Chiang Mai, known as “Rose of the North”, is the place of the ancient city with the view covered by the primary forests. It will be great if you walk around to enjoy the peaceful atmosphere of this city. However, there are also lots of other ways to make your Chiang Mai trip more exciting and convenient. One of the common question is, which options are available to move around? Is Songthaew Chiang Mai the best way?
Let’s explore with us and choose for yourself the best transportation here!
1. Songthaew Chiang Mai
1. Songthaews are red trucks that are shared by multiple passengers
2. You’d better ask the price or deal with the drivers before going and always be careful with your luggage
3. Songthaews have no seatbelts
Songthaews are present everywhere in Chiang Mai. Songthaew Chiang Mai is always cheap and ready to go. Although most of the drivers all run on a certain road, you can still deal with them to go to other destinations.
Prices to move from point to point in the center and the old town by Songthaew Chiang Mai are under 50 baht per person (depending on the distance and the time, the prices may be higher at night or on holiday season).
In case you want to arrive in a location which does not include in the driver’s schedule, make the agreement before going. In addition, some drivers also agree to carry you around the city center for about 30 baht per person.
If you want to move from Chiang Mai airport to Center city, Songthaew is one of the good option. One-way trip takes about 10-15 minutes. Rides are set at about 30 THB aroung the Old City and immediate surrounding areas, please also note that sometimes drivers charge more when picking up or dropping off at the airport.
2. Tuk Tuk Chiang Mai
1. Tuk-tuk are 3-wheeled motorized rickshaws
2. Tuk-tuk is more expensive than Songthaew but the most expensive rige shouldn’t be more than 150 THB
3. The driver will name a price, and then it’s best to negotiate it down a bit (probably somewhere between 10-50 THB down price)
4. “The uncles of tuk tuk” are actually famous street racers so Song Thaews are suitable for you if you are not ready for a high-speed trip.
Tuk tuk is the second popular transport after Song Thaews. Like Song Thaews, Tuk Tuks are all around every corner of Chiang Mai. They are very colorful, some of them are nicely decorated in a flamboyant way. This is one of the vehicles you must try when coming to Thailand.
However, you should really be cautious with money and valuable items when going on a tuk tuk. At the same time, you should also need the agreement of price with the driver before going. Tuk tuk prices in Chiang Mai for 10 minutes are about 50 baht (which may change depending on time).
3. Rent a car in Chiang Mai
The addresses for car rental are always willing to serve all visitors in Chiang Mai (of course as long as you have a license). Avis, Budget and Hertz are the car rental companies with competitive prices that you can find in this city.
About vehicles, you will not have much choice because there are only common type of car or jeep but you still find the specialized vehicles for exploring the countryside or the forests (you will have to carefully learn about technical features of cars from the place you rent if you intend to rent a car for getting into forests).
You need your passport and driver’s license in order to rent a car in Chiang Mai. Some companies will require an international driving license while others just need you to have a license. Their cars include insurance, however, you should also read all information in the lease carefully and always keep a copy of the contract in all cases.
4. Rent a motorbike in Chiang Mai
In Thailand, people drive on the left so you should pay attention to road traffic carefully.
Instead of have someone drive for you as Songthaew or tuk-tuk and you want comfort and freedom “alone a horse” when traveling self-sufficient in Chiang Mai, a motor is the most greatly suitable choice. With the maneuver, easy to run, proper to explore many destinations and more affordable than four-wheel vehicles, a lot of backpacking tourists coming to Chiang Mai all choose the motors to move.
Type and Rental fee: The common type of motor which is rented popularly is the motorcycle from 100 to 125 cc with the price only between 100 and 300 THB per day as long as a passport and a deposit (depending on the place you rent, about 1000 THB), hotel address. Some stores may ask you for license but last time I did not have to show that.
Some garages can discount for you if it is not peak season or if you rent by package several days per month. Besides, you are still able to rent terrain vehicles although they cost more expensive and they are also more difficult to run (you should only rent them if you have experience in driving them).
The disadvantages of motor rental compared to car rental is that the motors do not include insurance. This means you would be in a lot of trouble if the accidents happened.
Moreover, some rental places require you a Thai license that you will be compensated when you are in an accident. Therefore, the best way to rent a motorcycle is that you have to drive carefully at all times.
5. Rent a bike in Chiang Mai
1. There is no dedicated bike lanes on the street
2. Most guesthouses and hotels also have bicycles for rent
3. Mobike operates a dockless bike-sharing program in Chiang Mai so riders can use the app to find and return bikes.
Some visitors who came to Chiang Mai often said that bikes are the best way for an interesting self-sufficient trip to Chiang Mai. This is completely true because nothing can be great than exploring an old city by an environmentally friendly means of transport which not only helps you exercise and save your money.
When renting a bike in Chiang Mai, you can freely discover the area of the old city as well as numerous trails on the mountains. The bikers usually finish their journey in Huay Thung Tao Lake – a great stop destination with much delicious local food.
Certainly, no matter which vehicles you choose, they will be unique and unforgettable experiences in the Chiang Mai self-sufficient journey. Hopefully, this article “Song Thaew in Chiang Mai is the best way to move around?” will somehow bring to your plan trip to Chiang Mai more perfect and more exciting.
Wish you and your family, your friends will have a memorable holiday in Chiang Mai – “Rose of the North”.
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