 baht to the city centre/Tha Phae Gate, showing you a bogus price list with “fixed” prices. Bargain, it’s just 5-6 km, so the fair price for tuk-tuk there is 50 baht, and is not more than 100 baht even to the opposite side of the city. It may be difficult to bargain with these drivers, however. A good idea is to ignore them from the start, walk out to the nearby street, and catch a passing tuk-tuk/songthaew there. If your luggage is light, you can walk to the centre, but it’s quite a long walk, as the Arcade bus station is located in the city’s northeast outskirts.
This information was taken from WikiTravel