Chiang Mai doesn’t has a metro or skytrain like in Bangkok, but it is easy and affordable to get around town. Although the public transportation never greatly improved but you can use our local bus, taxis, tuk-tuks and choose your own transport. Just to know what about them.
And it’s worth to highlight that public transport almost runs during daytime. It’s usually more difficult to get anything after 22:00 and before 06:00 in the morning.
Taxi, tuk-tuks or song-thaew where they will hang around in front of hotels, restaurants, and entertainment zoning. They do overtime and might press a car horn to ask you on roadside. (I don’t like it at all.)
You don’t worry to return to your hotel late night. Just pay more and agree high rate.
Currently, tricycle bike taxi (old traditional), tuk-tuks and song-thaew are no longer a means of transportation in Chiang Mai’s way of life. Just leaving traces of the past and used for tourists.
Red minibus, known as song-thaew (or rod-dang)
Song-thaew literally means two benches and two sitting blanks on the back of a pickup truck. Local people just say rod-dang, rod = car and dang = red.
Song-thaew come in different colors, the red one is the most common one and the only one that functions as a bus whenever you see one in the direction you’re headed, just stick your arm out.
Once the driver stops, tell him your destination, he will take you if he headed the same way, if not, just wait for the next one it never takes long.
Prices range between 20 – 40 THB within the moat and about 50 – 100 THB from the Old City to the train or bus station.
If you ask for the rate, the driver offers you a high rate. If you had a pro tip, don’t ask the driver for the rate. You have to ready to beating. I’m not recommend to do that if have no local friends along with you.
Thailand has 2 prices. It’s hurting itself. We’d better treat them as equal.
Beside the red one, song-thaews in various other colors, where as each color stands for a specific route. In other words, they won’t stop for you, unless you’re staying at a dedicated bus stop. Here are the colors and routes and each trip is 20 THB.
|Color||Depart / Return|
|White||San Kham Peang|
All color song-thaews routes, mostly they will not issued at the terminal. The starting point will leave from the first important place such as Kad Luang bus stop. They also have queue up and timetable.
The terminal for local and song-thaews is Chang Phuak Bus Station as the first and old bus station in Chiang Mai.
The only reason taking a tuk-tuk should be just for the experience, just get from A to B not far from hotel and short distances.
Drivers have widely a reputation for being unfair scam artists and will often charge you way higher than Songthaew drivers would for the same route.
Although they can drive you beyond the city or up the mountains, it’s not safety.
Taxis here can be easily spotted, as they come in a distinctive yellow-blue color 2 tones. If you’re hailing a taxi, make sure the driver turns on the meter.
If he doesn’t, you either agree on a good rate (make sure you know the distance and price before) or just wait until the next red song-thaew comes.
I never seen taxis in Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Samui and Phuket turns on the meter. Unlike in Bangkok, you can just find a few taxis around.
Red song-thaew able to the same taxis, you will hire them upon agreed price.
CAR WITH DRIVER
Click the link below to check availability on your preferred travel date.
Our pricing is constantly updated to ensure you always receive the lowest price possible.
Airport Taxis / Airport Transfers (Limousine)
Prices range between 100 – 150 THB within the Old City and 200 THB around the other side of the moat (near the bus and train station) or downtown. Consider paying 50 – 100 THB more during nighttime and Airport Taxi Meter fee charged.
For outskirts the town please see all rate at counter service nearby terminal.
Walk to left hand and out the terminal, you will the bus stop on the roadside. 20 THB all route Red line and Yellow line, visit their website here.
I usually get up the airport bus and drop off on the way near Ping River and then walk cross the iron bridge back home. For my saving cost a day.
Renting a car
You can rent a car right at Chiang Mai International Airport, like Hertz, Sixt or Avis. Prices are ranging somewhere between 1,000 – 3,500 THB per day, depending on the size.
Please make sure you have an experience and parking zone available, you have to be extra careful here.
Recently, car rentals more popularity and big motorbike rentals nowadays offering as part of their service.
Though Chiang Mai’s vehicle rentals are safe to rent from you have to pay always extra attention here please check the documents completely.
Motorbikes & Scooters
The most popular and a means of transportation in Chiang Mai’s way of life. Everyone have to had a motorbike because Chiang Mai have no public transport to support.
If you have a motorbike license and experience before, this one is a good option. You can rent a motorbike and prices are ranging between 300 – 2,000 THB per day, depending on the size.
You can get easily anywhere without being stuck in traffic jams or worrying about a parking place by scooters. In addition, they’re easy and inexpensive to maintain.
As with the cars, inspect your bike properly before paying.
A good option and popular for exercise especially on Sunday morning. You have to know where the road go by and when is the best time to riding flow of traffic.
Now, they also have electric bicycle rental in Chiang Mai. I will update later after reviews trip to riding.
Bicycle lending service application Mobike in Chiang Mai will be closed for good. After being launched for about 2 years.
Ride-hailing : Uber and GrabTaxi
Uber just recently came to Chiang Mai and enjoys quite some success and popularity among expats. Currently, the service has closed down for good.
Another one is GrabTaxi just download the app and get started. Fares range and charges as under Thai law. Both services are great and safe options when travelling at night. You can download app from your phone.