CHIANG MAI - GETTING AROUND
Walking around Chiang Mai is a great option, you get to see the historic sites and attractions as well as sample great street food along the way. Get a feel for the historic, beautiful city on foot, explore the Old City and the surrounding areas such as Night Bazaar and Nimmanhaemin along with the many street markets present in Chiang Mai. The Old City is surrounded by the remains of the ancient walls with a moat, shaped like a square with many temples and attractions found inside that are easily accessible by walking.By Public Transport
There is a local bus in Chiang Mai but service is very limited, runs on a fixed route, arriving every 15 minutes with an approximate cost of 15 baht ($0.45 USD). There are two official bus stations that consist of three terminals, the Arcade Bus Station with terminals two and three located at the far end of Kaeo Narawat Road with buses arriving and departing this station to areas outside of Chiang Mai.
The Chang Puak Bus Station with terminal one is located off Chang Phuak Road located on the north side of the moat in the Old City this station handles local bus services within the Chiang Mai area. Buses B1 and B2 are the best for visitors both white buses that stop at local areas such as the Chiang Mai Railway Station, Thaphae Gate, the Zoo and the airport.By Taxi
Taxis tend to be limited to the airport, bus stations, train station and outside hotels. Mostly used for private calls, it is not common to see or hail a taxi on the streets. If you want to order a taxi the best thing to do is have your hotel call and order one for you, they speak the language and should have information on file for local taxi companies.
Uber is available in Chiang Mai since November 2016, with rides costing around 60 baht ($2.00 USD) for a trip between Nimman and the Old City. Use the Uber app on your smartphone to schedule your pick up and drop off destination. The journey is charged straight to your credit card on file.
Grab Taxi is another Uber-like service offered in Chiang Mai. Reports do say that Grab Taxi is higher than Uber and they try to demand a fixed rate.By Songthaew
Songthaews are the most common way to get around in Chiang Mai, a small covered pickup truck that works as a shared taxi with long benches along each side of the truck bed. They pick up and drop off passengers as they go along with no fixed route.
The cost is around 20 baht ($0.60 USD) for a trip around town, you can flag one down on the street and find out which way they are going, then jump in the back. Sometimes you can hire a songthaew outright for the day to take you to specific destinations such as Doi Suthep, Tiger Kingdom, Doi Pui and the Old City. You pay when you arrive at your destination.
In Chiang Mai, the songthaews are color coordinated indicating their route and usage. The most common color is red, these trucks do not cover a specific route and mainly just roams the streets around the temples, markets and the bus/train stations to pick passengers up.
White songthaews travel to the eastern city of Sankampaeng, yellow travel to Mae Rim in the north, blue travel to Sarapee and Lamphun located in the south, and green travel to Mae Jo in the northeast and cost around a 20 baht charge ($0.60 USD).By Samlor
Some three-wheeled bicycles called samlor still exist around the city and offer short rides around the city center for around 20 baht ($0.60 USD). They are a good option for a trip to one of the temples offering a quieter, slower pace.By Tuk Tuk
Tuk Tuks are a quintessential Thai way of travel. Chiang Mai has plenty on the streets, normally found in tourist areas or outside the stations. They are more expensive than a songthaew, and tend to run on more of a charter basis in the city. Rates can start at around 60 baht ($2.00 USD) for shorter trips and run up to 100 baht ($3.00 USD) at night. You can sometimes find a tuk-tuk that offers a hire by the hour rate, where the driver is willing to take you to a specific destination and wait for you. It is fun to take at least one tuk-tuk ride while you are in the city! It`s part of the Thai experience.By Bicycle
You can rent bicycles in the city, which offer you the flexibility to see the sights at your own leisure, it also makes it easier to find parking and get closer to certain attractions. The roads inside the Old City walls are compact, and traffic is pretty laid back, the streets are flat and rentals are abundant. They can cost anywhere from 50 - 250 baht ($1.50 - $7.50 USD)per day. When riding keep to the left wear a helmet and watch for potholes and stray dogs.By Scooter
Rent a scooter is a cheap and convenient way to see the city and surrounding areas. There are plenty of scooter rentals offered throughout Chiang Mai, usually, with two seats and the cost is around 150 - 200 baht ($4.50 - $6.00 USD) a day. The most popular bikes being a Honda Wave, helmets are supplied and a chain to lock up the bike when you are sightseeing.By Cable Car
There is a cable car to take you up to Wat Doe Suthep if you do not want to climb the 300 steps to the top.By Car
Renting a car is not recommended in Chiang Mai, although there are a number of well-known car rental companies at the airport and in the city. Another option is renting a car with a driver.