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Getting around in Chiang Mai
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Getting around in Chiang Mai

    Hi, new here.

    Cool site, has plenty of info.

    Going to Thailand again pretty soon, but I'm sick of Bangkok. This time I wanna go to see the North, Chiang Mai etc. Don't know much about the place though, so I hope you can help me out here and there.

    For starters, I just wanna know how easy/difficult it is to get around in Chiang Mai, compared to Bangkok, so I can plan my trip more easily.

    In BKK, I usually use buses or taxis, both of which are easy to find. What's the best way in Chiang Mai? How's public transport in the city?

    What about outside the city, like, between the provinces? Is there capable public transport, or do you recommend renting my own?


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Yangon, Myanmar
    Thanked 823 Times in 463 Posts
    there are buses, but few and far between - last time I went out to the suburbs to Tesco I had to wait 40 mins, songthaews don't go all the way there. two options: rent a motrocycle (150-200 baht a day), or flag down any of the red pickups (songthaews) for transport within the town, should be 15 or 20 baht within the city, 30 or 40 out to the railway station or bus station. they try to charge more all the time but readily admit "defeat" if you can say the correct local price in Thai. you can also charter these taxis for daytrips to the Mae Sa valley or Sankamphaeng hotsprings or similar places, but renting a motorcycle is cheaper and you are less dependent on the whims of a driver. there are a few aircon Bangkok-style taxis, mostly hanging around at the airport, I rarely see them in town.
    as for regional transport, there are plenty of local buses going to neighbouring towns and provinces, some are aircon, some are regular, there are two bus stations depending on where you would like to go, one for near destinations or ones within the province (Fang for example) the other for places further away, before you take a bus, ask for help at your hotel about which one you need to go to, they can also help you with the timetable or reservations. besides regular mass transport, there are minivans going to Pai, a favourite with tourists, seats can be reserved at any guesthouse or hotel. trains also go to Lamphun, Lampang, Uttaradit, Pitsanulok and all the way down to Bangok. if you want to take a sleeper bus or a special express train, you need to reserve a ticket in advance (one or two days), seats fill up quickly.
    good luck and enjoy your stay.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Blog Entries
    Thanked 940 Times in 501 Posts
    I am travelling in that area at the moment - I just posted a travel blog about my experience in Chiang Mai:

    There will be more reports soon.

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