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Chiang Mai to Lamphun Transportation options in the evening


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We are considering a move to Lamphun for work and like the idea of living in a quiet city with the amenities of Chiang Mai close by.

 

Neither my husband or I are eager to buy a car in Thailand and may consider a motorbike but would prefer to rely on public transportation if possible so I am wondering:

 

1. What are our options for getting back to Lamphun from a trip into Chiang Mai (old city) in the evening? From what I can tell the songthaews don’t run very late, also not sure about minivans. Can we take a grab or taxi all the way to Lamphun? What would be the appropriate cost and how difficult would it be to find one.

 

 

2. Within Lamphun can you get around (and to the industrial park) easily on songthaews and are there taxis/grab available? 
 

Thanks!

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Really not much in convenient options....We have vehicles, but scratched Lamphun as a permanent residence; just more of a hassle than it's promise....

Even transport to the CM airport is a challenge for long term travel....It does have some appeal, housing is cheap there....

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I visit Lamphun sometimes because my partner is from there. I have often thought that Lamphun town (as opposed to the province) would a great spot for anyone on a tight budget who just wants a relaxed life. Foreigners are still somewhat exotic there, the pubs are fun because you have young factory workers from all over Thailand, and you can easily find very cheap accommodation, around 3k per month + electricity. There are a couple of big, modern shopping malls, lots of coffee shops etc. The Thai restaurants and food markets are significantly cheaper than anywhere in Chiang Mai. You've still got the same fibre Internet connections as Chiang Mai.

I'm not sure why anyone would consider it difficult in terms of transport. It takes 28 minutes to drive to Chiang Mai airport, there are always plenty of Grab and other taxis. It is, effectively, a suburb of Chiang Mai.

I reckon that relatively new expats get too tied up with the idea that they need to live on Nimmanhaemin or some other central spot, but the overall experience is often more interesting and more fun in areas less saturated with Westerners. Your chances of stumbling upon a real relationship are certainly higher.

My hunch is that Lamphun might become a lot more popular with American expats on fixed incomes if the current stimulus devalues the dollar relative to the Baht and, equally, for Europeans if the ECB collapses this year.

 

Edited by donnacha
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Blue songtaws.   In the evening you could probably hire one at a price.
Also check the train schedules.  The milk run that I'm aware of only runs at 9:20am from CM to Lamphun and beyond.  The CM to points south like BKK may stop in Lamphun but I'm not sure.  The milk run headed back from Nakhon Sawan hit's Lamphun about 2:15 if its on time which it generally isn't.  And all this may change in the next two years of so as they are putting in a second set of rails.

However, within Lamphun?   Motorcycle taxis.  Honestly, if you want to live in Lamphun city you best find a place on the Lamphun-CM highway.  Then buy a motorcycle for in-town driving if you plan to shop in anything resembling a mall or Big C. Or just learn to make due living native.  It's quaint and quiet.  But honestly.  You're at a disadvantage without some form of personal transportation. 

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Oh.  And all this may change in the next five years as the projected growth of Nai Muang Lamphun is heading due south of Doi Dtii (Big Buddha on hill above Highway 11) and will run 5 km south where they are building the new government building complex and Chiang Mai Hospital is building a teaching hospital just south of that.  In the 5 to 10 year range that area's is going to built up big time.  If they drop an International airport in at Ban Tii within 20 years this will be a new metropolitan center and manufacturing hub.   In my humble opinion.

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20 hours ago, donnacha said:

there are always plenty of Grab and other taxis. It is, effectively, a suburb of Chiang Mai.

We're out a bit further, past San Patong between route 108 and the Lamphun boundry.

108 has yellow songthaews, they tend to stop between 7 and 8pm, I would expect as Lamphun is much bigger and on highway 11 the blue songthaews would run later and maybe more often, and yes, Lamphun is on the train line south, there are local trains, how often, you'd need to check, online or at the station. There's also the bus, think it's blue, very slow, and how late they run I don't know, ask a local.

I would certainly think your options are greater than what we have in San Kawan..!

BTW, it you're looking for a place to buy, be aware some areas near the river (towards Nong Hoi) are prone to flooding, it is where the old Chiang Mai city used to be but they moved the it a millennium ago because of the flooding.

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Which reminds me, need to go to the post office today and trace my two letters mailed EMS to the USA on February 15. Tracking says they are still in Bangkok!

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On 3/7/2021 at 1:55 PM, Bill97 said:

There are trains and busses leaving at night going South that stop in Lamphun.  Check at train and bus stations.

Costs a lot on red songtheaw to get to C M train station. Leaving isn't too bad as can usually get a share songtheaw.

Lamphun railway station is miles and miles from anywhere, and no songtheaws pass by. Could phone for a m'bike taxi.

Lamphun bus station is far from the new town, but plenty of accommodation near by.

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1 hour ago, millymoopoo said:

on highway 11 the blue songthaews would run later and maybe more often

Thou jest.

Unless things have changed, they stop around dark. The drivers want to go home too after a long day driving back and forth. They run approximately 1/2 hourly and while going to C M isn't normally a problem, usually chocka coming back. There used to be purple ac buses running same route, but don't know if still running, and not as often anyway.

I liked traveling on them as a slice of the "real" Thailand, and mixing with ordinary Thais.

 

I used the public transport from Lamphun to C M for years and would not rely on it for going TO work. Coming back OK as long as prepared to wait if first songtheaw/ bus full.

There are also the big green buses that go to C M bus station, but that is far from town and red songtheaws charge a lot to there, unless on a share ride.

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Thanks for all the info!


Just to add some clarification we would probably plan to live in Lamphun (and my husband would be working in the industrial park there).  I’m mostly curious about our options for heading into Chiang Mai for an occasional evening out or for a Saturday. Sounds like there are a few options to get there but just want to make sure we’ll be able to get back as well.

 

Secondly, if I don’t end up with my own transport, are there songthaews or grabs within Lamphun for getting around (Big C etc)?

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On 3/7/2021 at 12:21 PM, Lilypad said:

We are considering a move to Lamphun for work and like the idea of living in a quiet city with the amenities of Chiang Mai close by.

 

Neither my husband or I are eager to buy a car in Thailand and may consider a motorbike but would prefer to rely on public transportation if possible so I am wondering:

 

1. What are our options for getting back to Lamphun from a trip into Chiang Mai (old city) in the evening? From what I can tell the songthaews don’t run very late, also not sure about minivans. Can we take a grab or taxi all the way to Lamphun? What would be the appropriate cost and how difficult would it be to find one.

 

 

2. Within Lamphun can you get around (and to the industrial park) easily on songthaews and are there taxis/grab available? 
 

Thanks!

I lived in Lamphun new town for years, and if you need to rely on getting to C M on time forget about public transport ( or travel very early before appointment, like a couple of hours ), unless using train, and even that had the occasional stoppage.

Best way would be m'bike and use the road along the railway line, as not heavily used most of the time- just watch out for potholes. Big superhighway too dangerous ( I never used it on m'bike ), and likewise the other main road with the big trees as VERY heavily used by vehicles and too narrow to be safe at rush hours.

 

like the idea of living in a quiet city

LOL. Only if you enjoy karaokes late at night. Old city might be better than the new one as less young people.

 

What are our options for getting back to Lamphun from a trip into Chiang Mai (old city) in the evening?

Basically none after dark, unless you can get a government bus from C M bus station.

Unless they have started a minivan service -none.

Of course you could use Grab, but I've no idea of price.

 

Within Lamphun can you get around (and to the industrial park) easily on songthaews and are there taxis/grab available? 

No, not easily. No taxis at all, but you can call a m'bike taxi.

Only way to rent a songtheaw is to go to bus station and negotiate with one waiting.

Far as I know- no Grab taxis in Lamphun, but that may have changed.

 

with the amenities of Chiang Mai close by.

Only as the crow flies.

 

If you do move there, somewhere along the river would be very nice, but you would need at least a m'bike. I hated driving a car in C M as the traffic is insane, but a m'bike makes it quite easy, as long as one knows how to ride properly and is super cautious. I used to go up on my m'bike a lot.

 

Lamphun is a small town with a big industrial park, and the hundreds of m'bikes going to and from work was a sight to see, but it's got all the draw backs of a small town in Thailand.

Several night markets different days of the week, some big malls ( apparently there is even a cinema in Big C now ), lots of interesting shops inside the walls of the old town.

Plenty of dentists and eyewear shops etc. Enough restaurants to keep anyone satisfied. I mainly went to C M for the immigration, dentist and the movies, but now there is a cinema in Big C I probably wouldn't go up that much. Can buy most everything wanted in Lamphun. A few of those huge hardware stores around, lots of furniture factories, and one of the oldest temples in Thailand. The big Buddha temple to the south of town is interesting, and some very nice places to visit around if one has a car. I even went to see the temple in Rambo movie.

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14 minutes ago, Lilypad said:

Thanks for all the info!


Just to add some clarification we would probably plan to live in Lamphun (and my husband would be working in the industrial park there).  I’m mostly curious about our options for heading into Chiang Mai for an occasional evening out or for a Saturday. Sounds like there are a few options to get there but just want to make sure we’ll be able to get back as well.

 

Secondly, if I don’t end up with my own transport, are there songthaews or grabs within Lamphun for getting around (Big C etc)?

if I don’t end up with my own transport, are there songthaews or grabs within Lamphun for getting around (Big C etc)?

Don't bother- way too much hassle.

Use a scooter and be free.

I used one all the time and don't consider driving around Lamphun dangerous at all, except for the sand on the corners or potholes. It only gets dangerous going up to C M due to heavy traffic. The road along the railway line was not too bad.

 

Blue songtheaws run every day or take the yellow ones from bus station to go to Central Airport Mall, or immigration. No problem going up, but might have to wait on side of road a while, as they don't run on a strict schedule.

Don't expect one going back after dark, or even being able to get on one, as they tend to be chocka on the last runs. Need to be at the market well before the last run of the day to be sure.

Don't forget the government buses though, but you have to go to the big bus station to get one.

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31 minutes ago, Lilypad said:

we would probably plan to live in Lamphun (and my husband would be working in the industrial park there).

A place along the river close to the industrial park area would be worth looking into. It's not close to the old town though. Could drive on m'bike to industrial park in about 5 minutes, and BIg C is there as well.

I liked eating at the restaurants along the river.

 

I liked living in Lamphun. The traffic in C M drove me crazy, and it's not a problem in Lamphun. Plenty of Thai nightclubs as long as one wears ear plugs ( as long as the cops haven't closed them for some violation ). It is pretty quiet as far as big city life goes, but I can't think of anything I couldn't get there. They have most of the big western food chains like Pizza company etc.

Edited by thaibeachlovers
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12 hours ago, CALSinCM said:

Oh.  And all this may change in the next five years as the projected growth of Nai Muang Lamphun is heading due south of Doi Dtii (Big Buddha on hill above Highway 11) and will run 5 km south where they are building the new government building complex and Chiang Mai Hospital is building a teaching hospital just south of that.  In the 5 to 10 year range that area's is going to built up big time.  If they drop an International airport in at Ban Tii within 20 years this will be a new metropolitan center and manufacturing hub.   In my humble opinion.

I forgot to mention that the private hospital near Big C is OK. I used it myself. Hariphunchai Memorial Hospital.

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Why would you not want a car ?

Solve all your "How do I get to ..." questions

Be Aware, Beware - do this and driving a car or riding a bike is fine.

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While you may not be keen to buy a car it is the easiest solution by far. The roadworks on the Superhighway finished last year and it's an easy drive if you're coming from the Lamphun Industrial Park. 

 

While still being in Chiang Mai I live further out than where Lamphun starts and without a car the options are highly limited. A car gives you the freedom to go when and where you please. 

Edited by lordblackader
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On 3/8/2021 at 11:18 AM, thaibeachlovers said:

Thou jest.

Lucky you, if the blue songthaews run till dark, often for us on 108 (especially south west of 3006) the yellow songthaews have disappeared well before dark.

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Firstly, if you think about driving on the super highway, which is getting wider and faster, forget the bike, too dangerous ...

I am driving this road CNX-LAMPHUN-CNX for 15 years now ... the best for you is to find a place just south of Chiangmai, near the super-higway, and buy your car. It last 20-25mn to go to Nikhom (Industrial Estate) now. Too fast and too heavy traffic for motorcycles ... look at the statistics ... 😞

Lamphun is much smaller, much less foreign restaurants, and almost curfew after 8PM 🙂 except if you are youngish and karaoke or Rodeo fan (which is a pub).

Chiangmai : Traffic is mainly on Airport Road and inside city. Living in Suthep Road (NOrth west of Chiangmai) for example can add 45mn to your trip to Lamphun !

Find a place, just south Chiangmai, or even Saraphi (you will be just in the middle and grab is OK). Then buy a car and add 25y to your life expectancy  !

Good luck

Phil.

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On 3/8/2021 at 10:18 AM, thaibeachlovers said:
On 3/8/2021 at 9:07 AM, millymoopoo said:

on highway 11 the blue songthaews would run later and maybe more often

 

absolutely not.

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