New Bus Station
Chiang Rai, following the example of so many other Thai cities, recently redirected almost all inter-provincial bus traffic to a new bus terminal (baw kaw saw mai) on the outskirts of the city, presumably to cut down on downtown traffic congestion caused by buses entering and leaving the old central bus station. There could also have been pressure from the taxi-driver’s lobby, since the new station is 7km outside the city, but any evidence of such special interest has evaded this reporter.
The new bus terminal opened in April 2009 and has since become the center for nearly all inter-provincial routes, hosting VIP, 1st-class, and only a handful of 2nd-class bus lines. Companies of note include Sombat Tour with 2 offices on site, Green Bus with the only routes to and from Chiang Mai, and the high-class Nakhonchai Tour and Nakhonchai Air lines. Nearly all of the bus companies operating here have clear signs and posted schedules, so it’s easy to get the information you need. Still, some popular schedules are presented here.