Car Hire in Chiang Mai
This information is correct as of August 2015.
There are plenty of adventure tours you can join in Chiang Mai, Thailand, from cultural treks to a rainforest canopy tour and even rock climbing trips. Then again, it would be so much more fun to go on an adventure tour all on your own, keeping safety in mind still of course. You can rent a car at Chiang Mai and set off for self-drive excursions. If you need some ideas on where to go, read on!
Where to hire a car in Chiang Mai
Renting a vehicle in Chiang Mai is easy, with international car rental providers like Avis, Sixt, Hertz, and Budget Car Rental. There are plenty of smaller and local car rental providers also, including Chiang Mai Car Rent, Chiang Mai Alpha Car Rental, Asia Car Rentals, Jaguar Car & Motorcycle, Joy Car Rent, Lungnuan Car Rent, Neu Speed Car Rent, Pop Car Rent, North Wheels Rent -A-Car Co.,Ltd, Napat Tour, Boss Car Rent, and Lanna Focus. Offices can usually be found at the airport or in the city centre. The usual types of vehicles rented out are Toyota Vios, Altis, Yaris, and the Honda City and Jazz.
What to expect when hiring a car from Chiang Mai
The roads of Chiang Mai are filled not only with cars and motorbikes but also bicycles, rickshaws, vendors, pedestrians, and even stray dogs. As a foreign driver, there's no need to acquire any other license other than your valid driver's licence from your country of origin. However, it is advisable to stay on the safe side and get an international driver's licence before leaving your home country to be in a better legal position should you be involved in a car accident in Chiang Mai. Being covered by proper insurance is also essential, so purchase extra insurance if you can.
Getting to your destination
Set above the Menam Ping gorge on the slopes of Doi Chaing Dao mountain is Chiang Dao, aptly named City of Stars. It is known for the limestone peaks that reach a height of 2,186 metres. The picturesque city's attractions also include Malee's Nature Lovers Bungalows, Hot Springs, Chiang Dao Cave, the Tuesday Morning Market, and a few restaurants and cafes. Adjacent to Chiang Dao is Pha Daeng National Park, where trekking is a popular activity.
Chiang Dao is located approximately 90 kilometres north of Chiang Mai, accessible via Highway 107.
Lamphun was formerly known as Hariphunchai. Having been integrated into the Lanna Kingdom in the late 12th century, Lamphun contains several ancient sites and relics. The small city also features forests, mountains, and lakes. It is not a tourist-oriented place, but has a nice laid back atmosphere.
Lamphun can be accessed via Route 1015 or Route 1030.
Pai also offers a relaxed atmosphere but is a small tourist-oriented town. Places to see in Pai are the Chinese Village, Pai Canyon, WWII Memorial Bridge, Village Farm, Mae Yen Waterfalls, and Mo Paeng Waterfalls. Fun activities also include taking a cooking class at Isara Gardens Cookery School and Restaurant, zip lining at Pai Zip Line Adventure, and bathing at Tha Pai Hot Springs.
Pai is accessible via Route 1095.