Chiang Mai, Thailand

Getting Around


On Foot
The old part of the city is only a mile square and as such is easy to walk around. The airport is also quite close to the old city (about 3 km) and if you have the energy and an hour to spare, you can even walk to and from the airport. However, this is not necessarily a pleasant experience as the sidewalks are uneven or non-existent. Furthermore, Chiang Mai gets hot during the day, especially during the hot season (March to June) and wet during the rainy season (July to October).

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Tha Pae Gate in Chiang Mai by Rinto Jiang

By Bicycle
Unlike Bangkok, vehicle traffic in Chiang Mai is manageable and within the old city walls traffic is subdue enough to make biking a safe and quick way to get around. Getting around the city on a bicycle is a great way to explore Chiang Mai and see as many places as possible. Bike rentals are plentiful in the tourist areas and rentals cost 30-250 baht per day depending on the bike quality. Always check the bicycle for any damages before riding and avoid the cheapest deal, since they may not be roadworthy. Ride safely and be cautious for reckless drivers on the road.

 Street in Chiang Mai by Love Krittaya

By Car
Car rental services are available in the city center and at the airport. Typical rates are 1,200-2,000 baht per day depending on the type of car and you can expect a slight discount when renting weekly.
Utility pickups are also available and some agencies offer minivans with a driver. Most hotels and some guesthouses (in addition to the car rental and travel agencies) in Chiang Mai can also arrange vehicles for rental.

Hiring a vehicle with driver is a great option for travelling to places outside the city, though expect to pay extra for the driver. Besides picking you up, the advantage is you get to relax and enjoy the scenery in air-conditioned comfort. Furthermore, you don't have to worry about finding your way and the driver often acts as a guide. Cost with driver starts from 1500 baht per day plus fuel cost, depending on the vehicle type and where you are going.

By Taxi
Chiang Mai has metered taxis, though it can be difficult to persuade the driver to switch the meter on. If you do prevail, the fare is 30 baht for the first 2 km then 4 baht for each kilometre, otherwise you will have to haggle for a fixed fare.
To book for a taxi, phone a call centre (there are several in Chiang Mai) and state your destination and you will be given a quote. You can also contact individual drivers with their mobile phone numbers displayed on their vehicles.

Guide to
Chiang Mai
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