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 place 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 $46, while the average daily cost in Nakhon Ratchasima is $41. 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 destination. 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 $27
    Nakhon Ratchasima $20
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Chiang Mai $54
    Nakhon Ratchasima $40
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 $3.76
    Nakhon Ratchasima $4.67
Typical Local Transportation prices in Chiang Mai

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


  • Tuk Tuk Ride
    $1.13
  • Moped Rental
    $5.09

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: $201
  • Try find your better than us!Airport transfer service in Chiang Mai APT-HTL(CNX): $18
  • Try find your better than us ! Airport transfer service Chiang Mai HTL-APT(CNX): $18
  • Siam Dragon cabaret show : Ticket & Optional Transfer: $16
  • Private Vehicle: Transfer from Airport in Chiang Mai: $21
  • Private Van: Chiang Mai Airport Arrival or Departure Transfer : $47
  • Private Transfer: Four Seasons Hotel to Chiang Mai Airport: $25
  • Private Transfer: Chiang Mai to Chiang Mai International Airport (CNX): $27
  • Private Transfer: Chiang Mai International Airport (CNX) to Chiang Mai: $27
  • Private Transfer: Chiang Mai Airport Arrival or Departure ride: $155
  • Private Transfer from Chiang Mai to Chiang Rai: $160
  • Private Transfer Chiang Mai Airport to Hotel in Chiang Mai by Car and Van: $39

Typical Local Transportation prices in Nakhon Ratchasima

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


  • Tuk Tuk
    $1.41
  • Bus to Vientiane
    $1.41

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 $11
    Nakhon Ratchasima $16
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)
    $5.51
  • Roti Snack (Bread)
    $0.68
  • Casual Breakfast
    $1.13
  • Casual Lunch (for Two)
    $5.65
  • Mangoes
    $0.85
  • Coffee
    $1.41

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:

  • Cooking Evening Class Chiang Mai Visit Organic Garden and Market: $12
  • Cooking Morning Class Chiang Mai Visit Organic Garden and Market : $12
  • Traditional Khantoke Dinner and Show from Chiang Mai: $20
  • Khantoke Dinner with Traditional Performance: $23
  • Evening Cooking Class in Organic Garden Chiang Mai: $23
  • Morning Cooking Class in Organic Garden | Chiang Mai: $23
  • Morning Thai cooking class by Aromdii Cooking School: $23
  • Afternoon Cooking Class in Organic Garden in Chiang Mai: $23
  • Evening Thai cooking class by Aromdii Cooking School: $23
  • Half Day Thai Cooking Course at Farm (Chiang Mai): $23
  • Half Day Evening Cooking Class with Yummy Tasty Thai Cooking School: $25
  • Half Day Morning Cooking Class with Yummy Tasty Thai Cooking School: $25

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Chiang Mai $13
    Nakhon Ratchasima $6.01
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
    $37
  • Doi Suthep Entrance Ticket
    $1.70
  • Kratong Lessons
    $2.83
  • Pedicure
    $4.24
  • Chiang Mai Museum (for Two)
    $5.09

Tours and Activities in Chiang Mai

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

  • 4-Days Chiang Mai + Pai + Mae Hong Son Loop Private Tours: $562
  • Chiang Mai Thapae Muay Thai Boxing Stadium Ticket: $29
  • One Day Doi Inthanon National Park Small Group Guided Tour: $41
  • Private Guided Romantic Tour In Chiang Mai: $442
  • Private Tour of Sacred Sakyant Ceremony in Lamphun Province.: $87
  • 1 Day Doi Inthanon Private tour ( Hiking and Sightseeing ): $101
  • 1 Day Private Tour Doi Inthanon And Phachor Canyon: $134
  • 1 Day Private Tour White Temple and Renewed Doichang Coffee: $188
  • 1 Day Sukhothai Historical Park from Chiang Mai Private Tour: $167
  • 1 Hr Chiang Mai Buggy Tour (Off-Road): $140
  • 1 day Private Tour to Unseen Temple in Lampang: $135
  • 1-Day Bike and River Kayak Adventure from Chiang Mai: $67

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Chiang Mai $7.00
    Nakhon Ratchasima $11
Typical Alcohol prices in Chiang Mai

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


  • Wine
    $2.83


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.

Which is Bigger, Chiang Mai or Nakhon Ratchasima?

Chiang Mai is bigger, and its population is about 1000000 times larger than the population of Nakhon Ratchasima. When comparing the population of Chiang Mai vs. Nakhon Ratchasima, keep in mind that a larger population does not always imply the destination has more attractions or better activities. So, always research the type of place that you want to visit and the activities that interest you.


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

Both destinations experience a warmer climate with nice 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. Warm weather and sunshine bring visitors to Chiang Mai year-round. Nakhon Ratchasima attracts visitors year-round for its warm weather and sunny climate.

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 average around 30°C (86°F), and Nakhon Ratchasima averages at 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 sunny climate. The warm climate attracts visitors to Nakhon Ratchasima throughout the year.

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. Daily temperatures in Chiang Mai average around 29°C (83°F), and Nakhon Ratchasima fluctuates 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 climate attracts visitors to Chiang Mai throughout the year. Plenty of visitors come to Nakhon Ratchasima because of the warm climate and sunshine that lasts 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 daily temperature in Chiang Mai averages around 23°C (74°F) in January, and Nakhon Ratchasima fluctuates 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 climate and sunshine that lasts throughout the year. Warm weather and sunshine bring visitors to Nakhon Ratchasima year-round.

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 average around 31°C (88°F), and Nakhon Ratchasima averages at 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)


Budget Your Trip is all about finding out how much everything costs so that you can travel cheaper and longer. Created by avid travelers Laurie and Bryan, our goal is to help you plan your next trip on the right budget. With average daily travel costs that are calculated from the budgets of real travelers, plus an analysis of hotel and tour prices, you can find out how much money you need to plan your next adventure. We also have plenty of travel advice, accommodation reviews, and activity suggestions.
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Chiang Mai vs. Nakhon Ratchasima Travel Comparison

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