Getting Around Chiang Rai

Written by admin on January 7th, 2014. Posted in Chiang Rai

Chiang Rai’ city is quite a small town, it is possible to walk to destinations around the city. Anyway, several forms of transportations are available. 


SongtaewSongtaew is a pickup that has been converted into mini-bus with two long seats on each side. Generally songtaews ply the city’s main routes and look for passengers along the way. They can also be privately hired to take you wherever you want to go Prices are around 700 – 1,000 baht for eight or nine hours. Bargaining is required. 


SamlorSamlor or pedal trishaw is one of the favourite local forms of transport in Chiang Rai. Although a much slower than other types of transportations, samlor is great for short distances and a relaxing way to see the sites. Fares start at 10 baht and increase according to distance. 

Tuk Tuk    

Tuk TukThere is a set price from one point to another within the city and should not more than a few Baht. Outside the city, the price is negotiable but generally more expensive than Songthaews. 



Vehicles for rent  

Vehicles for rentThose who wish to be independent, and explore Chiang Rai at leisure, can rent motorcycles or cars. Rental shops can be easily found within the city. 90cc Honda Dream or Suzuki Crystal bike costs around 150 Baht/day while 250cc trail bike costs 450 Baht/day. Visitors are advised to shop around, and consult local tourism publications, for different companies offer different prices and conditions. An international driver license is required. 



Renting a bicycle is a simply way to getting around the town. Beyond Chiang Rai City, Chiang Khong, Chiang Saen and Mae Sai are also great for cycling. 


Mae Kok River

One of the more popular ways to travel to or from Chiang Mai is by boat along the Mae Kok River. Public boats make the 3-4 hour journey every day between Chiang Rai and Ban Tha Ton in Chiang Mai. Boats leave Chiang Rai at 10.30 am, the return trip leaves Tha Ton about 12.30 pm. Prices are 200 baht per person.

Long-tail boats can also be hired privately to some nearby destinations such as the Buddha Cave, Ban Ruam Mit elephant camp and the nearby hotsprings.

Mekong River

Mekong RiverBoats can be hired from Chiang Saen to travel upstream to the Golden Triangle, and downstream to Chiang Khong. The trip to the Golden Triangle takes some 30 minutes, the trip to Chiang Khong about 1 hour and 30 minutes depending on river currents and water levels. Prices are depend on group size.

A longer distance cruise to Luang Prabang in Laos, Sip Song Pan Na or Khunming in the south China is also possible at Chiang Saen and Chiang Khong.