From the main bus station in Chiang Mai, you can buy tickets to travel by bus from Chiang Mai to places like Bangkok, Mae Hong Son, Chiang Rai, and other towns.
Notice the red vehicle that you see above- it is equivalent of a public bus- the locals travel using the red vehicle above.
There are usually many people waiting for buses here. Food stalls are abundant- both within and surrounding the bus station. There is 7 Eleven convenient store that is opened 24 hours a day.
Usually for far inter city travel (example from Chiang Mai to Bangkok which takes more than 10 hours), I prefer to take Nakhonchai super VIP buses which is more comfortable. Nakhonchai has separate ticketing office located opposite the bus terminal.
165, Soi 5,
Tambon Wat Ket,
Amphoe Mueang Chiang Mai,