• Nothing Found

How to get from Chiang Mai Airport to Pai

The north of Thailand offers a number of great travel destinations. A popular hotspot is the laid-back town of Pai near the Myanmar border. Pai has become synonymous with the hippy culture due to its relaxed atmosphere and beautiful natural settings, where travellers can hike and watch the sunset (Pai Canyon), swim in waterfalls (Pam Bok Waterfall), and take a stroll down Pai’s walking street night market.

The road distance from Chiang Mai airport to Pai is 135 km and there are two transportation options available to travellers wanting to make this trip. The first option and the only direct way to get to Pai involves the use of an airport taxi or a private shuttle service. The second option is an indirect travel method and involves firstly having to travel into the city of Chiang Mai and more specifically to the Chiang Mai Arcade Bus Terminal, and then taking a shared shuttle bus service operated by Prempracha Transports.

Welcome Pickups offers meet and greet services and a friendly introduction to Chiang Mai at the same price as a regular taxi. Click here to see the cost.

Welcome Pickups has a Net Safety Score of 99 of 100

We’ve introduced a metric indicating how safe travellers feel when using our services during the COVID-19 pandemic. After every ride, we ask each traveller to leave a review.

  • 20 minute gap between transfers

  • Regular Car Sanitisation

  • Contactless ride

  • Sanitiser in every car

Read More

Comparison of the options

PRICE FOR 2PASSENGERS
OPTION PRICE DURATION AVAILABILITY
Taxi €80 180min 24/7
Bus €10.20 240min 06:30–17:30

How to get from Chiang Mai Airport to Pai by Taxi

The easiest way to travel from the airport of Chiang Mai to Pai is by taxi or a private shuttle service. It is the only direct method of transport and will save you time on the total travel time which should be just under 3 hours. The trip goes via mountainous and winding route 1095, which is renowned for its numerous (over 750) twists and turns. The taxi fare can be calculated by a taximeter installed in most taxis, however, long-distance destinations are usually a fixed rate fare which should be agreed upon with the driver or taxi operator at the start of the journey.

How much is the taxi fare from Chiang Mai airport to Pai?

You can expect a taxi airport transfer from Chiang Mai to Pai to cost about €80 (THB 3000) depending on the taxi company you choose. To avoid any misunderstandings regarding the cost of your transfer that may occur, it is advised that you discuss and come to an agreement with the driver or taxi operator regarding the fare, at the start of your journey. For a hassle-free experience and a guaranteed fixed rate fare with no hidden costs, book your airport taxi in advance with Welcome Pickups.

Cost

€80 (THB 3000)

Trip Duration

3hrs

Three taxi companies currently offer their services at Chiang Mai airport for you to choose from.

Convenience
Safety
Value for money

Taxis are available 24/7 from Chiang Mai airport.

Where do I get a taxi from?

Chiang Mai airport has a designated taxi desk located after the baggage claim area by Exit 1. Three taxi companies currently offer their services from the airport to numerous destinations. You can also book your airport transfer in advance with Welcome Pickups and have your driver waiting for you when you arrive. 

Convenience

The taxi or private shuttle transport option is certainly the most convenient way to travel to Pai from Chiang Mai airport. It is the only direct option, reducing your total travel time considerably, helping you avoid changing buses (if taking the bus option), and offering you privacy on a long trip.

Editor’s Note

If you are planning on taking a taxi or private shuttle from Chiang Mai airport to Pai, it is highly recommended that you book your transfer in advance in order to avoid any queues or delays that you may experience at the airport taxi desk.

Useful Tips

The journey to Pai can be quite difficult due to the numerous twists and turns on route 1095. It is therefore advised that passengers who are prone to motion sickness, take motion sickness tablets before their journey.
Due to the steep and mountainous terrain of this journey, travellers should also consider their travel safety, and ideally plan such a journey during the driest months of the year, which are usually between November and February.
It is advised that the taxi fee is discussed and agreed upon with the driver or taxi operator at the start of the journey, in order to avoid any misunderstandings regarding the cost when you arrive at your destination.

How to get from Chiang Mai Airport to Pai by Bus

There is no direct public transport option to travel from Chiang Mai airport to Pai. There is a bus service operated by Prempracha Transports that leaves from the Chiang Mai Arcade Bus Terminal, every hour starting from 06:30 to 17:30, daily. The shared shuttle bus service takes about 4hrs to travel to Pai. If you, therefore, decide to take this transport option, you will first have to travel to the Chiang Mai Arcade bus terminal from the airport. This is achieved by taking Route R3 of the ‘Chiang Mai City Bus’ operated by RTC from the airport into the city of Chiang Mai. You then change buses at Waroros Market and take Route R1 of the same operator to the Chiang Mai Arcade bus terminal.

How much does it cost to travel from Chiang Mai airport to Pai by bus?

Chiang Mai city bus route R3 from the airport to the city centre costs €0.55 (THB 20) per trip. The cost of the Prempracha shared shuttle service from the Chiang Mai bus terminal to Pai starts from €4 (THB 150) per person.

Cost

From €5.10

Trip Duration

4hrs

Bus route R3 from the airport costs €0.55 (THB 20) per trip. The cost of the Prempracha bus service to Pai starts from €4 (THB 150) per person.

Convenience
Safety
Value for money

The Chiang Mai bus route from the airport runs from 06:30 to 23:30, every 25-30 minutes and the Prempracha bus service to Pai runs every hour from 06:30 to 17:30.

Where do I get the bus from?

The Chiang Mai city bus that will take you into the city of Chiang Mai is located outside the arrivals hall of the airport as you leave the terminal from Exit 1. The Prempracha bus service to Pai leaves from the Chiang Mai Bus Terminal (Terminal 2) and is located 3km to the east of Chiang Mai city centre.

Convenience

The bus transfer to Pai is an affordable transport option but is not a direct service. It does not depart from Chiang Mai airport, therefore travellers wishing to take this option must first travel to the Chiang Mai Arcade Bus Terminal which is east of the city. This involves taking two buses (route R3 first, then change to R1) if taking the public transport option, which will increase the already significant travel time to Pai.

Editor’s Note

Passengers can purchase the Prempracha tickets for the bus service to Pai either at Chiang Mai Bus Terminal or online in advance to guarantee a ticket for their preferred departure time.

Useful Tips

The road (Route 1095) to Pai from Chiang Mai is steep and mountainous with numerous twists and turns. Passengers prone to motion sickness should keep this in mind and have access to motion sickness pills to help manage any symptoms.
The Prempracha bus service will make a 20-minute stop halfway through the journey for a toilet and food break.
Due to the difficult driving terrain throughout the entire journey to Pai via Route 1095, travellers should consider their travel safety, and ideally, plan this trip during the driest months of the year - usually between November and February.

Frequently asked questions

Is there a direct bus from the airport of Chiang Mai to Pai?

There is no direct bus from the airport of Chiang Mai to Pai. The bus to Pai departs from the Chiang Mai Arcade Bus Terminal which is located in the north east of the city.

What’s the distance from Chiang Mai airport to Pai?

The distance from Chiang Mai airport to Pai is 135km and involves a steep and mountainous road, with numerous twists and turns. The expected travel time by taxi should be just under 3hrs.

What’s the best way to get from Chiang Mai airport to Pai?

The best way to travel from Chiang Mai airport to Pai is by an airport taxi or private transfer as it is the only direct option to this destination. The alternative is to take a bus service that leaves from the Chiang Mai Arcade bus terminal in the northeast of the city – a combined trip, adding to the already hefty travel time to Pai.

Pre-book online