Mike and I took the 9 hour overnight bus from Bangkok to Chiang Mai. There are a lot of bus scams if you buy the tickets from travel agencies in the city, so we made the trip up to Mo Chit bus terminal to buy our tickets for the VIP 1st class government bus that is a bit nicer than the private company buses. We figure if we want to sleep a little bit better on the bus, it’s worth the few extra bucks (around $30/person).
My whole body was still incredibly sore from yoga class, probably wasn’t the best idea before an overnight bus ride. After you arrive in Chiang Mai, it’s pretty easy to take a red pick up truck to old city, where most of the hotels are. We got there super early, so we had to wait a bit before reception opened. Chiang Mai kind of feels like a much nicer, developed Pokhara. It’s pretty laid back, not as much traffic, and a lot of people book trekking, zip lining, rafting, and biking tours from here.
Still really hot though so our plan is to sightsee in the mornings and evenings and hide out in our AC (!) room in the afternoons.