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CMNightRider

Mentally Unstable Songtow Driver

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Hey UG, do you have any books about how get a songtaew ride?

I have the following on local public transport for out of town guests.

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“Songthaew” Share Taxis

These are red pick-up trucks that have a canopy and two benches in the back. Flag one down on any major road, then state your destination to the driver. If he is going in your direction he will agree to take you. Fare is 20 baht per person, but for longer trips he may ask for more; either accept the higher price, ask for a lower amount, or try the next one.

  1. Showing a big map to the driver rarely works. It is better to state your destination as landmark (a market, temple, city gate, etc), or show him the destination in Thai script. When you reach your destination, press the buzzer to stop.
  2. It’s best to catch one on the side of the road where traffic goes towards your destination. Many roads are one-way, so walking over to a road where traffic goes the right way may be worth it.
  3. No need to discuss price unless the driver brings it up. If he agrees to the ride it’s 20 baht/person, but kids can be half price. Late at night your mileage may vary.
  4. You will also see light blue Songthaews along the main road, as well as yellow ones and other colors. These are on fixed routes out of town. For use as a taxi in town, stick to the red ones.

Tuk-Tuks and Meter Taxis

“Meter” Taxis don’t typically use the meter in Chiang Mai. That means agreeing on a price, similar to taking a tuk-tuk. Tuk-tuk fares are in the 50-80 baht range. Meter Taxis are 150 baht and up.

Bicycle / Motorbike / Rental Car

Bicycles (50 Baht/Day) and motorcycles (150-200 Baht/Day) can be rented just past the Méridien hotel on Loy Kroh Road. There are more shops near the moat. Cars can be rented at the big chains (Avis, Budget) or at Northweels. An alternative to renting a car is arranging a red Songthaew for a day, then you get a driver too. Cost is similar to renting a car, 1200-1500 Baht. You do get mixed results; they can be the greatest tour guides, or just try to go to as many places as possible where they get a commission.

Edited by WinnieTheKhwai
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As for asking 30 baht from a tuk tuk driver, that is kind of like taunting him, especially for one of the 'wait around do nothing' ones at the bus station. TUk tuks don't typically go anywhere for less than 50, other than perhaps an incredibly short hop. And then the ones at the bus station especially don't go anywhere for less than 70-80 so it's really best to just say no: they're not providing a reasonable service so you're not interested. No need to pretend you are by offering an unacceptably low amount.

Yeah, I guess it's ok for him to ask 100B for a 3 minute trip while it's a no-no for me to offer 30B which is double the 15B songtaews have charged me so close to the bus station.

Well this was an incredibly short trip and would have brought him quickly back to the station.

But your right, I probably should have said no since I had intended to walk. I was feeling just a bit lazy and I figured what the heck for 30B.

Regardless, the cursing wasn't necessary and certainly doesn't support the LOS image (myth).

Btw, I am not saying this is the way most Thais behave.

I am sharing a story a long the same theme as the OP's.

Edited by vagabond48

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I would like to claim a prize for riding in the oldest CM Songthaew with the oldest grandpop and mom driver last Saturday but omitted to note the number.

Before we even left the airport, the songtheaw gave out and he couldnt get it in gear-in the middle of the road. Even a 2 handed gearchange attempt and help from the missus sitting beside him wasnt doing it. So reaching for a bottle ( I thought to console himself) and up with the hood,slopped in the oil, slipped it into gear and off we went- suspensionless to Nong Hoi. 50 baht each plus a sympathy tip to buy more oil.

I guess a typically thai reaction from my gf and a rather nice one in my view: Why arent the family looking after them better?

A fun welcome back to Chiang Mai from the capitalism hustle and bustle of Hong Kong

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I wonder how the guy left in the back got on? sad.png

I wondered the same thing. At the very least, he will return home with a good story. Hopefully, the driver didn't take advantage of him by charging an exorbitant fee.

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Once again I am apparently so late to this thread but here goes.

How can one possibly spot just one mentally unstable driver here?

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How can one possibly spot just one mentally unstable driver here?

It is usually the one that demands 1,000 baht for a 60 baht fare.

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I am surprised that more of this doesn't happen. In Thailand the police do nothing when criminals demand money, so why wouldn't every business in Thailand try to rip everyone off?

This may be a bit difficult for the cynical and simple minded to understand but I'll give it a try anyway......... because not everyone is dishonest. Believe it or not, as fantastic as this may seem to some, the majority of people the world over are honest and decent, and that includes Thais.

You should file this little nugget of information under "you learn something new every day".

Sorry, I didn't get the simple minded part

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Hardly mentally unstable, more like trying it on by throwing a Johnson, hoping he could intimidate you. Happens more than you think, but unusual in CM, granted.

Edited by asdecas

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I would like to claim a prize for riding in the oldest CM Songthaew with the oldest grandpop and mom driver last Saturday but omitted to note the number.

Before we even left the airport, the songtheaw gave out and he couldnt get it in gear-in the middle of the road. Even a 2 handed gearchange attempt and help from the missus sitting beside him wasnt doing it. So reaching for a bottle ( I thought to console himself) and up with the hood,slopped in the oil, slipped it into gear and off we went- suspensionless to Nong Hoi. 50 baht each plus a sympathy tip to buy more oil.

I guess a typically thai reaction from my gf and a rather nice one in my view: Why arent the family looking after them better?

A fun welcome back to Chiang Mai from the capitalism hustle and bustle of Hong Kong

Geez, waiting outside for a cheapie, after arriving from 'the hustle and bustle of Hong Kong'.

Did you have to wait long for this 'special' vehicle after your arrival, or did you just get lucky as songtheaws are moved on rather quickly after dropping people off?

You can get an air con taxi to Nong Hoi for 120 Baht, without setting foot outside the terminal!

Nice story.

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