Transportation in Chiang Mai

  1. Songthaews (Red Trucks) Songthaews are covered pickup trucks with two bench seats in the back, used as shared taxis. They have no fixed routes, and passengers can flag them down and negotiate a fare to their destination. They are an affordable and flexible option for getting around Chiang Mai, commonly used by both locals and tourists. You can book a private songhaew to Chai lai Orchid or the city for 800 thb making it the most affordable taxi option with lots of room for luggage. Songtaews are unique to northern Thailand and a memorable way to see the country.

  2. Tuk-Tuks Tuk-tuks are three-wheeled, motorized rickshaws that are a quintessential part of Thai transportation. They are convenient for short trips and can weave through traffic easily. While they are more expensive than songthaews, they offer a fun and unique way to experience the city

3. Sam Lor The word samlor translates as three wheels. Thailand’s samlors are a throwback to a bygone era. Before the advent of motor vehicles, hundreds of these bicycle taxis plied their trade in Chiang Mai. Today, there are less than 70 samlors left on the roads of the northern Thai city. The oldest samlor driver in Chiang Mai, the remarkable Nainan Narin, is just a few years short of his century. The 98-year-old started riding his bicycle taxi at the end of the Second World War and is still working today. They might be at an age where others have already retired from work, but these senior citizens are still earning a living by picking up passengers and pedalling their bicycle rickshaws through the streets of Chiang Mai.

4. Motorbikes and Scooters Motorbikes and scooters are extremely popular among locals for their affordability and ease of navigating congested streets. They are also available for rent to tourists, though it’s important to have an international driving permit and to wear a helmet to avoid fines at police check points.

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