Rod Daeng from Chiang Mai University to Wat Phra That Doi Suthep
The road up to Wat Phra That Doi Suthep is steep and winding, with direct transport from downtown Chiang Mai only available by taxi or ride hailing. With the length of the road, fares may also be high. To mitigate the high fares and willingness of drivers to go to Doi Suthep, a fixed-fare Rod Daeng departs from the foot of the steep and winding road at Chiang Mai University, plying the route between Chiang Mai University and Wat Phra That Doi Suthep.
Chiang Mai University Rod Daeng Station
Chiang Mai University Rod Daeng Station is after the main gate of Chiang Mai University when coming from the city. I alighted from my Grab ride directly at Chiang Mai University Rod Daeng Station, clearly marked with yellow umbrellas and red seats.
A fare board in English and Thai is placed at Chiang Mai University Rod Daeng Station, with no separate price in Thai for locals to read. At 50 Baht per way, I guess this is quite a fair rate.
Passengers wait at the seating area for a minimum of 10 passengers before being led to the Rod Daeng by the Rod Daeng driver.
If the passenger number falls below the minimum, and the Rod Daeng driver is satisfied with his potential fare, he will call everyone for boarding. No top-up of cash is needed to the Rod Daeng driver if he is the one to call for boarding, but if you want to volunteer an early departure, you can top-up the cash difference to make up for the shortfall of passengers.
Rod Daeng from Chiang Mai University
I was led to the front-most Rod Daeng in the queue for boarding.
The Rod Daeng interior is similar to a Songthaew with 2 facing rows of bench seats. The seats are sufficiently comfortable with padding.
A combined fare of 100 Baht for a return trip (50 Baht onward and 50 Baht on the return) is collected by the Rod Daeng driver upon boarding. This is in contrast to other street-hail Rod Daengs where the fare is paid upon alighting at the destination.
Departing from Chiang Mai University Rod Daeng Station.
Chiang Mai Zoo Rod Daeng Station
There is another Rod Daeng station outside Chiang Mai Zoo, useful for passengers coming from Chiang Mai Zoo going to Doi Suthep.
Heading up the steep and winding road to Doi Suthep.
Cyclists also attempt to cycle up the road to Doi Suthep.
The road gets windier and steeper as the journey continues.
Passing by Chaloem Phra Kiat Pavilion Viewpoint. This shared Rod Daeng does not stop here, but perhaps if you are a group of 10, a stop here may be possible.
Passing by another cyclist.
Making an almost-180-degrees turn on the road.
Approaching Wat Phra That Doi Suthep with roadside shops in sight.
Wat Phra That Doi Suthep
Making a u-turn to stop on the right side of Wat Phra That Doi Suthep.
The Rod Daeng stops right in front of the Doi Suthep Cable Car Station. The Rod Daeng driver will then give a departure time for everyone to return back to the Rod Daeng. For my case, a stay of 75 minutes was given, which is sufficient time for worshippers to do their prayers and for visitors to visit the temple for sightseeing.
Doi Suthep Cable Car
My purpose of visiting Doi Suthep was to try the Doi Suthep Cable Car, which I continued on my journey with.