Yes, you can use GRAB and UBER in Chiang Mai, the two popular mobile ride-sharing app that allows you to call for taxi services right at your fingertips. Unless he/she have been living in Mars for a while now, everyone should know UBER and is probably a frequent user back at their home country.
While GRAB could be something new if you are visiting Southeast Asia for the first time. For your information, GRAB is Southeast Asia’s own version of UBER and works pretty much the same way. It is an extremely popular ride-sharing app in Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam, Singapore, Indonesia and The Philippines.
Do you know? GRAB is the most valuable startup in Southeast Asia.
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GRAB and UBER can be found on iTunes and GooglePlay Store.
Both GRAB and UBER can be found on iTunes and Google Play Store. So go ahead download and install these apps to register as a new user. Having a local SIM card is a must because they will send a verification code through SMS to your mobile phone.
If you don’t feel comfortable to register your credit card information with them, you can just leave it blank and later pay cash to the driver. Once confirmed, you are ready to make your first booking.
For your information, GRAB has a referral program that allows you to share your referral code with any new user to earn yourself a 100 baht free credit (but only after they have taken their first ride using your referral code, which is also free). So share it to your girlfriend, travel buddies, and the travellers you meet at the hotel lobby, to get yourself (and for them) some free rides in Chiang Mai.
GrabTaxi is a regular taxi car.
Another feature of GRAB is that when you want to book a ride, depending on your travel budget (and mood) you have the options to choose between GrabCar (Economy), GrabTaxi, Grab RodDaeng, or GrabCar (Premium).
To put it simply, GrabCar (Economy) is a regular mid-size sedan private car; GrabTaxi is the taxi cab; GrabRodDaeng is the Songthaew i.e the converted pickup truck, and GrabCar (Premium) is a luxury private car.
Once you have set your destination point, the app will show you the fare in advance (before you confirm booking). Grabtaxi will give you a fare estimates (meter) based on the traffic condition. GrabCar (Economy & Premium) and Grab RodDaeng will show you the exact final price.
Grab Taxi is the regular taxi cab.
Grab Car Premium is the luxury car.
Tips: Grab RodDaeng seats up to 9 passengers. A great way to travel in a group with a low budget.
This article aims to give you an overview on how much you will be paying as you ride in Grab and Uber in Chiang Mai going to some popular destinations. I use Wat Phra Singh which is the center of Chiang Mai city, as the pickup point.
Note that these are the cheap fares during the non-peak hour. Price could fluctuate due to surge pricing which happens when so many people are requesting rides that there aren’t enough cars on the road to help take them all, especially during the time of bad weather, rush hour, special event, concert etc.
Chiang Mai International Airport
Chiang Mai International Airport is probably the most popular place as this is where most tourists will arrive and leave Chiang Mai. Riding GRAB or UBER to Chiang Mai International Airport will costs:
Uber: 200 Baht
Grab Car: 115 Baht
Grab Taxi: 91~137 Baht
Grab RodDaeng: 110 Baht
Grab Car Premium: 210 Baht
Chiang Mai Train Station
Many tourists take the train from Bangkok to Chiang Mai, especially the overnight sleeper train. And tourists arriving overland from Laos might take the train from Chiang Mai to Bangkok, or Sukhothai. Riding GRAB or UBER to Chiang Mai Train Station costs:
Uber: 96 Baht
Grab Car: 79 Baht
Grab Taxi: 94~141 Baht
Grab RodDaeng: 110 Baht
Grab Car Premium: 160 Baht
Getting A Train To Chiang Mai is Easy
Chiang Mai Bus Station
Taking a bus from Bangkok to Chiang Mai is another popular way of reaching Chiang Mai. Chiang Mai Arcade Bus Station is where you can get the bus from Chiang Mai to Luang Prabang, a popular tourist destination in Laos. Riding GRAB or UBER to Chiang Mai Bus Station costs:
Uber: 128 Baht
Grab Car: 81 Baht
Grab Taxi: 98~147 Baht
Grab RodDaeng: 120 Baht
Grab Car Premium: 170 Baht
Wat Phra That Doi Suthep
Wat Phra That Doi Suthep or more commonly called Doi Suthep is one the most visited place in Chiang Mai. However, not all drivers are willing to go here because of its steep and winding road. Riding GRAB or UBER to Doi Suthep costs:
Uber: 427 Baht
Grab Car: 344 Baht
Grab Taxi: 404~606 Baht
Grab RodDaeng: 320 Baht
Grab Car Premium: 520 Baht
MAYA Lifestyle Shopping Center
MAYA Lifestyle Shopping Center, or more commonly known as MAYA, is the most popular shopping mall in Chiang Mai where you can find a great food court with good Thai food at very cheap prices. Located at Nimmanhaemin Street, this is also the best place in Chiang Mai for a quick Muay Thai Gym workout at R Boxing Gymtertainment. Riding GRAB or UBER to MAYA Chiang Mai costs:
Uber: 79 Baht
Grab Car: 64 Baht
Grab Taxi: 81~122 Baht
Grab RodDaeng: 90 Baht
Grab Car Premium: 140 Baht
Grand Canyon Water Park
The Grand Canyon Chiang Mai is the biggest outdoor water park in Chiang Mai. Adventure lovers should not miss this popular spot for swimming and cliff jumping. Riding GRAB or UBER to Grand Canyon Chiang Mai costs:
Uber: 222 Baht
Grab Car: 295 Baht
Grab Taxi: 239~359 Baht
Grab RodDaeng: 330 Baht
Grab Car Premium: 490 Baht
Tiger Kingdom Chiang Mai
The Tiger Kingdom Chiang Mai is where you can get up close with tigers of all sizes from baby cubs (3 months old) up to the big adult tigers of around 5 years old. Riding GRAB or UBER to Tiger Kingdom Chiang Mai costs:
Uber: 266 Baht
Grab Car: 303 Baht
Grab Taxi: 268~402 Baht
Grab RodDaeng: 340 Baht
Grab Car Premium: 490 Baht
Central Festival Chiang Mai
Central Festival Chiang Mai is a large modern shopping mall where you can find department stores, popular brands, supermarket, restaurants, a cinema, and also huge range of services including hairdressers, massage parlours, mobile phone stores, as well as computer and electrical stores. Riding GRAB or UBER to Central Festival Chiang Mai costs:
Uber: 99 Baht
Grab Car: 84 Baht
Grab Taxi: 103~155 Baht
Grab RodDaeng: 120 Baht
Grab Car Premium: 200 Baht
Promenada Mall (Chiang Mai Immigration Office)
Promenada Resort Mall Chiang Mai is a resort-style shopping mall where you can find many international and local brands, and most importantly, this is where the Chiang Mai Immigration Office is located. If you plan to stay in Thailand for a while, you can extend your Thai Tourist Visa here for an additional 30 days by paying 1,900 baht application fees.
This is the only place to extend Thai Tourist Visa in Chiang Mai, because the Chiang Mai Immigration Office near Chiang Mai International Airport is no longer tasked with Visa extension related works. Riding GRAB or UBER to Promenada Chiang Mai Immigration Office costs:
Uber: 108 Baht
Grab Car: 102 Baht
Grab Taxi: 136~204 Baht
Grab RodDaeng: 150 Baht
Grab Car Premium: 230 Baht
Everyone Should Use GRAB and UBER in Chiang Mai
As you can see, getting around Chiang Mai with GRAB and UBER is really cheap and easy. And have I mentioned the promo code that is so frequently available? You will receive pop-up notification whenever there is a promotional campaign going on. Some establishment like shopping malls, restaurants, and telecommunications companies even have their own special discount code for customers visiting (or not) their shops.
Promo Code Pop-Up Notification
Riding GRAB and UBER in Chiang Mai also eliminates language barriers and taxi scams. The driver picking up your booking will know where is your destination by looking at his driver’s app, even if he doesn’t speak a word of English. And don’t worry about taxi fare scam because both the driver and you already know the fare upfront (no math no surprise), except for GrabTaxi who charge an estimated price as it’s subjected to the taxi’s fare meter, which is still better than the regular taxi who might refuse to use meter fare.
Just How Far Can GRAB and UBER Take You?
Drivers actually make more money too on longer rides but nobody like to do a return trip empty-handed. It will be difficult to get a GRAB or UBER ride outside downtown Chiang Mai (20km radius) as cars are scarce when other transportation options are limited too.
Does anyone want to try riding GRAB or UBER from Chiang Mai to Pai? Pai is a small town extremely popular with backpackers, situated in Mae Hong Son province that requires 3 hours driving (150km).
Riding GRAB or UBER from Chiang Mai to Pai (Mae Hong Son) costs:
Uber: 2,048 Baht
Grab Car: 1,686 Baht
Grab Taxi: 2,210 – 3,310 Baht
Grab RodDaeng: 2,010 Baht
Grab Car Premium: 2,700 Baht
Again, the fares showed above are the regular fares during the non-peak hour. On any particular day (or time), the price could be higher or lower, depending on the demand and supply of passengers and cars.
Other than GRAB and UBER, there are also other great ways of getting around Chiang Mai city. Plan your perfect road trip and enjoy the slow life experience of Chiang Mai.
See this video about how far you can go by using UBER in Chiang Mai city with just 300 Baht:
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