Chiang Mai International Airport Guide

Chiang Mai Airport Departure Lounge

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Chiang Mai International Airport

Address
60 Thanon Mahidol, Amphoe Mueang Chiang Mai, Chang Wat Chiang Mai 50200, Thailand
Phone +66 53 922 000

As the aviation hub of Northern Thailand, Chiang Mai International Airport is the country’s fourth busiest airport, its 11-million-strong maximum passenger volume exceeded only by Bangkok’s two airports and Phuket Airport.

In the next few sections, we’ll explain what to expect when you arrive at Chiang Mai International Airport; how to get to your Chiang Mai hotel or resort; and what facilities can be found onsite to smooth your way through Northern Thailand’s major air gateway.

Chiang Mai International Airport Code, Location and Contact Information

Know Before You Go

Chiang Mai International Airport has two terminals contained in the same building: a Domestic Terminal in the northern part, and an International terminal making up the southern part. Arrivals for both domestic and international flights can be found on the ground floor; departures take place from the upper floor.

Direct flights between Chiang Mai International Airport and U.S. air hubs are not available. U.S.-based travelers need to fly into Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport before connecting to Chiang Mai, or likewise via Asian hubs like Singapore's Changi Airport and Hong Kong's Chek Lap Kok Airport.

The airport itself is only 2.5 miles southwest of Chiang Mai Old City, making for near-effortless travel between your Chiang Mai hotel and your next flight out.

Driving Directions

To drive from Chiang Mai City, aim for Route 1141, then head west following the airport signs until you reach the airport parking lot.

Chiang Mai International Airport Parking

Motorists can choose to park in open-air parking with slots for over 400 vehicles, or a multi-story parking garage that can accommodate over 1,300 cars. Parking costs 20 Thai bhat (around US$0.60) for up to an hour, with a maximum fee of 250 baht for up to 24 hours.

Public Transportation and Taxis

Chiang Mai International Airport travelers can choose from any of the following transportation options available at the arrivals exit.

  • Airport Taxi: Taxi booking desks can be found at Exit 1. You can choose between the airport taxi, which charges a flat rate of 150 baht, or a metered taxi with a more variable fare.
  • Songthaew: These inexpensive shared-ride trucks are not permitted within airport grounds. To catch one of these, you’ll first have to walk to the main street. Fares range from 40 baht to as high as 200 baht if you hire the entire songthaew for yourself.
  • Tuk-tuks: Three-wheeled tuk-tuks aren’t allowed on the main airport grounds, but can be flagged down on the main road. At 100-150 baht, tuk-tuks don’t have any cost advantage over taxis.
  • Airport shuttle bus: A counter in front of the Gate 9 exit takes payment for shuttle bus passengers, which departs from the airport every 30 minutes. A ride costs 60 baht.
  • Public bus: Buses B2, R3 (both Yellow & Red), and 10 connect travelers between the city and Chiang Mai International Airport for a low fare of 20 baht.
  • Car rentals: The following car rental agencies are available at Chiang Mai International Airport: Budget, Chic Car Rent, Sixt, Drive Car Rental, Hertz, Thai Rent a Car.

Where to Eat and Drink

Chiang Mai International Airport offers an interesting assortment of coffee shops, restaurants and eateries in both International and Domestic terminals. Choose from the following:

  • Bill Bentley Pub: A classic English-style pub by way of Phuket. Get pints of Thai beer with a more limited selection compared to their usual menu. Located in front of Gate 5, Departure Airside.
  • Khao Soi House: Taste Chiang Mai’s favorite noodle dish at this restaurant in Domestic Arrivals.
  • Doi Chaang Coffee: This homegrown coffee brand sells strong brews and bags of beans to take home. Front of Gate 5, Departure Airside; Domestic Arrivals.
  • Black Canyon Coffee: Local coffee brand, sells food as well as strong coffee. Domestic and International Departures, Airside.
  • Wawee Coffee: Here, you can get hot and cold coffee on the go. Domestic Departures Airside. waweecoffee.com
  • Other fast-food options: Burger King, Dairy Queen, and McDonald's are at Chiang Mai International Airport for your burgers and ice cream fix. International Departure, Airside.

Where to Shop

While the shopping in Chiang Mai International Airport pales next to the selection at Suvarnabhumi Airport, you’ll still find a few promising stores at airside that focus on Chiang Mai foodstuffs and handicrafts.

  • King Power Duty Free: Cosmetics, luxury goods, and premium Thai brands are sold here, in Thailand’s only duty-free store brand. Open from 6 a.m. to midnight in International Termincal, Airside.
  • Royal Thai Handicraft Center: Perfect for some last-chance shopping for Northern Thai handicrafts. Airside, near Gate 7.
  • Herb Basics: This Chiang Mai-founded business sells scents, soaps, and oils for home spas and aromatherapy using Thai indigenous materials. There are stores in both the Domestic and International terminals.
  • The Booksmith: You'll find art and design books at this International Terminal bookstore, as well as Western fiction and Thai books. International departures, Airside.
  • Bookazine: Your typical airport bookstore in the Domestic Terminal, near Gate 3.

How to Spend Your Layover in Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai International Airport has no dedicated sleeping areas or rest zones. For a restful stay close to the airport, you’ll have to check out the airport hotels close by. None of these options are airside, meaning you’ll have to check out from the airport before you head to your stay. Your options include:

  • B2 Airport Boutique & Budget Hotel: A budget hotel in Chiang Mai's Hai Ya neighborhood, just a five-minute drive from the airport. There is no airport shuttle available.
  • Sleep Mai?: A boutique hotel near the Central Airport Plaza Mall; five minutes’ drive away from the airport. Airport shuttles are available for an added fee.
  • Hotel Noble Place: A budget hotel only a three-minute drive from the airport. There is no airport shuttle service.
  • VC Suanpaak: A rustic budget hotel, very close to Chiang Mai International Airport.

With the aAirport so close to Chiang Mai Old City, it would be a shame to spend a six-or-so-hour layover in Chiang Mai International Airport without getting out to see the local sights. Read our suggestions for a 48-hour stay in Chiang Mai for some ideas.

Before checking out of the airport (assuming you’re not checking into one of the hotels listed above), leave your bags at the luggage lockers on the ground floor of Domestic Departures. The rate is 200 baht per day for a locker.

Currency exchange services and ATMs are available throughout the airport, run by Thailand’s biggest banks.

Airport Lounges

Chiang Mai International Airport has a handful of premium lounges for travelers who are willing to pay extra for extra luxury.

  • Coral Executive Lounge: Provides premium access to massages, their own Wi-Fi network, refreshments, a la carte food options, and showers. The maximum stay is three hours and it's open from 6 a.m. to midnight in Domestic Departures Airside, near Gate 8.
  • Bangkok Airways Blue Ribbon Lounge: Relaxation and extra amenities for paying guests, as well as members of Business and First Class fliers with Bangkok Airways. Welcomes Priority Pass members. Open from 5 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. in Domestic Departures Airside, near Gate 6 and International Departures Airside.
  • Thai Royal Orchid Lounge: Thai Airways and Star Alliance premium passengers are welcome without fees. Domestic Departures Airside, near Gate 3.

Wi-Fi and Charging Stations

Free Wi-Fi is available throughout the airport; the first 120 minutes of use is free. Look for the “@ AirportTrueFreeWiFi” network to log in.

There are seven charging points available in Chiang Mai International Airport airside, distributed throughout both the Domestic and International Departure areas.

Chiang Mai International Airport Tips and Facts

  • Goods and services in Thailand are charged an extra value-added tax (VAT), but tourists can get a refund on VAT at Chiang Mai Airport. In Chiang Mai International Airport, the VAT refund counter is located on International Departures Airside.
  • If you hurt yourself or feel sick just before your flight, head to the 24-hour medical center at the Domestic Terminal, second floor.
  • For a quick shower before your flight, head to Coral Executive Lounge.
  • Even Chiang Mai International Airport sets aside some space for the city’s famous massages; head to Pa Kaew Massage Shop on the second floor of the Domestic Terminal for a relaxing rubdown before your flight.
  • Smokers can puff away at the smoking room next to Black Canyon Coffee at the International Departures Airside.  
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Find Your Way Around Chiang Mai International Airport in Thailand