Thailand, Part 4: Chiang Mai
The red vehicle in the center of the picture is called a sawngthaew, and it is basically a pick-up truck with a covered rear. Passengers sit on benches that run along the sides. These vehicles are the primary mode of transportation for visitors to the city, but Chiang Mai is so small that we actually only used them on the first and last days of our visit—when we were carrying heavy packs to and from the train station. Other than that, everything was well within walking distance (even the train station, as long as you don’t have a pack with you).
The vehicle in front of the sawngthaew in the same lane (it’s a bit hard to make out) is a more well-known tuk-tuk—a three-wheeled vehicle with a covered seat in the back for two or three people. These are noisy, nerve-wracking, and excellent for sucking up fumes. We only rode in one once in Bangkok, and that was more than enough.