Tuk Tuking Around Chiang Mai Thailand
If you’ve been following along for the past few months, you have seen plenty of content about Chiang Mai, Thailand. We’ve painted with elephants, slept with tigers, slept in an Airbnb, played with elephant poop, ridden on elephants, and even painted ceramic elephants. I’ve covered everything you need to know about these different activities. The one thing that I haven’t covered is how we have gotten around Chiang Mai.
There are many options when it comes to getting around Chiang Mai. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can choose to rent a scooter (make sure you wear a helmet!). If you’re feeling fit, you can choose to rent a bicycle. If you not feeling adventurous or fit, you can choose for option number three, which is the Chiang Mai Tuk Tuk.
Now to be fair, I didn’t choose to transport around Chiang Mai via Tuk Tuk because of my lack of adventure or because of my lack of fitness level. The drivers in Chiang Mai are utterly unconcerned with safety, and you don’t want to die?
For those of you that don’t know, a tuk tuk is a cramped, open air, three-wheeled taxi. You go up one of the tuk tuks, tell the driver where you want to go, and negotiate a rate for that trip.
For basically anywhere in Chiang Mai we paid between 80-100 Bhat ($2.3-$2.80 USD). That is actually on the high end of the scale, because after I returned from my Chiang Mai trip I saw that you can typically get anywhere in Chiang Mai for between 60-80 Bhat ($1.7-2.3 USD). I didn’t mind that prices I was paying because I’m not a fan of negotiating prices, and I whenever I offered 80 Bhat the fare was typically accepted without any negating.
We ate at McDonalds every day for breakfast, which isn’t something that I’m proud of. I would always just offer 100 Bhat for that trip, because I’m not a morning person what so ever and I didn’t want to have to negotiate anything. If I had to negotiate before I had my morning coffee, the conversation would have gone something like this…
Driver: Where do you want to go?
Driver: Ok, 150 Bhat.
Me: No… 200 Bhat.
That is how it would have gone in the morning. How it actually went was more like this.
Me: 100 Bhat to take me to McDonalds?
That was it. Now I’m sure that I could have gotten the ride for 60 Bhat because from my Airbnb it was only about a 30-minute walk away but as I said, in the mornings I don’t do well pre-coffee.
Tuk tuks are willing to take you anywhere that they can drive to in Chiang Mai. They can take you to tiger kingdom, elephant poo poo park, or any other destination that you would like. Just remember if you are going to somewhere further away from the city be prepared to be sucking in those exhaust fumes for the entire ride.
Now there is another way to get around in Chiang Mai that I never brought up and that is the songthaews aka red taxis. The red taxis are essentially red pickup trucks that have two covered benches in the back. The red taxis charge around 40 Bhat ($1.15 USD) to get you to the general area of where you want to go. The reason I was never a fan of this transportation method is because they will continue to pick people up along the way to try and fill the back. When I’m on any type of trip, my time is typically limited, so I would rather pay more to a tuk tuk driver and get there in half the time.
Tuk Tuking around Chiang Mai is also a great way to see the city. The sides of the tuk tuk cars are open so you get to take in all of the sights around you; you get to smell all of the smells, and see all that is to be seen.
While using a tuk tuk, my sister and I never felt unsafe or like we were getting taken advantage of. If anything, we knew we could get a ride for cheaper, but were typically too exhausted to bother negotiating.
If you were there during any big festivals, like the Chiang Mai Flower Festival, I would plan on paying more for a tuk tuk. Lots of people come to Chiang Mai just for the Flower Festival, so there are less tuk tuks just sitting around without fares. Think of it like Uber surge pricing, when more people are using the service prices will go up.
If you ever find yourself in Chiang Mai, I would defiantly consider tuk tuking around the city. The cost is affordable, and you are going to get where you want to go in no time.
If you have any questions about tuk tuking around Chiang Mai or any Chiang Mai transportation questions, please don’t hesitate to ask in the comments below.
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