A Passenger’s Guide to Chiang Mai International Airport (Thailand)

Chiang Mai International Airport is an international gateway serving Chiang Mai, the capital of Chiang Mai province, and the rest of Northern Thailand. The country’s fourth busiest air field, it handles more than 10 million passengers a year, both foreign and domestic.

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The terminal as viewed from the street at Chiang Mai International Airport in Northern Thailand.Photo Credit: Califlier

Chiang Mai International  Airport (CNX) is the largest airport in Northern Thailand.

The air field serves the city of Chiang Mai, Thailand’s sixth largest city.

Formerly the capital of the Lanna Kingdom (1296 – 1768), Chiang Mai is situated along the banks of the Ping River in a verdant valley surrounded by rolling green hills.

Chiang Mai Airport is also the gateway to the rest of Northern Thailand, which is very different from the rest of the country both physically and culturally.

Chiang Mai Airport  is Thailand’s fourth busiest air field after Bangkok’s two airports and Phuket International Airport.

Airlines and Flight Information

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A Thai Airways jetliner on the tarmac and Chiang Mai International Airport. Photo Credit: Sasikan

Seven airlines link Chiang Mai International Airport with Bangkok’s two international airports, with more than 50 flights a day.

Bangkok Airways, Thai Airways, and Thai Smile fly between Chiang Mai Airport and Suvarnabhumil International Airport (BKK), operating a total of 23 flights a day on the route.

Nok Air, R Airlines, Thai AirAsia, Thai Lion Air, and Thai Smile all fly to Chiang Mai from Bangkok’s Don Mueang International Airport, operating a total of 34 daily flights on the route, making it the second most popular route in the country after the Bangkok – Phuket route.

Thai AirAsia operates two daily flights from Chiang Mai to Hat Yai, one flight to Khon Kaen, two flights to Krabi, three flights to Phuket, two flights to Surat Thani, one flight to Ubon Ratchathani, and three flights to U-Tapao.

Bangkok Airways operates two daily flights from Chiang Mai to Mae Hong Son, one flight to Phuket, and one flight to Samui,

Thai Smile operates operates one daily flights from Chiang Mai to Phuket.

Nok Air operates three daily flights from Chiang Mai to Udon Thani.

In addition to domestic air carriers, Chiang Mai Airport is served by several foreign carriers., which link the city mostly to nearby travel destinations in China, Korea, Hong Kong, Laos, Macau, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Taiwan, and Vietnam.

An exception is Qatar Airways, which flies from the airport to Doha, Qatar, with links to the Africa, the Americas, Europe, and the Middle East.

Chiang Mai International Airport is a hub for Bangkok Airways and Thai Air Asia.

Passenger Services

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There are duty free shops and other facilities in the International Departures waiting room. Photo Credit: Rinto Jiang.

Money exchange counters and ATMs are located inside the airport terminal, but keep in mind that exchange rates are usually better in town than at the airport.

The airport has several food and beverage outlets including two coffee shops, a deli, and fast food restaurants.

There are also Duty Free shops and boutiques selling souvenirs, handicrafts, and other items.

Ground Transportation

Taxis, limousines, buses, tuk-tuks, and car rentals are among the transportation options at the airport.

There’s a taxi rank at the north side of the airport terminal. The average fare from the airport to hotels in Chiang Mai is about 160 baht. The fare to the Arcade Bus Terminal is about 200 baht.

The average return fare to the airport is 100 baht. Most Chiang Mai hotels are within a 10 minutes’ drive of the airport.

Many hotels will arrange free transfer to and from the airport so make sure to check with your hotel before making your own arrangements.

Airport Location

Chiang Mai International Airport is four kilometres or two miles southwest of downtown Chiang Mai.

A Passenger’s Guide to Chiang Mai Interantioal Aiport is the sixth in a series of passengers’ guides to the Airports of Thailand (AOT).

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