Travelling to Chiang Mai by Car
Before deciding to drive, read this primer on driving in Thailand. If you’ve never driven in Thailand before the driving standards here may come as a bit of a shock. However, the roads are generally quite good. The trickiest part will be getting out of Bangkok, but after that its pretty straightforward all the way to Chiang Mai. If you can, purchase a road map from a book store.
Drive on Highway No.1 (Phahonyothin) and turn left to Highway No.32 (Asian Highway). Travel past Ayutthaya, Ang Thong, and Nakhon Sawan, then take Highway No. 117 to Phitsanulok and Highway No. 11 to Lampang, Lamphun and Chiang Mai. The distance is 695 kilometers and should take approximately 8 hours depending on traffic.
An alternative route is to go from Nakhon Sawan, taking Highway No. 1 passing Kamphaeng Phet, Tak, Lampang, and Chiang Mai. Total distance is 696 kilometers.