The transport system is well developed in Chiang Mai as the northern capital of Thailand is very large. There are many ways to get from one point to another, such as songteos (mini-bus), tuk-tuk, air-conditioned Taxi-Meter and even pedicabs. If you can drive a motorbike, you can rent it and move around the city - it will be much cheaper. Chiang Mai transport will be useful for those tourists who want to explore the whole city and its surroundings or are going to live here for a long time. If you want to see only the main sights, almost all of them are located in the Old City, where it is quite possible to walk. In this case, you only need a taxi to travel from / to the bus station, airport or railway station.
Songteo is the cheapest way to travel around Chiang Mai. Mini-buses drive around the city and its environs. They make stops at the bus stations, airport and the Old Town (most tourists stay there for the night to be closer to the main sights). The fare in Songteo starts from 40 THB.
Songteo in Chiang Mai looks like covered pickup trucks and have several colors. Red songteos run in the city and reach many sights, such as the Chiang Mai Zoo. A route is written on each songteo. Yellow pickup trucks run to Mae Rim and Sunpatong Districts. White songteo goes to Mae Taeng and San Kamphaeng Districts. Green ones run to San Sai and Mae Jo districts and blue songteo goes to Sarapee and Lamphun. Their main songteo stop is next to the Warorot Market.
The tuk-tuk in Chiang Mai is exactly the same as in Bangkok. It is a three-wheeled vehicle for 2-3 people. They run around the city and wait for tourists near the sights, bus stations, railway station and airport. The average fare in the city is about 80-100 THB. You pay for a tuk-tuk, not for each person. After sunset the cost increases.
Chiang Mai taxi is presented by Taxi-Meter, which is the same as in Bangkok. Basically, taxi parkings are located at the airport and at the main bus stations, it is impossible to get a taxi in the street. It is easier to ask at the hotel reception to order a taxi for you.
Pedicab is an exotic type of transport which you will not find in Bangkok, Pattaya, Phuket and other popular resorts. Pedicab is a tricycle with a seat between two rear wheels. The fare depends on the distance, but is not higher than in tuk-tuk. It is better to use pedicabs only as an opportunity to try exotic way of movement. If you are limited in time, you should choose another kind of transport, because pedicab slowly moves along the busy streets of the city and not as maneuverable as a motorbike or just a bicycle, without a sidecar behind.
Renting motorbikes and bicycles is a great option for those who want to save time and money for trips in Chiang Mai. There are a lot of rental offices in the Old Town, where you can rent different types of motorbikes and bikes. In high season, rental prices for motorbikes start from 250 THB per day, in the low season – from 150 THB per day or 3000 THB per month. Rental cost for bikes starts from 50 THB. To rent a motorbike you need a copy of your passport and a deposit of 2,000-3,000 THB.
It is better to rent a bike for trips around the Old Town and within 2-3 km from it. If you want to get far away, for example, to the viewpoint, it is better to rent a motorbike, as it is not very pleasant to ride a bike up the hill. Do not forget to wear a helmet, because the police in the city punish motorcyclists with uncovered heads.
As you can see, there are no problems with transport in Chiang Mai, so you can easily get to any place.