About Chiang Mai on Three Wheels Tours

Samlors have been part of Chiang Mai street life for decades. At one time there were more than a thousand samlors in Chiang Mai, according to elderly people. Chiang Mai people used samlors on a daily basis, samlors brought children to school. One of the aims of Chiang Mai on Three Wheels is to increase the number of samlors in Chiang Mai. In order to achieve that younger people will have to take over and they will only do that if they can make a decent living as a samlor driver. The profession of samlor driver is held in low esteem and we will have to change that.

Group of samlors posing

Samlors at the start of a tour

Samlors are environmentally friendly and fun

Samlors don’t produce exhaust fumes. Most of the samlor drivers are old but very healthy. Their lives quite stress-free and they are generally happy people. They work outside and are their own boss. Touring by samlor is very relaxing. You see much more than you normally would see if you travel in a vehicle. The pace is slow and there is no noise of engines. You smell the street life unlike in an air-conditioned vehicle. It is almost a meditative experience. We will take you to backstreets where tourist seldom venture. It is a unique way of experiencing Chiang Mai.

Our Chiang Mai on Three Wheels tours

We offer half-day and full-day tours. The half-day tours are samlor tours. Transfer to the start of the tour is not included. Our tours start either at Thapae Gate or Wat Loi Kroh. Your guide and drivers will be waiting for you there. Our full-day tours include transportation by vehicle and samlor. Your guide will meet you at the hotel and bring you to the start of the samlor tour. After the samlor tour, you will transfer to your vehicle to continue your tour.

Our tours are guided. A licensed tour guide will accompany you. The drivers speak very little English. We have designed the tours with care and tried to find a nice route with interesting sights and attractions along the way.

We use one person per samlor. The seats are not too big. The weight of two westerners would be too much for the drivers as well.

Two bicycle taxis with young passengers

Young passengers in the samlor

Our Tours

We offer four half-day tours: the Markets Tour, the Silver Tour, the Temple Tour and the Food Tour. We have morning and afternoon tours. The morning is the best time. Our Chiang Mai after Dark tour is a shorter tour that takes place in the evening. We offer three full-day tours: the handicraft and the temple tours as well as the History and Culture Tour. Those latter tours include a half-day samlor tour in the morning.

Chiang Mai half-day tours

The Chiang Mai Markets Tour starts and ends at Thapae Gate. We take you through Chiang Mai backstreets to the Sanpakoy, Tonlamyai and Warorot Markets. The Silver Tour also starts and ends at Thapae Gate. You’ll proceed to a neighbourhood south of the moat where about two hundred years ago silver and lacquerware artisans from Shan State (Myanmar) settled. The Temple tour starts and end at Thapae Gate and focuses on the main temples within the moat: Wat Chedi Luang and Wat Phra Singh amongst others. Our half-day foodie tour is our pride and joy: it is full of delicious surprises. It starts at Wat Loi Kroh and ends at Thapae Gate.

Chiang Mai Tourists bargaining with samlors

Tourists bargaining with samlors. Picture by Alberti Cosi.

Chiang Mai full-day tours

The full day Handicraft Tour starts with the Silver Tour in the morning. In the afternoon you will visit several quite special handicraft and other craft places east of Chiang Mai. The full-day Temple Tour starts with the samlor Temple Tour. In the afternoon you will visit Wat Doi Suthep and other temples. Our History and Culture Tour is really quite different. We use local transportation and a bicycle ride is included in the afternoon after a morning samlor ride. Great trip!

Your tour supports the samlors in Chiang Mai!

Two bicycle taxis in front of old building with statue

Samlors at the Three Kings Monument. Picture by Kevin Landwer-Johan. Chiang Mai on Three Wheels.