Ok, this might be the biggest danger you might face in Bangkok, since only tourist take these Tuk-Tuk's be very aware of where your going, they approach you offering a 10 baht rid per person but they'll stop at a clothing store or a jem store, it would be ok, BUT if you don't buy anything they just leave you there and who know where you might end up !!!!! When we took one, the driver wanted 80 bahts, I told them to go "F" himself, and believe me HE UNDERSTOOD perfectly well, what I meant !!!! then another driver wanted 60 bahts and I dropped him to 30 bahts but the bastard dropped us off, not excatly where we wanted and we ended up walking a good 3 blocks, so be aware of where you are at and try not to converse with the driver, your just opening yourself up to a person looking to rob you !!!!!!
Unique Suggestions: If he's says he'll take you for 10 bahts or free...walk away !!!!!! there's no perfect way of getting into one, just be AWARE of your SURROUNDINGS !!!!!!
Tuk Tuk tours can be good or they can be bad. I never had a bad experience but of course Ive heard them. The generall rule is you ask to go somwhere and the guy says 20b if he can take you to a temple and a 'thai factory', meaning a jewellery shop or tailors. Some of the temples are very beautiful but you feel intrusive and there are some dodgy men who hang around becasue tourists are common. Even if you blatantly dont want to go into a tailors etc its easier just to do it and then walk out after 5 minutes because the shops give the tuk tuk drivers vouchers for fuel. Its common for them to say they dont have change aswell, so a 20b ride will end up costing 50b or even 100b. Or maybe thats my fault for not having change myself.
Unique Suggestions: The best thing to always do is smile and be polite. This aplies to all travel but I really learnt it in Thailand. Getting stressed never helps. Just take it smoothly and dont worry, but be sure what you are getting and where you are going. I felt safe on my own but Bangkok is a huge city and I wasnt there for long. NOt all Thai people can be as nice as the ones I met. THere are execptions everywhere.
Fun Alternatives: Do some research into what temples you want to see, and be firm about where you want to go. Obviously getting a taxi will solve the problem but it will be more, however metered taxi do work out a lot cheaper I found.
Many tourists mentioned about the tuk-tuk driver and how they cheat you. Yes they did try to cheat, but not only tuk-tuk drivers, they are many of them, and there exist in many countries all around the world as you can imagine. What i feel to be fair to them is, they are really so poor, and they are making life on it. On my trip I actually made a few trips with tuk-tuk, and all were the pleasant one. There was a driver while bargaining the fare, he politely told me whether I can help him by allowing him to bring me to stopover at a store before to my destination, as that way can help him to claim a free meal or petrol and I need not buy anything. I really want to help the poor guy but I was in a tight schedule so i had to reject the offer. In fact, they know it is getting hard to cheat the tourist, as we are getting smarter, and there are too many tuk-tuk around. They realised if they don't take the business, we can easily get another in the fare we request. I think it just the way how you will to deal with them and everything will be fine.
Unique Suggestions: You must always bargain with the tuk-tuk driver. If their offer is too cheap, you can just ask directly whether they are going to make some stops, and I believe they will just be honest to you. If the fare seems a bit high, I always cut down to the half at the beginning, and slightly increase at the end of the bargaining. This way always work, at least for myself. Riding on the tuk-tuk is too fun that you really won't want to miss it.
Fun Alternatives: Alternative way? Don't take the tuk-tuk if you really so scare. But since you are already have the courage to leave your home, what so scare to only BARGAIN?
Beware of some of the tuk tuk drivers. On the pretext of taking you to some of the places that you want to visit or suggest that they take you on a sightseeing tours, they will take you to some gemshops etc. where you might probably get scammed.
Also, try to avoid taking the motorcycle taxis - they are pretty reckless drivers weaving in and out of traffic. No point putting your life at risk. Always take the BTS or Subway to avoid getting into a traffic jam rather than depending on the motorcycle taxis.
You never know where it ends, the drivers will take You to their "sisters or Uncels" shops because if You go inside they will recieve a petrol ticket and then it goes on to next shop and next and soon You will loose an afternoon.
Hold on Your things during the ride - I lost my cellphone on the second day in Bangkok.
Unique Suggestions: A Tuk-tuk should not cost more than 50 THB, always ask for the price before You go!
Avoid Tuks that only wants 10 THB!
Fun Alternatives: Avoid the Tuk-tuks and go for a cab instead, it is twice as expensive (max 100 THB) but go for taxi-meters and insist on that the driver should put it on
I was warned by another traveller to not trust anyone in Bangkok. Fortunately, I've met some very friendly folks.
However, one guy on the street gave me tons of advise on how all types of event were free (like Thai Boxing, Thai dancing) at a fair, and how the "government took tooks" are only $0.25/hour today, and amazingly one pulled up right then.
It was obviously a setup, and when I told them no thanks, the driver even called me stupid. So I called him a liar, and said I'd find a cop if he didn't get lost. No big deal, but beware of these guys. I also heard they'll tell you something like the National Palace is closed.
We were met by a tuk-tuk driver outside of the hotel and he said something about a public holiday and that he would take us to Wat Pho for just 20 baht. It sounded to good to be true of course but we agreed to get into his tuk-tuk. But after a few meters he stopped and he said that the Wat Pho would not open until 12.00 so he could take us to another Wat in the mean time. We told him that we only wanted to go to Wat Pho and he agreed and he started up again.
After a few minutes he stopped by a temple and we protested and he said that he had to go to the bathroom. He went in and out came another person and he asked us who we were waiting for and he talked to us about where we were going and that we should use the opportunity to see this temple instead. The driver came after about 10 minutes and again he started talking about taking us to other places. He wanted to take us to a Thai export center because then he would get some free gas. I told him that I would pay him extra if he would just get us to Wat Pho but he refused. So he ended up saying that maybe we should get a another tuk-tuk or a taxi. So we jumped out and found a meter-taxi which is in my opinion much better and still very cheap.
Fun Alternatives: I guess it is fun to have tried a tuk-tuk but it is better to use the skytrain combined with meter-taxi to get around.
Tuk-Tuks, the small three wheeled taxis are all over Bangkok, but there is a relationship where the number of tourists in an area are directly proportional to the number and the aggressiveness of the tuk-tuk drivers there.
Just yesterday I was touring around Bangkok and was shocked at just how agressive the drivers were. One driver struck up a converstation in very good English and eventually told me that the place I was going was closed in the morning (it wasn't) and I should go to another site now that was closed in the afternoon (it wasn't). Of coruse the only way to see everything, he suggested, was in his tuk-tuk. All of this was done with a smile on his face and in a very friendly helpful manner.
Unique Suggestions: Riding in a tuk-tuk is not a HORRIBLE experience; even the locals do it. But I guarantee that the price you are charged is at least double or triple what the locals pay.
So, if you must ride in one, negotiate and bargain very hard. Don't worry about ripping off the tuk-tuk driver; he will never let that happen. So, go low low low.
Fun Alternatives: Bangkok has excellent public transportation: buses, canal boats, and the skytrain. Mingle with the locals for a truely Thai experience.
Beyond the human interest aspect, there is no reason to suffer thru tuk-tuk rides. In my opinion they are a waste of money for tourists because tourists are conned into paying too much for them. They are uncomfortable and you are exposed to all the Bangkok elements - fumes, heat, noise. And the drivers all seem to think that you are a scout for F1, and therefore drive like they are trying to impress you with their aggressiveness and lack of concern for safety.
Also, tuk tuk drivers are often involved in scams claiming to take you where you want to go for free, but then they take you to their friend's gold shop, etc., on the way (for their commission), wasting lots of your time.
Besides this, their 2 stroke engines are prime culprits in the city for belching out exhaust smoke - the biggest reason not to support them.
Unique Suggestions: Take one once so you can say you did it, but then switch to the more 'sabai' way of traveling - cabs.
Fun Alternatives: Metered taxis. Regulated fares, A/C, very available, affordable and safe(r) - you can't beat them.
A kind of motorbikes are serving as Taxi , which is relatively fast and also cheap. the problem is they will drive you directly a shopping center that they are working with. Even if it is not even close to your target destination! After shopping!!! you can continue your ride.
Unique Suggestions: Simply take regular taxi. They have airconditions and secure. (Ask the price before taking a cab)
OK, we didn't get duped this time, but we fell for that one (twice) on our first trip. Some people like to take tuk-tuks. We refrained from it completely this time. You're liable to spend that hour getting driven to everywhere BUT where you want to go. Which is why we only managed to go to Wat Arun on this second trip - we were told it was closed, monk's only, by the tuk-tuk driver (a classic "white lie").
Unique Suggestions: Be firm. Insist, from the start, on where you want to go to. Point out the destination on a map, if need be (not always successful as there are many names for some streets - just like the city itself)
Fun Alternatives: If the tuk-tuk driver wants to negociate your destination, get on the skytrain, take a meter taxi or walk. There are other options!
For tuk-tuks, agree the price for any trip before you get in. The chances are the real price will be well under half of what the driver asks for in the first place. Haggle!
Tourist places attract tourist prices. Go where the locals go, for shopping, drinking etc. But please show respect at all times.
Beware the tuk-tuks. I strongly advise travelers not to succumb to the temptation of riding these interesting vehicles, if only to avoid being taken 'for a ride' by unscrupulous drivers intent on taking you to one of those tourist shopping traps en route to your destination.
Tuk-Tuk driver make it easy for you to get around but each and everyone of them have there own agenda. The best way to get what you want is to get the hotel front desk to write down were you want to go in Thai with directions for the driver and do not let the driver tell you about a better place.
When you go on the Tuk Tuk always be very clear about the price, if you don't fix it first you will be paying extremely high prices. They always try to convince you to go to one of the many factories where they can get a commission. It could be a silk factory, wood carving, silverworks or a number of others. I went to a wood carving place reluctantly, but I had some time available and thought why not. Surprisingly it was extremely interesting. It is amazing the work they are able to do. I love the elephant in the right of the picture.