Chiangrai Times – For the first time, visitors and residents can enjoy the luxury of flagging down a meter-taxi here in this northern-most town in Thailand.
The new service started last week using brand new Toyota ‘s that can be flagged down for trips within the city or booked for trips throughout the province.
Chiang Rai often billed as the “City of Artists is also the gateway province to the Mekong Region.”
It shares river borders with Myanmar and Laos, while a bridge linking the province to a highway that links Laos and Yunnan province in China is due to open next year.
The fleet of 25 yellow-and navy blue meter-taxi were on the streets last week to the surprise of both visitors and residents.
According to the taxi service manager, Mr Songkran, who is based at an office next to the new Inter-province Bus Terminal 2, another 25 cars will join the fleet giving the city 50 brand new Toyota Corolla taxis.
In the city, flag down is Bt30 for the first 2 km and Bt2 for every additional km. The rate for out of town destinations is Bt10 per km.
For example, a trip to the Myanmar border at Mae Sai, or the Golden Triangle at Chiang Saen, would cost about Bt600.
A transfer to the airport would cost Bt120 (within the city limits) but an additional Bt20 fee is charged for pick-up at a residence, hotel in response to a telephone booking. To book a taxi call 053-773-477 or 081-998-8918.
Visitors to Chiang Rai in the past had to rely on local buses and the so-called tuk tuk or song taew (converted pick-up trucks).
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. – Jaffee Yee