Chiang Rai International Airport is one of the major airports to Northern Thailand. It is nestled in the province of Chiang Rai, which is part of the Golden Region bordering Myanmar and Laos.
It was named Mae Fah Luang after the mother of Bhumibol Adulyadej, Princess Srinagarindra, who reigned under the dynastic name of Rama IX.
The airport is one of the six airports managed and operated by the Airports of Thailand (AOT) and serves both domestic and international flights.
Among the airlines serving the Chiang Rai are Bangkok Airways, China Eastern Airlines, Nok Air, Ruili Airlines, Sichuan Airlines, Thai AirAsia, Thai Lion Air, Thai Smile, Thai Vietjet Air, Eva Air, China Airlines, Emirates, Etihad Airways, Garuda Indonesia, Malaysia Airlines, Philippine Airlines, Qantas, Qatar Airways, Aeroflot, Thai Airways International, Turkish Airlines, Vietnam Airlines, Oman Air, Japan Airlines, Austrian Airlines, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, and El Al Israel Airlines.
In 2014, AOT said it was expanding Chiang Rai Airport to accommodate more flights. The plan included constructing additional taxiways and extending runways as well as offering more shops. The plan was scheduled for completion in 2030.
Chiang Rai Airport offers several facilities, varying from money exchange booths, dining areas, retail outlets, luggage facilities, sauna and spa facilities, as well as a prayer room, a meditation room, and a medical treatment room.
Business lounges are also available, as well as desktop computers, coffee machines, Wi-Fi access, free mobile charging ports, public telephones, elevator, and car parking.
Chiang Rai International Airport offers a variety of food and beverage stalls inside the airport. Among them are The Foodie Project, Yellow Orchid Restaurant, and has a lot of coffee shops and fast-food restaurants.
Passengers can choose from various transportation modes from and to Chiang Rai Airport. These include buses, metered taxis, or car and limousine rentals.
Getting from and to the airport was made easier in 2018 when the government officially launched bus services between the airport and the city center. Modern buses are deployed at the airport, which have wheelchair access, free Wi-Fi and CCTV cameras.
The bus passes by King Mengrai Monument, Night Bazaar, Chiang Rai Bus Station 1, Central Plaza Chiang Rai, and ends at Chiang Rai Bus Station 2. Taking the bus is recommended for backpackers or those carrying small or few luggages.
Bus services are open between 6 a.m. and 11:20 p.m. and only costs 20 baht per ride.
To get to the bus terminal at the airport, just turn right once out of the terminal and walk to the end of the building where the bus terminal is located.
Taxis provide transport to town for around 50 baht. Arranged tours are offered at the airport and the surrounding areas, and some hotel operators also help arrange taxis for less hassle.
Car rentals are by far one of the most convenient options to transport from and to the airport. Car rentals are available at the counter in the passenger hall of the airport.
There are no hotels situated at the airport, but there are various to choose from which are just a few kilometers from the airport. Among them are Teak Garden Spa Resort, Avarin Place, Cabbages and Condoms Inn, Auangkham Hotel, and Le Meridien Chiang Rai Resort.