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Songthaews are covered pickup trucks fitted with two rows of bench seats (song = two, thaew = row) lining both sides. In many cities they are the common local transportation. They also serve as countryside transportation especially on smaller roads where no buses operate. Songthaews represent a very important mode of local transportation as they are also willing to leave their standard route to bring people and goods to some far-off corners.
City Tours

In many cities such as Chiang Mai, Hat Yai, Pattaya and Phuket songthaews circulate through the city center without a fixed itinerary. They are like shared taxis and the drivers look continuously for new passengers. When someone boards, the destination is told and the driver will coordinate the route with all other passengers and go there as soon as possible.
For your orientation: 15 Baht for a short journey inside the city
Country Tour

The itinerary for songthaews is slightly fixed. Often they only leave when the bench seats are fully occupied. Long waiting times can be expected. If someone, however, is ready to pay for all other passengers as well, the departure will happen immediately.
Tourists intending to go by songthaew on a longer trip, are advised to ask local people, either other passengers or just in a shop close by, for the usual fare. Otherwise it might happen that you will be overcharged.
For your orientation: 20 Baht for a distance of about 10 km.
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