Taxi-meter service in Chiang Rai




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Almost a year now that visitors and residents had enjoyed comfortable flag down meter-taxis in Chiang Rai. The new Chiang Rai’s taxi-meter service had started in July 2012. Previously taxi-meters were available only from Chiang Rai airport and for trips outside of the city, but they were not available for regular passengers on street within the city.

Visitors to Chiang Rai in the past had to rely on local buses and the so-called Tuk-Tuk or Song Taew. We sometimes used to go through all the headache for negotiating the fare and route with those local vehicles. Because there is no standard fare for local vehicles, tourists who were new to the city sometimes ended up with getting ripped off by unethical drivers.

At first, 25 of the yellow and blue taxis working in Chiang Rai, and the fleet expanded to 50 in the beginning of this year. At this moment (April 2013), there are literary approximately one hundreds of taxi in service. As for the fare, in the city, flag down is 30 baht for the first 2 km and 2 baht for every additional one km. For example, from the Chiang Rai Clock tower to the airport would cost about 80 baht, while the airport taxi will cost about 200 baht.

The rate for out of town destinations is 10 baht per km and the up-hill routes will cost 15 baht per km.  If you call to the call center, the additional 20 baht will be required for the service.

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However, not everybody is happy with the new service, especially existing transport service such as Tuk-Tuk and Song Thaew. Shortly after the taxis began operating in Chiang Rai city there was an altercation between some Tuk-Tuk owners and Taxi drivers in server areas. For example, the angry scenes took place at Chiang Rai’s popular night bazaar area with the tuk-tuk drivers unhappy that the taxis were taking customers away from them.

One occasion, a taxi driver picked up a passenger at the Chiang Rai airport and the angry airport taxi drivers harassed both the driver and passengers to get out of the car.

As we know that some some taxi drivers form themselves as organized group, today you will find taxis standing on main roads but you won’t see them in  a few locations such as in city bus station and the air port. This is because the conflict between taxis-meters and local Tuk-tuk is still not resolved. However, this shouldn’t bother us much as we can always call to the call center for a taxi booking. A taxi usually arrive within 5 minutes. The best thing is you don’t have to spend anytime negotiating the fare. Only that you have to know how it is charged.

** Update 2015: Now the conflict between local Tuk-Tuks and metered taxies has been cooled down. Now you can get a taxi almost everywhere in the city. If you can’t find one, you can call its call center, even from the airport.

Read more about how to get a taxi from the airport in the links below.
– Taking a Metered Taxi from Chiang Rai Airport via Taxi Call Center
 How to Get A Metered Taxi from inside Chiang Rai Airport

 

So how do we know how much we are going to be charged? 
There are 5 areas in Chiang Rai that the cost will be charged by fee meters that start with 30 baht and 2 baht increase for every 1 km . The area Tambon Wieng, Tambon Rab Wieng, Tombon Rim Kok, Tombon Sansai and Chiang Rai City Municipality area.

Besides the areas mention above, the fee will be calculated based on distance meter. For example, from the city to Wat Rong Khun, the distance meter will show 15 kms, and the cost will be 15 x 10 which become 150 baht.

There are several destination are considered as up-hill routes. They will be charged 15 baht per km. The below are the approximate taxi fare in Chiang Rai.

Destination Distance (kms) Fare (Baht)
Ban Du
8
80
Nang Lae
14
140
Mae Khao Tom
25
250
Mae Yao
38
380
Mae Korn
20
200
Hauy Chompoo
27
270
Hauy Sak
20
200
Doi Lan
25
250
Pa Or Don Chai
15
150
Ta Sai
15
150
Doi Hang
15
150
Ta Sud
20
200
Wat Rong Khun
15
150
Mae Sai
63
630
Goldern Triangle
69
690
Thoeng
640
640
Chiang Khong
141
1410
Doi Tung*
60
900
Mae Salong*
64
960
Doi Ang Khang*
180
2700
Pha Tang*
160
2400
Phu Chi Pah*
113
1695

* routes considered to be up-hill

What if you are in distance location and want a taxi to pick up?
Even you are not in the city, you can call taxi call center for a pick up and the cost will be one-way charge only.

How is the service compared to taxis in Bangkok?
Taxis in Bangkok could be the worst in terms of service, safety and driver’s attitude. Taxis in Chiang Rai are nothing like that. Based on our experience, taxi drivers in Chiang Rai are very polite. Not a single time that we experience taxi drive ignoring passenger. Also many other larger tourist cities such as Chiang Mai and Pattaya all have metered taxis but most of the time, the drivers refuse to use the meter with tourist, especially foreigners. That is a real shame that laws are not enforced. Unlike here in Chiang Rai, all taxis are using the meters.

Tourism executives and hotels welcomed the service calling it a “real boon for Chiang Rai” that will add value to the holiday experience and help to promote tourism and raise Chiang Rai’s profile.

To book a taxi, just call 053-773-477

 

 

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  1. pablo
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