tour bus

How to get around Chiang Mai

  • Post category:Transport
  • Post last modified:August 2, 2023

What transportation does Chiang Mai have that you can travel on your own? Both within the city and beyond, or to other districts, including visiting tourist attractions.

We do not have any rail transport, except for the train from Bangkok. There is no metro or Skytrain like Bangkok that doesn’t solve the world’s top traffic problems.

We do not have free public transportation for Thais and foreigners to use for tourism and convenience. It can be both an adventure and a challenge for travelers. Let’s take a look at how we will travel to each other.

bor sang tuk tuk
The old traditional tricycle bike taxi.

When does service begin?

The mode of transport is either a public route with a license or a concession route. They are not managed by the government. As a result, whether it’s a songthaew or a taxi, their satisfaction depends on their ability to do so at any time of day or night and wander around the town.

The concession section has a definite route and will start at dawn and end before dark. The frequency varies depending on the time of day and rush hour. But they have a beginning point in general landmarks.

Almost all of the time during the day is available. After 20:00, it’s usually more difficult to get anything, unless you’re wandering around the entertainment zone.

You don’t worry about returning to your hotel late at night. Just pay more and accept the high rate.

rod dang

Where to use services?

You don’t have to worry at all. As you step out of the airport, bus station, train station, or even your hotel. They will shout out to you which has only this country.

Taxis, tuk-tuks, and songthaews will be waiting for you outside the terminal, along the sideroad, and in the entertainment zones. They do overtime and might press a car horn to ask you on the roadside. (I don’t like it at all.)

How to avoid

  • Using Thai techniques
    • No eye contact, no negotiation, no problem.
  • Plan your method of transportation
  • Use a mobile taxi app

The red minibus, known as “Song-thaew,”

Two benches and two sitting blanks on the back of a pickup truck are known as “songthaew.” Local people just say “Rod-dang.” Rod = car, and Dang = red.

The red one is the most common and the only one that can be used as a bus; simply hailing your arm out when you see one in the direction you’re going.

When the driver comes to a stop, tell him your destination; if he’s going in the same direction, he’ll take you; if not, simply wait for the next one; it won’t take long.

Prices start at 20 baht. Most of the distance around the moat doesn’t exceed this price. However, if you are going to the bus or train station, the cost may be 50 baht. Naturally, the airport must have 100 or 150 baht on hand because we are tourists, whether Thai or foreigners.

However, it is better to ask for a price or agree on a satisfactory price before traveling. You just know the basic price for making a decision.

Thailand has 2 prices. It’s hurting itself. We’d better treat them as equals.

yellow songthaew

Other Songthaews

In addition, we also have songthaews in a variety of colors, each representing different routes. This transportation concession has an identified route like a bus to the districts around Chiang Mai.

You can use the service at their starting point, which is usually a general landmark or a bus stop.

ColorDepart / Return
YellowMae Rim
GreenMae Jo
WhiteSan Kham Peang

The majority of color songthaews routes will not be issued at the terminal. The starting point will be the first significant location, such as the Kad Luang bus stop. They also have a queue and a schedule.

Chang Phuak Bus Station, Chiang Mai’s first and oldest bus station, serves local and songthaew passengers.

tuk tuk


Currently, tuk-tuks and songthaews are no longer a means of transportation in Chiang Mai’s way of life. We are just leaving traces of the past and using them for tourists.

The reason for taking a tuk-tuk should be the experience. Get close to your hotel and cover short distances. Although they can drive you beyond the city or up into the mountains, it’s not safe.

You can negotiate the price on a case-by-case basis.



Taxis have a distinctive yellow-blue color with two distinct tones. If you’re hailing a taxi, make sure the driver turns on the meter and that you know the distance and price before.

I never saw taxis in Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Samui, and Phuket turn on the meter. It will be like this everywhere in the tourist city.

You can either agree on a rate or change your mind if he doesn’t turn on the meter. At an agreed-upon price, you will hire red songthaew or any optional.

ford in pai


Check availability for travel dates.
To ensure you get the lowest price.

Airport Taxis and Limousines

Previously, there was no hotel transfer service provided by your accommodation. Therefore, there is only a Limousines service for transfers from or to Airport-Hotel. Later, Taxi Meter be included Airport Taxis, which differ only in the appearance of the car and many conflicting interests.

You will see both taxi booths when you collect your baggage area. Prices start at 150 THB within the old city and downtown. Please check all the rates at the counter service near the terminal again.

airport bus

Airport Bus

Walk out of the terminal on the left-hand side and you’ll see a bus stop on the roadside. All routes are 20 THB on the Red and Yellow lines.

I usually take the airport bus and get off near the Ping River, then walk back home across the iron bridge to my home. For my saving cost a day.

But let me tell you that there is absolutely nothing for public transport in Chiang Mai, it’s not sustainable.

Airport Bus closed permanently operation many years ago.

mg car

Renting a car

You can rent a car right at Chiang Mai International Airport, like Hertz, Sixt, or Avis. Depending on the size and type of vehicle, prices range from 1,000 to 3,500 THB per day.

You also see how to rent from their website, check out the promotions and should attend to the documents and double-check them completely.

Toyota, Honda and Nissan are popular brands in Thailand. The interface and function are not complicated and easy to drive.

Please make sure you have driving experience and that your hotel has parking. You have to be extra careful while driving in Chiang Mai.


Motorbikes and scooters

The motorcycle is the most common mode of transportation in Chiang Mai. It has become a necessity in our daily life. Because Chiang Mai lacks public transportation, everyone must own a motorcycle.

You can get around easily without getting stuck in traffic or finding a parking spot. They’re easy and inexpensive to maintain.

This is a good option if you have a motorcycle license and experience. You can rent a motorcycle, and prices range between 300 and 2,000 THB per day, depending on the size and optionally.

The ideal method of transport in Chiang Mai. Honda and Yamaha are two brands that I suggest renting.

BRANDSolo ridingA couple or ride pillion
HONDAScoopy 110 cc.Forza 300 cc.
Zoomer-X 110 cc.Forza 350 cc.
Click 125 cc. / 160 cc.ADV 350 cc.
PCX 150 cc. / 160 cc.
ADV 150 cc. / 160 cc.
YAMAHAFino 125 cc.XMAX 300 cc.
Grand Filano 125 cc.
NMAX 155 cc.
AEROX 155 cc.
bicycle giant atx


This is a good option for exercise, especially on Sunday mornings. You must be aware of where the road passes and when the best time to ride in the flow of traffic is.

Electric bicycles can now be rented in Chiang Mai. I’ll post an update after I’ve completed my riding trip reviews.

Mobike, a bicycle-lending service in Chiang Mai, will be shut down permanently. After a two-year launch period.

Mobike (Bike Sharing)

Ride-hailing: Uber and GrabTaxi

Uber used to provide service in Chiang Mai. However, there was a conflict with local transportation, which was unable to adapt to the new platform.

Uber has quite some success and popularity among ex-pats. But they decided to close down permanently in Thailand.

The last option is GrabTaxi. It gradually seeps into public transportation despite being blocked by the concession contract. But most people accept it and get used to being. Drivers can also earn extra income.

Just download the app and get started on your phone. Fares range and charges are as under Thai law. A good and safe option when traveling in Chiang Mai.

adventure motorbike

Travel your own style

If you do not have access to transportation, you will be unable to explore Chiang Mai and the surrounding area. Please consider using our services and feel free to contact us at your convenience.

I recommend reading the article below about renting a car in Thailand before you do so. If you need to learn how to ride a motorcycle in Thailand, they also have an article for bikers.

It’s a great resource for learning before going on a trip, and it’s especially helpful for tourists. Thank you so much for this article, which is dedicated to everyone.

This Post Has One Comment

Leave a Reply