Transportation option within Chiang Mai City

In this blog, I’ll be listing some transportation option for you so you can planned your trip to Chiang Mai more effectively. Since we all know, traveling to a new city is always hard to plan everything to perfection. Hopefully, this post should help so you don’t missed out any attractions that you planned to go.

Transportation option within Chiang Mai City

1.RTC City Bus : This bus just started running in 2018 and only cost 20 Baht for the whole round trip. It is convenient, cheap, safe and really comfortable. They have route to all the major locations such as the Airport, the old city, Chiang Mai Zoo, Niman and all the Shopping Malls in Chiang Mai. While they do have a fixed time table for their buses but they’ll always be a bit on or off depending on the current traffic. However, there is an App (iOS or Android) that you can download and track where their buses are so before getting on the bus, I suggest you download their app and get use to it.

  • How to Use
    • Wait at the bus stop, upon arrival wave for the bus to stop
    • Pay the bus fee with 2×10 Baht coins
    • Tell the driver where you want to go so he can let you off at your stop
    • Route and Bus stops
  • Pros
    • Cheap
    • Comfortable with cool air conditioning
    • Safe
    • Track the buses anytime with their online tracking system from their app
    • Have stops at all the major locations
  • Cons
    • There’s only 1 bus at each stop per 30 minutes so if you missed a bus you’ll have to wait another 30 minutes for the next one

2.Grab: If you ever used Uber, you’ll know exactly how to use Grab. Grab is a South East Asia clone of Uber but with a slightly worst app. However, Grab still does the job and is really convenient to use in the city. You can get a ride within a few minutes and you don’t have to try to describe your destination directions to your driver you can just pin it with much more accuracy.

  • How to Use
    • Load Grab (iOS or Android) & register
    • Use the app like Uber to get your driver
  • Pros
    • Convenient
    • Safe
    • Accurate
  • Cons
    • Expensive

3.Red Truck or Songthaews : We haven’t called Songthaew for a while so if you want to refer to them you can just call them “Red Truck” or “Road Dang”. They are basically a car-pool taxi, where multiple people get on the same taxi with different destination. It have been the main transportation method in Chiang Mai for a very long time. Which was pretty much the monopoly method in Chiang Mai, this cause a lot of issues with the way they service customers and their attitude. So before getting on the Red Truck please make sure that they have agreed to go to your destination with a mutual price, in the old city it’s usually 30 baht.

  • How to Use
    • Wave them to stop anywhere you see them
    • Tell them where you want to go
    • Agree on a mutual price, usually 30 baht in the old city.
  • Pros
    • Very Accessible, you can find them everywhere
  • Cons
    • You have to bargain to get a mutual price
    • Uncomfortable
    • Most can not understand or speak English that well so communicating is difficult

4.Tuk Tuk : I think many people will enjoy a ride in a Tuk Tuk for sure, it runs and looks like a up size motorcycle that has a extend seat in the back so you’ll have wind in your hair while you enjoy the beautiful sight of Chiang Mai. They also work the same way as the Red Truck, where you have to tell them where you want to and agree on a mutual price. The difference is, a Tuk Tuk will mostly be x3 or x4 more expensive than a Red Truck since they will only pickup one customer at a time.

  • How to Use
    • Wave them to stop anywhere you see them
    • Tell them where you want to go
    • Usually they will charge more than 100 Baht
  • Pros
    • Fun for sightseeing
  • Cons
    • You have to bargain to get a mutual price
    • Dangerous, they do not obey the law
    • Most Tuk Tuk drivers I see are not native Thai so I am not even sure if they have a driver license
    • Expensive
    • Most can not understand or speak English that well so communicating is difficult

5.Rent a vehicle : You can either rent a bike, a motor bike or a car. If your plan is to sightsee in the old city, I would highly advise you to rent a bike(50 baht per day) and nothing more. The old city is a pretty small area where cars don’t drive that fast so it’s really easy to navigate around with a bike. If your plan is to go further than the old city, I would highly advise you to rent a car (600 – 1200 baht per day)rather than renting a motor bike. You will need a international driver license for this, of course. I would like to warn anyone thinking they want to rent a motor bike to go out side of the city that it is extremely dangerous to ride it and Thailand roads have a very high accidental rate, top 5 in the world every year. So either get a bike to ride in the old city or rent a car period. No motorcycle please, for your own safety. I repeat, PLEASE DO NOT RENT A MOTOCYCLE! IT IS EXTREMELY DANGEROUS. 

6.Hire a van : If you are planning a visit with your 6 – 8 family members, it is way cheaper to hire a van to take you around. To hire a van for 1 day with a driver will cost you about 1800 baht excluding gas cost for your trip. The van will go anywhere you want to go for 8 hours a day, all you need to do is tell them where you want to go. So if you have a large group of family or friends traveling with the same destination, hiring a van is a very cheap and time effective solution. Some van rental services can be found here.

By |2020-01-08T11:52:32+00:00December 5th, 2018|Blog|

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