Saturday, June 16, 2012

Transportation Information

Recently, I made another major step toward moving away..... I gave away my car. {insert pouting face here} It was a major move for me. I love my car! It has been my baby for the past 4 almost 5 years. It has been with me through many travels all across the country. It went to Kansas City, Virginia Beach, all around Michigan and Ohio, and I'm sure many other places I cant think of. Isn't it lovely?? Yes, I know it is a thing of beauty.

Please dont panic when I say gave away my car.  It went to a well deserving brother Zach.  He is the one who inspired me to blog but has recently become quite the work-a-holic.  {haha, just kidding Zach.  You are wonderful. I wish you would blog more because I love hearing your thoughts!!}  Anyway,  Zachy-poo has been suffering with a car with no air conditioning or properly working windows.  He has had his eye on my car for quite some time now, so has my whole family honestly ;).  But Zach really does need a new car.  So while we are away he will be using it and taking the best care of it he possibly can...right??

Anyway, the real reason for this post was to explain that 1) I gave up my car and 2) to explain transportation in Thailand.  Moe and I have had the privilege of talking with lots of people recently about our adventures and one of the questions most often asked is about transportation.  So let me try to explain some things I have learned so far.  First, we hope to live within walking distance of the school, which I know will be quite easy.  This will mean that I will not need to use any sort of transportation other than my lovely feet.  This does mean however that we will be 10 minutes from the town center and about 20 or so minutes from the school that Moe wants to attend.  So the need for transportation will be needed, at some point.

Similarly to the States, there are many types of transportation available in Chiang Mai. Buses are available but mainly for long trips to Bangkok or other larger cities.  Thailand is known for their tuk-tuks, which are the major form of public transportation.
Datei:Tuk tuk 2006.jpg
Also available in the form of taxi are the songthaews, which means 2 rows.  These are red trucks with a canopy as pictured below.  They are generally cheaper than the tuk-tuks because they can hold more people.  An average ride within the city is about 20 baht ($ .64), although I have heard they will try hustle the foreigners into paying double or triple that amount! {Hopefully, I will remember this once I get there!}

As far as personal transportation there are still many options.  I have subscribed to a classified ad for expats/missionary type people coming and leaving Chaing Mai.  It has all sorts of things from pets, electronics, to housing.  One of the other sections it has is transportation.  One of the most popular forms of transportation is the motorbike.  There are many available to rent or to buy.  This is probably what Moe and I will get once we get settled.  Also available are small cars and trucks.  Honda seems to be a popular brand there but again many things are available.  
This is how the locals ride motorbikes
Hopefully, this has given you a little insight into the transprotation systems that we will be experiencing in Chiang Mai.  I have heard that traffic is not as crazy as Bangkok and other large cities in the area, but that it can be stressful at times.  I have already been warned by my principal that if/when we do get a motorbike we will at some point in our time there get into a small accident but we will come out better once it has happened! Hope this answers some of your questions.  We will definitely share personal experiences and pictures once we get there!  


  1. so i may or may not have gotten a little sad and almost teary eyed when you said you got rid of your car. :'( so many good road trip memories in that red honda.