transportation and traffic flow

How to get around in Chiang Mai:

  • walk

  • taxi of various forms

    • Grab or Uber

    • Tuk Tuk

    • Red truck

  • Motor bike

  • Bicycle

I like walking. Good exercise and you go at a slow pace so you can really see and window shop as you go. BUT it takes a while and I am staying outside the old city so, 25 minute walk to get to where I want to go. Then say, if it’s the Sunday market, I walked an additional mile or 2… then of course, you have to walk home, or get another form of transportation from the above list. So, I’ve been walking and taking a tuk tuk home. Good plan, but at 150 baht per trip at night, It’s adding up.

I decided to rent a bicycle. Well, I thought a bike would be easy. I ride one around Charlotte all the time. Another woman at my guesthouse has rented one. She pays less that 100 baht per day. Unfortunately, there are very few bicycle rentals in the city. I have to go in town to one of the few places that rents bikes! Why so few rentals? Because everyone now drives a motor scooter. A motor scooter… let that sink in. Thailand drives on the left side of the road.

A bicycle is 1. good exercise and I get places much faster than walking and 2. I don’t have an international driver’s license, so technically, I can’t drive a scooter.

I am loving my bike. I gives me the freedom to go far where and when I want. About 8k away is Wat Umong. I decided to take a day trip on Sunday. It was a fantastic day. I rode through the old city and out towards the mountains. I stopped at Wat Suan Dok. My second favorite Wat so far - because I was passing by! I had a great lunch a local cafe. Biked around the residential neighborhood surrounding Wat Umong too. I spent a few hours and Wat Umong, it has extensive grounds and meditation center.

On my leisurely way home, I went to the University Art Center, but they were in the middle of a new installation, so no art show available… I rode into the walled city and roamed around and found a cute little cafe with a koi pond and had a delicious iced green tea. Then the (almost) best part. I went to Chiang Mai Reflexology. I had a fantastic foot treatment. So Good! Then I was just in time to wander the Sunday Night Market.

At the market, I had khao soi and it was delicious!

And here is the amazing part. The traffic is easy. I mean it looks like crazy khaos and that you’ll likely get run off the road or something. I grew up in LA and it looked intimidating to me!

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But traffic is easy. There is a flow it to and NO ONE HAS ROAD RAGE! All this and no one honks or cuts you off. There is just flow and you get in the flow and move along. Follow the person in front of you, move to the side and flow around slow vehicles, flow to the side and let someone in. FLOW, just flow with it. I think that’s Thaialnd. It’s that sabai sabai… it’s all right. I’m alright. This will be alright. I’m gonna get on my bike now and ride to school.

I love the city. You should visit and see for yourself how beautiful it is… go with the flow.


Elizabeth krizComment