With GetVanGo you are your own guide. Our guests love the freedom this gives them. But what if you're new to Thailand and not sure what there is to do? There's plenty of information online and in guidebooks. But we thought we could make planning your trip a bit easier.
So, today, we're launching Trip Ideas. A range of suggestions for full and multi day trips which are a perfect match for our service. Designed and written by local travel experts, they'll point you to some of the less obvious attractions of the region, while aiming for a good balance between being on the road and actually experiencing the delights of the country.
To be clear, these routes are not meant to be the final answer to your travel needs. They're offered more as suggestions and inspiration. They're meant to inform you about what's available and inspire you to branch out on your own. That said, they are complete, well-timed and usable as they stand.
Each trip is presented as it's own page on our site, complete with a route map so you can get a clear idea of which direction you'll be travelling in. This makes it easy to add or swap stops along the way. For each trip there's also a handy, printable version specially designed to take along with you. Even better, the print version contains a route outline in Thai, so your driver will know where you're going too.
The first two trip ideas are online now. They both start in Chiang Mai and head to the hills: one is a day trip to Chiang Dao 80km north of Chiang Mai, and the other heads south to Doi Inthanon, Thailand's highest mountain. In Chiang Dao you'll be able to see elephants and the famous caves. While Doi Inthanon offers views, nature trails and waterfalls, making an especially good day out for families. Take a look, get inspired and, when your ready, book a van!
Thailand has a way of making travel feel pretty manageable, but leaving just enough friction in the process that you feel like you had to make an effort to achieve your goal. When it comes to getting around, even the greenest of travellers finds a way to reach their destination. But this sometimes comes at the expense of time. And comfort. And convenience. That's where we can help.
Without a doubt, Thailand is rich in travel options and a relatively easy place to get around. For moving between regions of the country, there's an increasingly comprehensive network of internal flight routes - from both the national carrier and a range of newer budget airlines.
The bus network is good too, with comfortable VIP options on many longer routes. When you need to get from district to district, there's normally a range of transport possibilities, from song taews to local buses.
And within cities, on the whole, you'll find some mix of taxis (four or two-wheeled) and local tuk-tuk variants to get you across town. Bangkok, of course, has a number of mass-transit options. And, despite ongoing legal and political squabbling, modern mobile ride-hailing applications are becoming available in larger cities throughout the country.
But what about more extensive travel around a city, or within a province or region? How does the busy traveller discover and assemble the many pieces of the Thai travel jigsaw without spending hours researching? And even more hours making connections?
That's where private minivans come in. Rentable by the day, complete with driver, they offer convenience and comfort. The convenience to set your own itinerary and schedule (and change it on a whim), combined with the comfort of a modern air-conditioned vehicle. So you can skip the transport puzzle altogether. And private minivans are exceptionally good value too.
Private vans are available throughout the country. Though rates and details vary somewhat from city to city and region to region, you'll find similar standards of service everywhere. And, in general, vans turn out to be a by economical way of getting around, too, particularly for families and groups. The only problem is, it's not always easy to get a van when you need one.
For local residents, the normal way to find a van is by calling around local travel agencies in the place you're visiting. Or, better, asking around in the hope that a friend of a friend can hook you up with a driver. If you're visiting from overseas, the latter isn't generally an option. So you end up relying on local agencies to make bookings - not always easy to arrange before arrival.
GetVanGo set out to makes finding a van and driver less of a crap-shoot. We provide a simple online booking system, where you can quickly let us know your requirements (how many days, how many people, rough plan). Our software then finds a driver from our pre-qualified pool of local, independent van drivers. Typically you'll have a driver assigned within 12-24 hours. GetVanGo drivers are all experienced professionals, with excellent track records. So you know you'll be in good hands.
We've also standardised rates and expectations - so that both travellers and drivers are clear from the start on what to expect in terms of service and charges. That way there's no unexpected surprises and you're sure of a smooth, enjoyable trip.
In a way, we're that friend of a friend who can get you a van and driver. Just a bit more accessible and dependable.