Thailand is really one of the most majestic countries in the southeast Asia and is both culturally rich and unique just like many Asia countries. If you are one of the people who wants to really experience the culture of Thailand, Chiang Mai is the place to go. However, if you also want to experience a more urban type of living in Thailand, Bangkok is the place for you. Two very contrasting places, both highlights all good things that Thailand has to offer. Of course, as a tourist, you would want to experience both, in order to do this, you will have to travel back and forth these two cities of the country.
Flying is probably one of the most comfortable type of public transportation; comfortable seats, air conditioned, clean public utilities and free snacks. It is also the fastest way to go back and forth Chiang Mai to Bangkok and back in only a couple of hours. Chiang Mai International Airport offers flight to Bangkok while Thai Airways also offers flights going to Chiang Mai. Chiang Mai International Airport is open from 5 am to midnight. If you want to save with fare, you can try Nok Air. It is a low-cost carrier with very cheap flights from Chiang Mai to Bangkok.
Trains normally are basically a nightmare to people who commute especially during rush hours. However, night trains in Thailand are relatively comfortable. First class tickets would get you a space for a two-person berth. If you are alone and does not want to share a space with another stranger, you would prefer a second-class sleeper trains which has bunks with privacy curtains. Top bunks are cheaper than the lower bunks but it tends to be a little claustrophobic. Trains usually fill up quickly so it would be better if you book your ticket days or weeks before your scheduled departure.
3. Bus from Khao San Road to Chiang Mai
Khao San Road in Bangkok is the ultimate backpacker scene not only in Bangkok but in Southeast Asia. Many buses make overnight trips between Bangkok and Chaing Mai. Many can be booked for a small fee through accommodation or at any travel agencies on Khao San Road or nearby Soi Rambutri. The prices is not fixed so ask on how much the fare is on as much agency as you could to get the best deal.
4. Tourist Buses
Tourist Buses is known as the cheapest of buses in Thailand. It is a double-decker bus that will get you to Bangkok. These may not be comfortable especially to people with long legs. Buses normally cost around 350 to 500 baht depending on the agency. Tourist buses depart around 6:30 in the evening and arrive in Bangkok at 7 am.
5. Deluxe and VIP Buses
There is an ongoing scam around Thailand inside the buses so be careful of your belongings. If you want to be on the safer side and a more comfortable ride, you can try and use the Deluxe or VIP buses. These buses depart from the Arcade Bus Station and has typically have lesser tourist in them and you can also have a meal, snack, drink or even a movie depending on the company of the bus. These buses usually cost around 750 baht and up per passenger.
As a summary, traveling from Chiang Mai to Bangkok is so easy, given the plenty of options. So it boils down to your preference for comfort, willingness to spend, amount of time to spare and element of enjoyment.