While in Bangkok I tried to research private drivers or tour guides – similar to what we had done for Bali since it was such a successful experience and the best option for us to maximize our time in Chiang Mai. I’m sure there are others who would have argued a more affordable and truer experience by renting motorbikes or taking local transit to get to our desired destination. But time is money, and the more I can see with minimal hassle and error is my desired way to travel.
Through various forums and sending out a couple of emails, I landed on Chiang Mai Mini Bus Tours. I had reached out inquiring their options for taking us to the further destination and in returned they offered some itineraries which included attractions we were already intending to visit, such as the White Temple. We ended up booking them for 2 full day tours – Chiang Mai itinerary 2 – One Day Doi Inthanon National Park (3,000 baht) & Chiang Mai itinerary 4 – One Day Chiang Rai and Golden Triangle (4,000 baht). Pricing was based on 3 people and included our own private car (instead of a shared bus experience with other tourists). I connected with them entirely via email and made a deposit payment online via credit card. It’s always a little daunting trusting international vendors for online transactions but I had no issues with this company.
The drivers were prompt, courteous, flexible (as we sometimes requested to make a stop or extend the time at one location over another). The picked us up and dropped us off directly in front of our hotel each day. The cars were clean, well maintained and the air conditioning was working perfectly for these long tours. We had a different driver on both days and one spoke significantly better English than the other but it never felt like we couldn’t find a way to communicate our needs. We tipped both drivers each day and gave final payment to the last driver after our final tour as per the agreement. We opted for the gasoline included option because we liked paying upfront and not having to worry about surprise costs.Not all of our entrance fees were covered but that was communicated from the beginning so we were able to budget what we were interested in partaking in.
Overall it was a great service and I would definitely recommend them to anyone interested in this kind of service.
Chiang Mai Minibus
Address:116/4 Moo 7 Padad Tai
Chiang Mai 50100
Tel: +66 89-435-4172