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CHIANG MAI FAQ`S

How do I get from the airport to my hotel?

Chiang Mai is mainly serviced by Chiang Mai International Airport. If you have not booked a private transfer with us then you have a few options. The airport is located 1.86 miles southwest of the city center, which takes around 15 minutes by car. Transportation from the airport to your hotel includes car rental, taxi services, and bus services.

What types of transportation can I find at the airport?

Transportation counters are located on the first floor opposite the terminal building at the airport.

Taxis, songtaews, and tuk-tuks are available to transport you to your hotel. A taxi from the airport can cost you around 160 baht ($5.00 USD) to most destinations in the city. From the airport to the Arcade Bus Terminal it costs around 200 baht ($6.00 USD). The taxi stand can be found at the north end of the terminal, exit baggage claim and walk to your left.

Songtaews and tuk-tuks can be found on the main street which is a short walk from the airport. Sometimes you will be lucky enough to catch one dropping off passengers at the airport.

Uber and Grab Taxi are also alternatives with a fixed price, use your Smartphone to download these app`s, select your pick up time and drop off location and it will be automatically charged to your credit card on file.

A bus leaves the airport every 20 minutes, the bus stop can be found outside the terminal building to the left and cost is around 20 baht ($0.60).

Car rental services are available at the airport and in the city center.

How do I get from the bus station to my hotel?

There are two main bus stations located in Chiang Mai, the Arcade Bus Station, which has two terminals (2 and 3) and services mostly buses arriving in Chiang Mai from outside destinations. The Chang Puak Bus Station with Terminal 1 it handles mostly local bus services within the Chiang Mai District.

The most useful bus for visitors is B1 and B2 which are both white and can be found on the main road in between Chiang Mai bus station and Arcade bus station. The route for B1 is Chiang Mai Railway Station, Thaphae Gate, Zoo and vice versa. The route for B2 is Bus station, Thaphae Gate, Chiang Mai airport and reverse. The fare is around 15 baht ($0.50 USD).

There are plenty of taxis, tuk-tuks, and songthaews located at the bus stations willing to give you a ride into the city which takes around 15 minutes and costs around 100 - 200 baht ($3 - $6 USD).

How do I get from the train station to my hotel?

The Chiang Mai train station is located just under 2 miles away from the city center, there are taxis, tuk-tuks, and songthaews waiting at the station to get you to your final destination. You can also walk into the city center from the train station, exit the station, cross the open square in front of the station and head left on Charoen Muang Road this will take you directly to the city center.

How do I get around the city using public transportation?

The main options for public transportation when in Chiang Mai are tuk-tuks and Songthaews. There is a bus service, but it is very limited and runs fixed routes. The bus runs five routes in and around the city beginning at 6 am and ending at 10 pm daily, the bus runs approximately every 15 minutes and charges around 10 - 15 baht ($0.50 USD). It is not very convenient or practical for tourists and the bus stops are not identified well.

City transport is dominated by red minibusses known as songthaews these little red trucks are all over the city streets and operate as shared taxis with journeys starting around 20 baht ($0.60 USD). They can be flagged down and will stop and pick you up and drop you off anywhere on their route if going the same way.

Red songthaews normally don’t follow a specific route they tend to roam the streets around markets and temples or the bus station. White songthaews travel to the eastern suburbs, yellow travel to Mae Rim in the north, blue travel to Sarapee and Lamphun in the south and the green ones travel to Mae Jo in the northeast.

Tuk Tuks are also readily available but tend to be more expensive running at about 60 - 100 baht ($2 - $3) for a 10-minute ride. Tuk Tuks are a good option if you want to travel outside of the main city or you need to get somewhere in a hurry. They can be found near major hotels, tourist attractions, and the train station or airport. Expect to pay 50 baht ($1.50 USD) for a short ride and up to 150 baht ($4.50 USD) for longer journeys, haggling is a must, always negotiate a fare before getting on board.

There are a few samlor (three-wheeled bicycles) that still roam the streets and will take you to a temple for the same price as a tuk-tuk but with a much quieter and slower pace, a charming way to see the sights.

What is the city?

Chiang Mai`s city center is Old city and is surrounded by a moat with the remains of a large wall at its four corners and five gates, laid out in a square. The major streets all start from the old city and several of the most important temples are located within the walls of the Old City. There is a highway that circles the outskirts of the city.

How do I call/hail a taxi?

The best way to get a taxi in Chiang Mai is to call, have your hotel call a local taxi company and order one for you as they have a phone at the hotel and can speak the language. You will rarely find a taxi cruising the streets, but they can be found at the airport, railway station, bus station, and some hotels. Uber is another great option.

Can I rent a bicycle?

Riding a bicycle in the city is fun and practical, it is a great way to get around the city center as it is relatively compact and the traffic isn’t that bad. The roads of Old Town are flat and quiet and it is quite easy to get around by bicycle to various temples. There is also a lot to be seen off the beaten path in Chiang Mai where you can ride a bike through the trails to temples, hill tribe villages and fruit orchids. Cost is around 50 - 250 baht ($1.50 - $7.30 USD) per day depending on the bike with many small businesses around Tha Pae Gate offering bikes to rent for the day.

Is Chiang Mai a walking city?

The old city of Chiang Mai is a compact city about 1 square mile (640 acres) making it an easy city to walk around with many attractions within walking distance to the city center. The city has a unique charm and wandering down the twisting sois (alleyways) is a great way to experience Thai life.

Is Chiang Mai a dangerous city, is there anything I should be aware of?

Chiang Mai is not a dangerous city; there are very few incidents of violence, theft or harassment and tourist police do well maintaining the safety of the city. Travelers should still be cautious just as in any other city in the world, be aware of pickpockets in tourist areas and certain scam artists. Keep your bags and belongings close to you especially at night

During the months of March and April, the city is very smoky and dusty from farmers who burn off their fields.

Tap water should not be consumed, always drink from sealed bottles. Ice is ok in restaurants as they use professional ice-making machines and is considered safe.

What are some popular areas for shopping?

Chiang Mai features many different areas and options for shopping, handicrafts are a rich tradition in Thailand made with local materials by Chinese and Indian merchants. You can find craft pieces traditional and handmade, tribal weaving, embroidered items made by the hill tribes, jewelry, wood carvings and lacquer ware.

Numerous factories located along Charoen Muang Road offer tours where visitors can watch the manufacturing process of local items being made including silverware, silk, furniture and brass.

Night Bazaar is a large indoor/outdoor market that runs along both sides of the road selling anything and everything from souvenirs to street food.

The Warorot Market is another great indoor/outdoor market featuring fruit, spices, teas and fabric with a flower market across the street and a fireworks stand.

The city boasts 10 shopping malls and at least 15 sprawling markets selling numerous items with popular weekend markets that fill some of the streets. The region produces a lot of distinctive gold/black lacquer ware including decorative boxes, bowls and bracelets and other local specialties including silks, ceramics and paper umbrellas.

The Saturday Walking Street Market located along Th Wualai closes to traffic and starts around 4 pm and closes at 10 pm, packed with vendors selling all kinds of treasures. The Sunday Walking Street Market closes to traffic from the Phae Gate and down Ratchadamnoen road from 4 pm until midnight, filled with stalls selling locally made goods.

What is the currency? Can I pay/tip in US dollars?

The Thai Baht is the currency used in Thailand you will need to exchange your dollars to Baht. Try to avoid major banks and popular tourist areas as you tend to get the worst exchange rates. ATM`s and money changers can be found at Chang Klan and Charoen Prathet roads and around Night Bazaar.

For more detailed information, consult our guide to tipping in Thailand by clicking here ThailandIs there a certain dress code when visiting temples?

Visitors should dress conservatively particularly women, it is advised to wear long skirts or pants, be sure to cover your shoulders and knees. When entering temples always remove your shoes and do not sit with your feet toward a Buddha, sit either with your legs crossed or with your feet tucked under you. Feet are considered the lowest, dirtiest part of the body. A woman should never touch a monk.

 

What is the food like?

The city offers an abundance of European, Asian, Thai and Middle Eastern restaurants. You can find fine dining or street food that is tasty and reasonably priced. A good place to find authentic local food is the Anusarn Market located on the corner of Sri Dornchai and Chang Klan roads, near Night Bazaar.

A local favorite dish is called khao soi which is Burmese curry and noodles and is served at many open air places around the city. Another specialty dish is hang ley which is Lanna-style pork curry. There is also a full range of Western food with restaurants from Australia, Britain, Ireland, France, German, Italian and Spanish so there are a wide variety of options other than Thai food.

The Night Bazaar area has a selection of cuisine as vast as the products on sale there and more importantly, it’s incredibly reasonably priced while not compromising on the quality or taste. Around the old and new city, you can experience everything from 30 baht noodles on the street to haute-cuisine dining, variety is certainly at the core of Chiang Mai dining.

What is the nightlife like?

Nightlife in Chiang Mai offers a wide variety of drinking and dancing options along with live music and riverside bars down by the Ping River. Youngsters can find clubbing on Nimmanheimin Road featuring live music and go-go bars, massage parlors, and strip clubs.

The Chiang Mai Entertainment Complex (CMEC) can be found in Night Bazaar with around 30 different bars including sports bars, Pattaya-style girlie, and kathoeys (ladyboys) bars. There is a Muay Thai boxing ring featured here too. Street shopping is set up in the Night Bazaar after sunset and shopping go on until 10:30 pm, the market features hundreds of vendors with so many different products for sale. Start at Tha Phae Road and walk south towards Loi Khro, then cross the street and work your way back north along the other side of the street.

The busiest nightlife areas can be found near Tha Phae Gate, Loi Kroh Road and along Charoenrat Road on the eastern banks of the Ping River.

I don’t speak Thai will there be many people who speak English?

The spoken language in Thailand is Thai. Most Thais in Bangkok can speak and understand English especially those working in the service industry.

What should I do if I need medical assistance or need to go to the hospital?

In the case of emergency dial 1155 to reach the tourist police for emergencies and police.

Fire dial 053-241777

Hospital information:

McCormick Hospital on Kaeo Nawarat Road tel. 05326-2200.

CM Mediclinic tel. 66805-362362 or info@cmmediclinic.com