“Mueang Chiang Rai is a city in northern Thailand and a good base for exploring the surrounding region. The city’s old bus station is located in the city centre and is a hub for buses to destinations in Chiang Rai province. The city’s new bus station is seven kilometres south of the city and serves bus companies operating on intercity routes.
Bus operators call the old station Terminal 1 and the new one Terminal 2. Options for travel between the two are songthaew or tuktuk. Songthaews are cheap and depart when they have a full load of passengers. Among destinations served by Chiang Rai Terminal 1 are Mae Sai and Chiang Khong, the locations of international border crossings for Myanmar and Laos respectively.
People heading to Mae Sai have a choice of regular buses or air-conditioned mini-buses. Regular buses depart every thirty minutes in the daytime, but stop frequently and can take up to two hours to travel between the locations. Mini-buses are quicker. Buses from Mueang Chiang Rai to Chiang Khong leave every hour between 06:00 and 17:00 and take two hours.
Terminal 1 has several food and beverage stalls as well as public toilets. This depot is close to the city’s famed Night Bazaar. Accommodation within five minutes’ walk includes perennial backpacker favourite City Home Guest House and the more upmarket Wanome Hotel Chiang Rai. Songthaew and tuk-tuk drivers are usually on hand to transport arriving bus passengers.
Terminal 2 is just off Highway 1, the principal route between Bangkok and Mae Sai. Buses from Mochit terminal in Bangkok take around 14 hours to cover the 850kms to Chiang Rai. There are several different classes of bus on this route. Most of the services depart in the evening. It pays to make an online booking to avoid waiting at Mochit at peak holiday times.”