Chiang Mai, Thailand

Getting Around


By Motorcycle

Motorcycles (including mopeds and scooters) are convenient and cheap to get around Chiang Mai or reach outlying places. There are an abundance of rental outfits in the city, though most guesthouses can arrange for rentals. Automatic geared, 100cc and 125cc bikes capable of carrying two people are the easiest to jump on and ride away if you don't have riding experience. There are also off-road and larger street bikes as an option for the experienced rider. A valid international drivers permit isn't required to ride.
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Mopeds and scooters cost about 150 baht a day for a 100 cc and more for a 125 cc bike. Larger machines cost 700 baht a day for a V-twin chopper or larger sport-bike. Expect discounts when renting for a week, month or longer. Rental cost usually includes helmets and bike chain to prevent theft. Rentals will require a deposit and while many ask for a passport - under no circumstances should you leave your passport with anyone as collateral. Most shops will accept a photocopy of your passport with a cash deposit of 3,000-5,000 baht, a much better alternative.

Motorbikes in Chiang Mai

While the petrol (gas) tank may be full during pickup, it is not uncommon for shops to deliver a bike with just enough fuel to make it to a service station. Before taking the bike, check the tank and confirm with the shop the level of fuel to avoid any penalties when returning the bike. Also check the road worthiness of the bike being offered - check that the indicators, brakes and headlights are working properly and tires in reasonable condition.

Street in Chiang Mai by Love Krittaya

Some rental agreements claim to insure you but generally only cover the bike for theft or damage. Don't expect much in the way of compensation if something bad such as an accident occurs to you. Despite who is at fault, assume you will be the one considered at fault. Police occasionally fine riders (including passengers) 200 baht for not wearing a helmet, plus you usually have to go to the police station the next day to collect your licence.

Guide to
Chiang Mai
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