Transporation in Chiang Mai was mostly tuktuks for where we were going. It was easy and super cheap. There was not a lot of traffic.No horns or crazy driving from what I saw.I wouldve felt comfortable renting a motorbike while there.
Bangkok is a different story. Traffic is bad there. Congestion through many parts of the day. We stayed in Chinatown so drivers would actually say no, that they werent going there because of traffic or they would charge us more. . .So there its not just about distance, you pay higher for more congested areas. I can see that I guess because if youre stuck in traffic youre losing out on money.
Which brings me to my last point. The moment you open your mouth, you will get the foreigner tax. The next time I go somewhere I will consider that my tip. Late into the trip we took a metered cab to MBK and realized it was roughly only 50 baht to get there. Wed been paying 100-150 baht depending on the time of day. True, its not a lot of money coming from the US but if you take that mindset when visiting other countries, you will have no money at the end of the trip!
I lied about that being my last point:
When leaving the airport, take the train into the city and also take it back to the airport. Getting to Bangkok from the airport (and back) will be at least 500 baht ALONG WITH toll fees to be paid by you when you pass through. For 30 mins and 35 baht you can take the reg train. For 15 mins and 95 baht, you can take the express train. This saves time and money that can be used for something else. Its a wise decision to stay somewhere within walking distance to the sky train.