Chiang Mai-First time visitors value spending guide.

The guide books will tell you things about Thai customs such as men and women not wearing shorts in the temples, do not touch a baby’s head , do not point your feet towards anyone.

However, they don’t tell you that a cab from the airport to anywhere in Chiang Mai should cost you anywhere from 120 to 200 Baht depending on which cab company you contact when you hit arrivals at Chiang Mai International air port.

Recently, guests of mine shared a cab. They were charged 120 Baht and dropped off in the middle of the old city. The driver wanted another 120 Baht to take them to their the destination they had paid for.

A red cab fare anywhere within Chaing Mai is 20 Baht.The red cab is small pickup trucks with two long seats in the back.
There is a buzzer on the ceiling to let the driver know where you are getting off.
Tell the driver where you want to go. If he asks you another price other than 20 Baht politely thank him and wait for another cab. If he doesn’t say anything give him 20 Baht at the end of your trip and walk away.
There are exceptions of course. In the evening , the drivers will charge more. It is up to you to negotiate. Technically it is 20 Baht but if you want a ride home , you will have to pay more than 20 Baht but not necessarily what the driver is asking. Negotiate politely but firmly. Let him know you know the rules.

If you stay a month at a guest house or boutique hotel you save a bundle of money. The usual minimum is one month, then another discount for 3 months , then 6 months and then one year.
Even if you are staying for only 3 weeks;you will save by paying for a month and leaving in 3 weeks.

The rates vary widely , so look around. Best to stay in a small owner operated place unless you are staying in a very expensive hotel like the Sheraton in which case much of this post has no interest for you.

If you negotiate at the night market or on the street offer the vendor a bit over 50% of what he/she is asking. He/she will counter offer. Stick firm to your offer or add a bit to your first offer. Be polite but don’t appear eager. Start walking away slowly disinterested and most times they will approach you with what you asked for in the beginning.

Try not to come to Chiang Mai during burning season which begins at the end of Feb. and lasts until mid April. The pollution levels go sky high and many people have respiratory challenges.
That is it for today. Enjoy your stay in beautiful Chaing Mai.

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