Next time you're in Thailand, be sure to catch a ride on a songthaew. This form of transportation is like a small, covered pick-up truck or minivan. Songthaews have open sides and an open back. Passengers sit on two benches inside the vehicle. It is used like a mini-bus to transport people.
Songthaews are used in two different ways. In some cities in Thailand, they are used as a private taxi. In this case you'll need to negotiate your fare with the driver. Other times, they follow a fixed route with fixed fares. When this is the case, they are a very low cost method of transportation. Even if they have a fixed route, they don't necessarily have set places to stop. If you want to catch a ride, you'll often need to flag the songthaew down and ask where it is going. When you're ready to get off, press the button or bang on the roof. The songthaew's destination is marked in English on the sides and the front of each vehicle.
"Samolars & Songthaews." Thailand Travel Tips. 14 March 2005. <http://www.travel-to-thailand.net/samlors.asp>.
"Songthaews." Samui Guide. 14 March 2005. <http://www.samuiguide.com/gettingabout.html>.
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