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Driver or Guide or Car rental in Chiang Mai?

Driver or Guide or Car rental in Chiang Mai?

Old Feb 16th, 2010, 11:02 AM
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Driver or Guide or Car rental in Chiang Mai?

What's the best way to go? Do we need a guide with a car? Just a driver? or rent the car and do it on our own? Any idea on the costs of each option? Any recommendations for driver or guide? Would love some advice! Thanks.
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Old Feb 16th, 2010, 11:17 AM
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Just like Bangkok, Pattaya and Phuket if you need tours you can get them through local travel agencies or even through tour desks at some hotels. The tour company picks you up at your hotel and returns you there at the end of the trip. Tour company provides the transportation and tour guide. Most tours are shared van rides where you are with 7 or 8 other tourists.

Individual tours with just you and your family in a car by themselves are more expensive but you can also get them through local travel agencies.

Local transportation is available in Chiang Mai. If you think you must have your own driver or your want to drive a rental car you can do that too. Keep in mind that liability may be a concern, if you are in an accident while driving your passport may be confiscated by the police until restitution is made by you or an insurance company. Thais drive on the same side of the road as Britain, if you are not used to driving on that side of the road or in Asia at all I would let a local drive you.

Travel agencies and tour desks will have a selection book of available tours for you to choose from. Most of the tours by ordinary tourists probably come through local travel agencies. These travel agencies are used to quick turnarounds. Choose a tour in the evening and leave the following morning. Choose a tour early in the morning and probably be on a tour that afternoon or evening.

Good luck.
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Old Feb 16th, 2010, 12:17 PM
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depends on what you want to do... a driver/guide, one person, would be the best really and probably about the same price..

poon, rat's sister is one.... contact through rat: www.ratservice.com

sgt kai is another

or just serlect a driver at the CM airport... that is how i got mine..
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Old Feb 16th, 2010, 02:13 PM
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It's almost as if Rat, Poon and St. Kai were the only guides/drivers in all of Bangkok/Chiang Mai--I've seen their names on many many posts. They must be awfully busy! Any other guides that anyone has tried? Approx. what does a driver cost per day?
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Old Feb 16th, 2010, 03:41 PM
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If you hasve seen Poon so often it is because she is very good. She is a little quite ubntil you tell her to loosen up and say I "can't hear you". Then, get ready for you will get all the inside scoop and more in a clear voice though her accent still has trouble with some words, But that was 2006. By now and 200 clients later I imagine her vocabulary in 99%. I always asked her to return to the can an turn the A/C on 5 minutes before we returned from roaming a location and it was just oerfect when we went into her car, a classic Mercedes.
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Old Feb 16th, 2010, 04:03 PM
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Sgt Kai is a guide. Poon is a driver. Sgt Kai runs an agency, so even if you contract with him, you are likely to get someone else. Poon is independent, so if you contract with her, that's who you'll get.

So start by deciding whether you need a guide or simply a driver. You haven't given us any indication of what you are planning to do, so it's hard to say what you'll need (though I find in places like CM, I've never really needed a guide). I used a driver last time I was in CM who was excellent. He was a taxi driver I got at random and he was so good I asked him to take us shopping the next day.

I used him in 2006, but here is the info from my 2006 trip report: "We found an excellent driver, Mr. Nakron Buthluang, who drives Taxi No. 75. You can reach him on his cell phone at 08-1884-5649. He charges 250 baht an hour. " Prices may well have gone up. All cabs have by the hour prices posted. Really, ther is no need to get a driver in advance, it's very easy to arrange on the spot.
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