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Sky Train in Chiang Mai

You might of heard about the Thai governments plan to link Bangkok and Chiang Mai with a high speed rail network, yeah that sounds all good especially since I don't like to fly! But what about the public transport here in Chiang Mai, it sux! I hate sitting in the back of a red pickup truck rolling around chiang mai motorbike is ok during the evening when it's cool but the days it's scorching and driving a car well if you go downtown parking is a bitch, so why not create a sky train in Chiang Mai instead?

Not that anyone is going to listen to me anyway but if there was a sky train in Chiang Mai this is how i'd like it to work. I want to be able to hop on and go to any mall there is in Chiang Mai or will be soon, I want to be able to get to Thapae gate, Gard Luang and the night bazaar, I want to be able to get to the train station the bus station and the airport plus the main universities Chiang Mai, Far Eastern, and Ratchapak, (Payap not really sorry).  At least be able to get to the top of Nimman and close to the other nightclub areas and I'm golden. In fact if it were like this you could live in Chiang Mai and never have to risk your life on a bike!

With all the accidents that happen in Chiang mai and the lack of public transport it's just going to get worse I mean what is the plan here anyway, they have plans for building and investment but when it comes to Public transport it seems that the only plan they have here is to heard everyone on the back of a red pickup Pattaya they call them baht busses here we call them the red bus and it sux. Even in Pattaya it's so small you'd think they could come up with an easy plan there ey! What's up with this?

When you go to Bangkok you'll see all these private minibus companies where you can get in and shoot off to pretty much any part of the country no probs bit crowded but it seems that the only sector that is providing inter-state travel is private companies where is the government initiative?

I figure my sky train in Chiang Mai is only 20 miles long or 32 kilometers. It would take a lot of these damn smog filled red busses off the road which would be nothing but good news to most Chiang Mai residents who hate the things anyway.

sky train in chiang mai

The government isn't allow people to build any tall buildings inside the moat or what you'd think would be the city center therefore it's growing up outside but how are people going to get there? It's just going to cause more traffic because we have to drive everywhere! Even the new convention center how are people going to get there? You ever seen what it's like on New Years along that road up there, you can't move even motorbikes have trouble getting through, they need something that isn't stopped by traffic lights and that's why I propose a Sky train, even maybe extending it to jed yord the convention center the 700 year stadium even to Hang Dong. I'd rather the sky train in Chiang Mai that makes this place a little greener than a fast train that's going to bring all the bangkok people up who will get here hop in a red bus and be shifted around causing more damn pollution, who's with me?

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About Chris

Chris founded LivingThai.org in 2011 and has received over 3 million visitors. He has lived here for over 10 years and speaks reads and writes very good Thai.

7 Responses to Sky Train in Chiang Mai

  1. Johnnie Walker August 7, 2012 at 9:27 pm #

    I agree with your basic idea Chris though:

    1. I don’t think it would need to be on such a heavy commercial scale as the BTS in Bkk. What a horrible monstrosity of a construction that is, blocking sunlight off the street below & trapping exhaust fumes in. I think a light rail system like the Sydney monorail would suffice.


    2. I think your total layout might be overly ambitious cost wise to start with. Howabout just the purple routes to begin with and into the airport?

  2. Greg August 8, 2012 at 8:01 am #

    The red song tows are controlled by local mafia, that’s why there is no competition and also why the taxis charge so much (4 times more than in Bangkok). Also according to property agents here the ban on building over 4 stories extends beyond the moat to include all of the town, so the buildings going up now are the ones that had planning permission before the ban. The knock on effect will be that land prices will drop as they are currently based on prices for developers who want to build very tall hotels and condos. The cost of new condos in the town will increase as there is a limit to how many can be built on only four stories and on overpriced land. The ban will also reduce the price and value of land in the town but boost the price of the more central older condos that are already built. You will see many more high rise properties being built on the ring roads outside of the ban area instead, but at prices that condos currently sell for in the town

    • Chris August 8, 2012 at 8:38 am #

      I think Mafia is too strong a word to describe any of Thailands organized crime. Monopoly would be a better word so would thugs.

  3. John August 8, 2012 at 9:03 am #

    I have a small car, a Chery from China, and I can weave in and out of the traffic quite easily as I can usually create my own lane. The cars are only around $13,000 with a 3 year or 100,000 kilo warrantee. Mine I have had for 3 years this November and it has been great.
    If you are looking for parking, the road by Mae Ping Hotel perpendicular to Loi Kroh Road usually has parking spots at night a short distance to either the Night Bazar or the girly bars. John

  4. Milbrath August 8, 2012 at 10:11 pm #

    Pipe dream.

    They started planning the Bangkok international airport in the 1960s! It will take them at least 20 years to make such a rail in Thailand, if it ever gets made.

    Thais like to talk a mean talk, but their follow through is beyond horrible. A lot of dreamers here.

  5. Gryffin August 11, 2012 at 10:03 pm #

    I agree that Chiang Mai needs a proper mass transit system. It is really starting to choke in its own traffic and it will get a lot worse in the next few years for sure. Rush hour traffic jams are definitely getting longer.

    I don’t think it should be a sky train in the inner city though as this would be too ugly and difficult on the narrow streets. It should be underground inside the super highway (though it may have to come up to cross the river by bridge) and then just run at ground level outside that where the land is cheaper and more available. To get enough riders to be viable it should eventually extend along all the spoke roads, Mae Rim, Hang Dong, Doi Saket and San Kanpaeng/Bo Sang. Still plenty of work for Songthaews to run from the stations along these routes out to the nearby villages. Maybe even more work as people would be more inclined to take the trip into town.

    Another thing I think that would help traffic flow a lot would be a cross city tunnel that goes from say the Rincome intersection and also the Sri Phum Corner of the moat to Mahidol Road near Suan Prung Hospital. It is the only way that the ‘ring’ of the Superhighway will ever be completed.

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