Downtown Chiang Rai is fairly small and easy to get around in. Unless you plan to visit the more remote areas further north or south, getting around on a bicycle, motorbike or on foot should suffice. Use the Clock Tower as a reference point, and south of it is a 300-metre stretch where you can go bar hopping after sunset. West of the Clock Tower, you will find a lineup of budget eateries and shops selling local snacks. To its north is the central market (Kaad Luang), and the Night Bazaar is on Phaholyothin Road to the east.
If you’d prefer not to walk, flag down one of the many motorised three-wheelers (tuk-tuk) or covered pick-up trucks (songtaew) along the roadside. The songtaews either run a fixed route between popular tourist destinations or run across town and to outlying destinations (as per negotiation). Fixed-route songtaews are colour-coded and display a sign announcing their destinations (in Thai script). These are less expensive than chartered songtaews but make frequent stops and can be quite crowded. After sunset, though, both the songtaews and tuk-tuks stop roaming the streets and, instead, are stationed around the Night Bazaar area. Always agree on a price before hopping on one.