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How Much Is The Official Price For Getting A Red Songteaw In Chiang Mai Without Any Negotiations? Anyone Know?


Ulysses G.

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How much is the official price for getting a red songteaw in Chiang Mai without any negotiations? Anyone know?

It was 10 baht, then 15, the the drivers demanded 20, but gas prices have gone way down. Anyone know the real price? :o

Edited by Ulysses G.
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How much is the official price for getting a red songteaw in Chiang Mai without any negotiations? Anyone know?

It was 10 baht, then 15, the the drivers demanded 20, but gas prices have gone way down. Anyone know the real price? :o

There is no official price. As you said, it is what the drivers want (or hope to get). But I pay 15 for "normal" distances on heavily traveled streets where the driver has good chances of picking people up.

I try to sit in the cab and talk with the driver so that he knows I am not a tourist (though they usually pick up on that when I tell them where I want to go). Asking how much is immediately saying to the driver this person will pay more than 15 for this trip. So

I don't ask them how much, just pay and have no problem. The last time I did that, I could see the driver hesitating to see if I would ask for my change. He smiled when I just said thanks and got out of the cab.

I have to admit, though, that I feel sorry for the drivers as that is a rough way to make a living, specially when they don't seem to have any passengers. So I frequently just give them 20 baht anyway.

The only time I ask for the cost is when I am going some distance or to some location where I know it will be hard for them to get passengers coming back.

ASIDE: My wife just got a 10 baht ride for a short distance in town, so it doesn't have to be even 15 baht.

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There is a regular fare and it's 15 baht, despite fuel prices having come back down. (Though in fareness they were REALLY insane for quite a while; let them make some money now I say.)

Key is to not wait for any negotiations; go stand at a sensible spot in relatoin to the place you're going (i..e not a one way road going the other way or on the wrong side of the moat) and make sure your destination is also something clear, not down some small soi or whatever. Then the driver will first figure out if he can get there sensibly given the destinations of any other people in the vehicle and then just nod. No need to wait for negotiations at that point, just get in.

It's really quite obvious if someone is a tourist or not.. you know they're the ones shoving maps in a Red Bus driver's face or specify they want to go to "The Tamarind Village Hotel" instead of just 'yaek klang wiang' or whatever. Try to make your destination into something like "just after/before temple/market/school/intersection XYZ". In Chiang Mai town, your destination is pretty much guaranteed to be near one of those. :o If you specify going to a soi, make it clear you don't expect him to squeeze into it. (naa paak soi khrap). Also don't specify a road that goes on forever; 'Yaek Rincome' is more specific than just 'Huay Kaew Rd'.

They're really quite a good form of public transport. You absolutely need to know where you are and where you're going though.

I'd love to be a Songthaew driver for a day.

Edited by WinnieTheKhwai
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most thais i know think 15 baht is expensive, not even to mention the exorbitant 20. understandably they would have had difficulty during the price explosion.

but only 10 years ago or so it was 5 baht. how did they survive then? prices weren't that much lower. i think it was 17 baht to the liter then (now it's not much more). the rise to 15 baht a ride came during a time of low inflation, and not too long after it had already been doubled to 10.

i think the songtaew association is a generally unregulated band of crooks - they violently blocked any any attempts to install more modern, less polluting public transport until only a few years ago when the crap bus system was installed, probably crippled by the demands that the buses not tread on the songtaew turf.

rough way to make a living? the incredible glut of songtaews everywhere you go in the inner city underscores the fact that they're all probably doing quite well, and probably that the songtaew association hands out permits willy nilly. kad suan kaew has 20 annoying songtaews just sitting and waiting around at all times, often blocking traffic.

then again, private transport everywhere in the world is peopled with the most dishonest folks in town, so why should thailand be any different?

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There is a regular fare and it's 15 baht, despite fuel prices having come back down.

Winnie is correct, and very instructive post for newbies I must say! Thanks! :o

I find it hard to believe that there is this amount of interest on the original question. Why is 5 baht one way or another such a big deal? Regardless of petrol prices has anyone noticed the plethora red cars either parked (in front of Central for instance) or cruising empty. It is a tough way to make a living these days for the drivers all things considered. In my humble opinion public quibbling over 5 baht is simply childish and immature. It is well to remember we are not Thai and 5 baht to most of us is really no big deal. You are in Thailand, and a little generosity here and there . . . wouldn't hurt.

Edited by QualityBlend
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I suggest we all pay 500 baht per trip to show how generous we are, :o

Although I live in Chiang Mai and have for more than five years I am new to this forum. May you can help me: What does unwanted member mean?

I stand by my original reply, remember I said a "little" generosity wouldn't hurt - not total stupidity.

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I suggest we all pay 500 baht per trip to show how generous we are, :o

Although I live in Chiang Mai and have for more than five years I am new to this forum. May you can help me: What does unwanted member mean?

I stand by my original reply, remember I said a "little" generosity wouldn't hurt - not total stupidity.

generosity has no place in business transactions. if it did, soaring inflation would quickly cripple the society that expected it. basic economics. generosity has its place in interpersonal and charity situations, not with songtaew drivers.

i agree that often there's no point in quibbling over 5 baht. but if people were happy to pay whatever the drivers demanded soon you'd be paying 50 baht. and that may not be much for you qualityblend, but it would be disastrous for thais.

it sounds like you think you've captured the moral high ground with your statements, but blanket knee-jerk "generosity" often produces rotten outcomes. for instance, it's common knowledge that you shouldn't buy flowers from street kids: people may think theyre being "generous" but they're actually perpetuating a sick situation.

bottom line - it's your civic duty to be tough on songtaew drivers. it's selfish of you not to take responsibility for inflation. ironic, but true.

Edited by ollylama
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also - if there are so many empty songtaews then the association shouldn't license so many. too much supply with not enough demand should mean that the supply should be reduced. but since the songtaew association are a bunch of crooks and not properly regulated by the government we have increased traffic, pollution and accidents (they drive like crackheads - swinging across lanes to capture a fare or pulling out unexpectedly or slamming on their brakes when someone pressed the buzzer).

again, feeling "sorry" for them is a back-asswards response.

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I find it hard to believe that there is this amount of interest on the original question. Why is 5 baht one way or another such a big deal?

I ride songtaews an average of over 4 times per day. At an extra 5 Baht per trip that comes to over 7,000 baht per year. I would be pleased to pay the extra 5 Baht after you give me the 7,000 to show your generosity.

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I suggest we all pay 500 baht per trip to show how generous we are, :o

What does unwanted member mean?

not total stupidity.

unwanted member means that he is an official sponsor. Therefore untouchable. :D

Not total stupidity... :D Quite discerning for a new comer

:D

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it's common knowledge that you shouldn't buy flowers from street kids: people may think theyre being "generous" but they're actually perpetuating a sick situation

Another idiotic statement. Not all street kids selling flowers are being ripped off, or are ripping you off in some way. Many famililies sell flowers honestly and deserve to be supported by folks.

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I suggest we all pay 500 baht per trip to show how generous we are, :o

What does unwanted member mean?

not total stupidity.

unwanted member means that he is an official sponsor. Therefore untouchable. :D

Not total stupidity... :D Quite discerning for a new comer

:D

A little sincerity is a dangerous thing, and a great deal of it is absolutely fatal. (Oscar Wilde). Nothing I now would rather be than a new comer gone . . . have fun children.

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it's common knowledge that you shouldn't buy flowers from street kids: people may think theyre being "generous" but they're actually perpetuating a sick situation

Another idiotic statement. Not all street kids selling flowers are being ripped off, or are ripping you off in some way. Many famililies sell flowers honestly and deserve to be supported by folks.

sure, maybe if there are parents around. i see this often in the rasta area off of ratwithi. it's still pretty terrible, and i'm sure they could find more healthy ways to raise funds for the family, but that's a complex issue.

however, six year old kids hanging out by themselves at girly bars selling flowers at 1 a.m. is not something anyone should support with cash. supposedly a good portion of those kids are orphans who are taken advantage of by mafia types. of course, they're the ones who end up "graduating" into far worse trades.

my point was that being "generous" with your cash isn't implicitly the most pragmatic or moral behavior in the long run. it's up to the individual to decide, but they shouldn't only think about the short-term effects of their spending habits. if you disagree with my "street kids" illustration there are a host of other ones that would suitably support my point.

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I suggest we all pay 500 baht per trip to show how generous we are, :o

Although I live in Chiang Mai and have for more than five years I am new to this forum. May you can help me: What does unwanted member mean?

I stand by my original reply, remember I said a "little" generosity wouldn't hurt - not total stupidity.

generosity has no place in business transactions. if it did, soaring inflation would quickly cripple the society that expected it. basic economics. generosity has its place in interpersonal and charity situations, not with songtaew drivers.

i agree that often there's no point in quibbling over 5 baht. but if people were happy to pay whatever the drivers demanded soon you'd be paying 50 baht. and that may not be much for you qualityblend, but it would be disastrous for thais.

it sounds like you think you've captured the moral high ground with your statements, but blanket knee-jerk "generosity" often produces rotten outcomes. for instance, it's common knowledge that you shouldn't buy flowers from street kids: people may think theyre being "generous" but they're actually perpetuating a sick situation.

bottom line - it's your civic duty to be tough on songtaew drivers. it's selfish of you not to take responsibility for inflation. ironic, but true.

Very well said. Agreed 100%.

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I suggest we all pay 500 baht per trip to show how generous we are, :o

Although I live in Chiang Mai and have for more than five years I am new to this forum. May you can help me: What does unwanted member mean?

I stand by my original reply, remember I said a "little" generosity wouldn't hurt - not total stupidity.

He just makes these comments from time to time; but he is not theonly tv member to do this. It is not constructive, not what a forum os for but thye obviously enjoy and unfortunately it is tolerated.

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I suggest we all pay 500 baht per trip to show how generous we are, :o

Although I live in Chiang Mai and have for more than five years I am new to this forum. May you can help me: What does unwanted member mean?

I stand by my original reply, remember I said a "little" generosity wouldn't hurt - not total stupidity.

generosity has no place in business transactions. if it did, soaring inflation would quickly cripple the society that expected it. basic economics. generosity has its place in interpersonal and charity situations, not with songtaew drivers.

i agree that often there's no point in quibbling over 5 baht. but if people were happy to pay whatever the drivers demanded soon you'd be paying 50 baht. and that may not be much for you qualityblend, but it would be disastrous for thais.

it sounds like you think you've captured the moral high ground with your statements, but blanket knee-jerk "generosity" often produces rotten outcomes. for instance, it's common knowledge that you shouldn't buy flowers from street kids: people may think theyre being "generous" but they're actually perpetuating a sick situation.

bottom line - it's your civic duty to be tough on songtaew drivers. it's selfish of you not to take responsibility for inflation. ironic, but true.

good reply

it is not helpful to thais to be over generous. be fair, yes. be charitable to charities who get the money directly, yes ... but do not throw money at a situation just because you are expat. it is actually counter productive, particularly for the thais who are on lower incomes.

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I personally think the 15 baht "standard" charge is too high. I disagree that those drivers make a tough living. Do the math. Average six passengers per trip, times 15 baht is 90 baht. They probably consume no more than 15 baht for fuel per trip. Sounds ridiculous doesn't it? I know they have other expenses, but give me a break. All those drivers probably have a Mercedes as their "Sunday" vehicle.

I would never tip a songtaew driver, sorry, never meant to say never. In extreme out of the way service I would.

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It would be useful to find out what the costs of driving a Song Taew are before we start making assumptions about the driver's income. Do they own the vehicle? Do they hire it by the day? What's the fuel consumption? I know a little about the tuktuk trade but nothing about songtaews. Anyone know any songatew drivers who could pony up some information?

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I personally think the 15 baht "standard" charge is too high. I disagree that those drivers make a tough living. Do the math. Average six passengers per trip, times 15 baht is 90 baht. They probably consume no more than 15 baht for fuel per trip. Sounds ridiculous doesn't it? I know they have other expenses, but give me a break. All those drivers probably have a Mercedes as their "Sunday" vehicle.

Yes Jimmy you are correct. I was in the Mercedes dealer just last week and he told me that most of his sales were to songteow drivers. They pay cash too but he complained about having to count all the coins.

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I suggest we all pay 500 baht per trip to show how generous we are, :D

Although I live in Chiang Mai and have for more than five years I am new to this forum. May you can help me: What does unwanted member mean?

I stand by my original reply, remember I said a "little" generosity wouldn't hurt - not total stupidity.

He just makes these comments from time to time; but he is not theonly tv member to do this. It is not constructive, not what a forum os for but thye obviously enjoy and unfortunately it is tolerated.

My comment was valid. I exaggerated in order to show where his line of thinking was heading. Why pay more than the official fare? :o

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it's common knowledge that you shouldn't buy flowers from street kids: people may think theyre being "generous" but they're actually perpetuating a sick situation

Another idiotic statement. Not all street kids selling flowers are being ripped off, or are ripping you off in some way. Many famililies sell flowers honestly and deserve to be supported by folks.

sure, maybe if there are parents around. i see this often in the rasta area off of ratwithi. it's still pretty terrible, and i'm sure they could find more healthy ways to raise funds for the family, but that's a complex issue.

however, six year old kids hanging out by themselves at girly bars selling flowers at 1 a.m. is not something anyone should support with cash. supposedly a good portion of those kids are orphans who are taken advantage of by mafia types. of course, they're the ones who end up "graduating" into far worse trades.

my point was that being "generous" with your cash isn't implicitly the most pragmatic or moral behavior in the long run. it's up to the individual to decide, but they shouldn't only think about the short-term effects of their spending habits. if you disagree with my "street kids" illustration there are a host of other ones that would suitably support my point.

I think you are hanging out making your own assumptions about the kids, with no facts to back up anything.

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It would be useful to find out what the costs of driving a Song Taew are before we start making assumptions about the driver's income. Do they own the vehicle? Do they hire it by the day?

6-7 years ago, my neighbour used to hire one for 250 B a day.

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Relating to giving instructions to songtaew drivers, tuk tuk drivers, etc. My Thai teacher explained this week that most average natives here do not know the names of streets. Almost all streets. But one hopes that a commercial driver knows Rincome from the Night Bazaar. Yet if you pronounce Rincome wrong, it may sound like the night bazaar.

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It would be useful to find out what the costs of driving a Song Taew are before we start making assumptions about the driver's income. Do they own the vehicle? Do they hire it by the day?

6-7 years ago, my neighbour used to hire one for 250 B a day.

That's quite reasonable considering how many passengers you can carry. A tuktuk costs 180bt a day to hire.

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