A Travel Price Comparison for Thailand Chiang Mai vs. Nakhon Ratchasima for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Chiang Mai or Nakhon Ratchasima?

Which is cheaper to visit? Which is more expensive for vacation?

Which city should you visit? Read on to compare the activities as well as the prices of travel for Chiang Mai and Nakhon Ratchasima. We'll break down costs for accommodation, food, transportation and more to help you learn more about these two destinations. Then, you can figure out if either of these two places are accessible based on your travel budget, schedule, and interests. So, let's dig into it.

Where Should I go: Chiang Mai or Nakhon Ratchasima?

Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai is both the cultural center of northern Thailand and a launching point for trips into the rural areas, small towns, and lush jungles of the country's northern regions. Known for great food, historic temples, arts and crafts, and a lively night market, Chiang Mai is a very popular destination for travelers. In some areas, tourists and ex-pats dominate, but it's quite easy to get away from the tourist scene and into the real culture of Thailand, as Chiang Mai (and the surrounding countryside) is quite large.

Nakhon Ratchasima

If you're planning on traveling from Bangkok to Isaan, you'll likely make Nakhon Ratchasima your pit stop or home base. However, there is so much more to this sprawling metropolis than just a layover. Underneath the chaos of it all, is a charming and traditional Thai city.

Which city is cheaper, Nakhon Ratchasima or Chiang Mai?

These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.

The average daily cost (per person) in Chiang Mai is $40, while the average daily cost in Nakhon Ratchasima is $35. These costs include accommodation (assuming double occupancy, so the traveler is sharing the room), food, transportation, and entertainment. While every person is different, these costs are an average of past travelers in each city. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Chiang Mai and Nakhon Ratchasima in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Chiang Mai $23
    Nakhon Ratchasima $17
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Chiang Mai $46
    Nakhon Ratchasima $34
Compare Hotels in Chiang Mai and Nakhon Ratchasima

Looking for a hotel in Chiang Mai or Nakhon Ratchasima? Prices vary by location, date, season, and the level of luxury. See below for options and compare which is best for your budget and travel style.

Hotels in Chiang Mai


Hotels in Nakhon Ratchasima


Kayak helps you find the best prices for hotels, flights, and rental cars for destinations around the world. Compare prices for multiple destinations when planning your next trip.


Our Analysis
We've analyzed the average and typical hotel prices based on guest reviews, star ratings, and hotel amenities here: Chiang Mai Hotel Prices and Nakhon Ratchasima Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Chiang Mai $3.25
    Nakhon Ratchasima $4.03
Typical Local Transportation prices in Chiang Mai

Some typical examples of transportation costs in Chiang Mai are as follows:


  • Tuk Tuk Ride
    $1.22
  • Moped Rental
    $5.49

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Chiang Mai

Also for Chiang Mai, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • Zipline Adventure at Chiang Mai with Return Transfer: $200
  • Transfer in Chiangmai: $27
  • Transfer from Chiang Mai Hotel to Chiang Mai Airport: $24
  • Transfer from Chiang Mai Airport to Chiang Mai Hotel: $24
  • Thai Massage Treatments - Luxury Spa with Hotel Transfer: $53
  • Thai Luxury Spa Packages with Hotel Transfer: $57
  • Sukhotha Private Transfer To Chiang Mai Town: $200
  • Siam Dragon Cabaret Show : Ticket + Transfer Service: $24
  • Private Van: Chiang Mai Airport Arrival or Departure Transfer: $26
  • Private Transfer: Chiang Mai to Chiang Mai International Airport (CNX): $22
  • Private Departure Transfer: Hotel to Chiang Mai International Airport (CNX): $13
  • Private Car: Chiang Mai Airport Transfers: $22

Typical Local Transportation prices in Nakhon Ratchasima

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for transportation costs in Nakhon Ratchasima:


  • Tuk Tuk
    $1.53
  • Bus to Vientiane
    $1.53

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Nakhon Ratchasima

Also for Nakhon Ratchasima, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • Private Transfer from Nakhon Ratchasima to Ayutthaya: $174

Is it cheaper to fly into Chiang Mai or Nakhon Ratchasima?

Prices for flights to both Nakhon Ratchasima and Chiang Mai change regularly based on dates and travel demand. We suggest you find the best prices for your next trip on Kayak, because you can compare the cost of flights across multiple airlines for your prefered dates.





Food
  • Food Meals for one day
    Chiang Mai $9.12
    Nakhon Ratchasima $14
Typical Food prices in Chiang Mai

Here are some examples of typical meal expenses from previous travelers to Chiang Mai:


  • Sit Down Dinner (for One)
    $5.95
  • Roti Snack (Bread)
    $0.73
  • Casual Breakfast
    $1.22
  • Casual Lunch (for Two)
    $6.10
  • Mangoes
    $0.92
  • Coffee
    $1.53

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Chiang Mai

For Chiang Mai, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:

  • Evening Thai cooking class by Aromdii Cooking School: $27
  • Half Day Cooking Class Including Market Tour from Chiang Mai: $28
  • Private Dining: Thai family dinner in Chiang Mai: $28
  • Thai Khantoke Dinner & Cultural Dance Show with Transfers: $29
  • Traditional Khantoke Dinner & Cultural Dance Show Tour: $29
  • Khum Khantoke Dinner and Cultural Show at Chiang Mai Admission Ticket: $29
  • Khum Khantoke Dinner and Cultural Show in Chiang Mai Admission Ticket: $29
  • Authentic Lanna Dinner and Shows (Khan Toke) in Chiang Mai: $30
  • Khum Khantoke Dinner and Cultural Show at Chiang Mai Admission Ticket: $34
  • Traditional Khantoke Dinner and Show from Chiang Mai: $34
  • Khantoke Dinner with Show: $35
  • Full-Day Cooking Class Including Market Tour from Chiang Mai: $35

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Chiang Mai $11
    Nakhon Ratchasima $5.19
Typical Entertainment prices in Chiang Mai

For Chiang Mai, here are some examples of average entertainment and activity prices from previous travelers:


  • Thai Cooking Class
    $40
  • Doi Suthep Entrance Ticket
    $1.83
  • Kratong Lessons
    $3.05
  • Pedicure
    $4.58
  • Chiang Mai Museum (for Two)
    $5.49

Tours and Activities in Chiang Mai

Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Chiang Mai.

  • 1 Day Doi Inthanon Private tour ( Hiking and Sightseeing ): $118
  • 1 Day Private Sightseeing Tour at Doi Inthanon: $115
  • 1 Day Private Tour Morning Buddhist Almsgiving , Doi Suthep ,White Temple: $144
  • 1 Day Private Tour The Best Temples and Northern Food Style in Chiang Mai: $94
  • 1 Day Private Tour to The Best Hidden Trekking and The Temple: $134
  • 1 Day Sukhothai Historical Park from Chiang Mai Private Tour: $180
  • 1 Day Tour - Samoeng Loop Highlights: $241
  • 1 Day Tour – Doi Inthanon, Riding High: $255
  • 1 day Private Tour to Unseen Temple in Lampang: $122
  • 1-Day Bike and River Kayak Adventure from Chiang Mai: $66
  • 2 Day Trekking Tour: $100
  • 2 Days 1 Night Pai+Lod Cave Private Tour: $177

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Chiang Mai $6.04
    Nakhon Ratchasima $9.10
Typical Alcohol prices in Chiang Mai

Some typical examples of the costs for nightlife and alcohol in Chiang Mai are as follows:


  • Wine
    $3.05


When comparing the travel costs between Chiang Mai and Nakhon Ratchasima, we can see that Chiang Mai is more expensive. However, the two cities are actually relatively comparable in price, as the difference is somewhat minimal. Generally, this means that you could travel with generally the same travel style and level of luxury in each place. Since both cities are in Asia, it's no surprise that their costs are relatively close, as many destinations here have somewhat similar travel prices overall.


When is the best time to visit Chiang Mai or Nakhon Ratchasima?

Both destinations experience a tropical climate with warm weather most of the year. Instead of summer and winter seasons, they usually have a rainy season and a dry season.

Should I visit Chiang Mai or Nakhon Ratchasima in the Summer?

The summer attracts plenty of travelers to both Chiang Mai and Nakhon Ratchasima. Plenty of visitors come to Chiang Mai because of the warm tropical climate that lasts throughout the year. Plenty of visitors come to Nakhon Ratchasima because of the warm tropical climate that lasts throughout the year.

Also, June to September is the rainy season in Chiang Mai. Nakhon Ratchasima receives a lot of rain in the summer. Chiang Mai gets a good bit of rain this time of year. In July, Chiang Mai usually receives more rain than Nakhon Ratchasima. Chiang Mai gets 161 mm (6.3 in) of rain, while Nakhon Ratchasima receives 123 mm (4.8 in) of rain each month for the summer.

In the summer, Chiang Mai is around the same temperature as Nakhon Ratchasima. Typically, the summer temperatures in Chiang Mai in July are around 30°C (86°F), and Nakhon Ratchasima is about 30°C (86°F).


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Chiang Mai 30°C (86°F) 
    Nakhon Ratchasima 30°C (86°F)

Should I visit Chiang Mai or Nakhon Ratchasima in the Autumn?

The autumn brings many poeple to Chiang Mai as well as Nakhon Ratchasima. Chiang Mai attracts visitors year-round for its warm weather and tropical climate. Nakhon Ratchasima attracts visitors year-round for its warm weather and tropical climate.

Also, November to February in Chiang Mai is the dry season. It's quite rainy in Nakhon Ratchasima. Chiang Mai receives a lot of rain in the autumn. Chiang Mai usually gets less rain in October than Nakhon Ratchasima. Chiang Mai gets 122 mm (4.8 in) of rain, while Nakhon Ratchasima receives 152 mm (6 in) of rain this time of the year.

In October, Chiang Mai is generally around the same temperature as Nakhon Ratchasima. Temperatures in Chiang Mai average around 29°C (83°F), and Nakhon Ratchasima stays around 28°C (82°F).


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Chiang Mai 29°C (83°F) 
    Nakhon Ratchasima 28°C (82°F)

Should I visit Chiang Mai or Nakhon Ratchasima in the Winter?

Both Nakhon Ratchasima and Chiang Mai are popular destinations to visit in the winter with plenty of activities. The warm tropical climate attracts visitors to Chiang Mai throughout the year. The warm tropical climate attracts visitors to Nakhon Ratchasima throughout the year.

The dry season in Chiang Mai is November to February. In January, Chiang Mai usually receives more rain than Nakhon Ratchasima. Chiang Mai gets 7 mm (0.3 in) of rain, while Nakhon Ratchasima receives 5 mm (0.2 in) of rain each month for the winter.

Chiang Mai is around the same temperature as Nakhon Ratchasima in the winter. The temperature in Chiang Mai is usually 23°C (74°F) in January, and Nakhon Ratchasima stays around 25°C (77°F).


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Chiang Mai 23°C (74°F) 
    Nakhon Ratchasima 25°C (77°F)

Should I visit Chiang Mai or Nakhon Ratchasima in the Spring?

Both Nakhon Ratchasima and Chiang Mai during the spring are popular places to visit. Plenty of visitors come to Chiang Mai because of the warm tropical climate that lasts throughout the year. Plenty of visitors come to Nakhon Ratchasima because of the warm tropical climate that lasts throughout the year.

June to September is the rainy season in Chiang Mai. Chiang Mai usually gets less rain in April than Nakhon Ratchasima. Chiang Mai gets 50 mm (2 in) of rain, while Nakhon Ratchasima receives 66 mm (2.6 in) of rain this time of the year.

Nakhon Ratchasima can become quite hot in the spring. The heat can be very extreme in Chiang Mai. In the spring, Chiang Mai is around the same temperature as Nakhon Ratchasima. Typically, the spring temperatures in Chiang Mai in April are around 31°C (88°F), and Nakhon Ratchasima is about 31°C (89°F).


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Chiang Mai 31°C (88°F) 
    Nakhon Ratchasima 31°C (89°F)

Typical Weather for Nakhon Ratchasima and Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai Nakhon Ratchasima
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 23°C (74°F) 7 mm (0.3 in) 25°C (77°F) 5 mm (0.2 in)
Feb 26°C (78°F) 5 mm (0.2 in) 28°C (82°F) 21 mm (0.8 in)
Mar 29°C (83°F) 13 mm (0.5 in) 30°C (86°F) 42 mm (1.7 in)
Apr 31°C (88°F) 50 mm (2 in) 31°C (89°F) 66 mm (2.6 in)
May 31°C (87°F) 158 mm (6.2 in) 31°C (88°F) 152 mm (6 in)
Jun 30°C (86°F) 132 mm (5.2 in) 30°C (87°F) 105 mm (4.1 in)
Jul 30°C (86°F) 161 mm (6.3 in) 30°C (86°F) 123 mm (4.8 in)
Aug 29°C (85°F) 236 mm (9.3 in) 30°C (85°F) 128 mm (5 in)
Sep 29°C (85°F) 228 mm (9 in) 29°C (84°F) 244 mm (9.6 in)
Oct 29°C (83°F) 122 mm (4.8 in) 28°C (82°F) 152 mm (6 in)
Nov 27°C (80°F) 53 mm (2.1 in) 26°C (79°F) 31 mm (1.2 in)
Dec 24°C (75°F) 20 mm (0.8 in) 24°C (76°F) 4 mm (0.2 in)


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Chiang Mai vs. Nakhon Ratchasima Travel Comparison

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