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Chiang Mai to Udon Thani by car

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Hailsham, United...
posts: 18
reviews: 42
Chiang Mai to Udon Thani by car

I am travelling to Thailand in September and hooking up with some old friends who are going to be driving from Chiang Mai to Udon Thani and then on to Vientiane in Laos. I am wondering if anyone can tell me if the drive to Udon is OK or boring and how many hours can I expect to be in the car. I have looked at road maps of Thailand and it appears that there is no direct route from Chiang Mai to Udon Thani and I really don't fancy spending all of my holiday in a car if it is a huge distance. Any advice would be appreciated.

Gronau, Germany
posts: 806
reviews: 9
1. Re: Chiang Mai to Udon Thani by car

Hi.

I once drove from Chiang Mai to Phitsanulok and I think it took me approx. 4 hours. This is the highway 11 from Chiang Mai via Uttaradit. From Uttaradit to Phitsanulok is a very nice area. From Phitsanulok you take highway 12 to Khon Kaen. This might take another 3 to 4 hours and from Khon Kaen to Udon Thani I would think between 1 and 2 hours. So all in all between 8 and 10 hours, depending on the stops.

If you want to fly to Vientiane, you will have to fly first to BKK and then to Vientiane or with Lao Airlines from Chiang Mai via Luang Prabang to Vientiane.

Tony

Chiang Mai
posts: 778
reviews: 2
2. Re: Chiang Mai to Udon Thani by car

If you just plan to get to Udon, going by car is a long trip... 10 hours, hoping there won't be rain and depending on the driver skills at overtaking. Nervously exhausting.

A night VIP bus is by far a better choice (560 baht or so).

If you plan to make stops along the way and go to Udon in 2 or 3 days, then why not.

Hailsham, United...
posts: 18
reviews: 42
3. Re: Chiang Mai to Udon Thani by car

Many thanks for your responses. I think I'll heed your advice and break the drive to Udon up into two days. There is no point in driving madly for ten hours and missing everything along the way. I would prefer to fly (just to get there quickly) but my friends insist on doing a road trip in their new car.

Gronau, Germany
posts: 806
reviews: 9
4. Re: Chiang Mai to Udon Thani by car

Yes, I would also suggest to make a stopover instead of driving 8 to 10 hours. You could do this 53 km east of Phitsanulok. I stayed two years ago (June 2006, after the flooding at Uttaradit) at Sappraiwan Grand Hotel & Resort in a chalet for 6 people. They have many chalets and also hotel rooms. I cannot remember the price anymore. Just check it at Asiarooms.com or at the hotel. The hotel is located at "highway" 12, 53 km from Phitsanulok direction Lom Sak/Khon Kaen, on the right hand side. This road you will have to take anyway if you want to go to Udon Thani (quickest route)

In Phitsanulok you could visit the famous temple Wat Mahathat.

Hope you can use this info.

Have a nice trip.

Tony

Hailsham, United...
posts: 18
reviews: 42
5. Re: Chiang Mai to Udon Thani by car

Thanks Tony for the information. The Sappraiwan Grand Hotel sounds OK and should be a welcome break from the car journey. I'll check it out right now on the internet. Wat Mahathat will also be on my agenda - I can never get enough of Thai temples.

Cheers mate,

David

USA
posts: 28
6. Re: Chiang Mai to Udon Thani by car

CM to Udon is a nice ride, many things to see. You say you like temples, may want to check out Sukothai Historical Park, an incredible ancient temple complex, but then again,easy to spend more than a few days there. Most of the trip is through the northern Thai mountains, many waterfalls and some nice National Parks. Stayed at the Sappraiwan Grand Hotel & Resort last January, was only one other guest staying there, negotiated 800 baht for a real nice room, but was not one of the bungalows. Room was very nice, the elephant art on premise is worth a stop by itself not to mention the owners own herd of elephants.

7. Re: Chiang Mai to Udon Thani by car

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