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?
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
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.
PLEASE REMEMBER THIS: YELLOW LICENSE ARE TUKTUK TAXIS AND WHITE LICENSES ARE PRIVATELY-OWNED TUKTUKS. Yellow license tuktuks are regular taxis (there is a TAXI sign on top of their roof), you bargain the fare before you ride them. White license tuktuks are privately-owned, therefore are used mostly by scamers, you also bargain the fare before you ride but they are usually cheaper than regular taxi tuktuks. If you want to check what I'm saying, observe the following when you get to Bangkok: (1) the car-taxi's license color; (2) what color of tuktuk's license the locals ride. I recommend you approach the tuktuk drivers yourself, instead of being talked into using their service by their front-agents. White-licensed tuktuks agents or driver will asked you if you have a map if not they will use their own map. On the map they'll point out tourist attractions and gem/tailor/souvenir shops along the way to the attractions. At this point, the driver will set the fare; you will bargain the fare if you choose to use their service. My experience with the white-licensed tuktuk was some what producted, except for the restaurant. My driver told me first hand that the shops will give him gas coupons, it doesn't matter if I buy or not. With the set fare, your driver will take you to the attractions and wait for you until you are done. If you are hungry, ask your driver to take you to a cheap restaurant or else he will take to an expensive one (expensive is expensive on a Thai's budget, but not on westener's budget, around 10 -15 dollars per dish), also the driver will get some kind of kick-back from the restaurant. Don't be discourage riding tuktuks, they are great to ride and one of the best way to explore Bangkok.
Unique Suggestions: If you realized that you got scamed while riding the tuktuk, pretend you need to stop at a nearby 7-11 store to buy water. When you get off, pay your driver and terminate his service.
Fun Alternatives: Regular taxis. Ask the driver to use the meter.
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.
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.
Never, and I mean 'NEVER', take a tuk-tuk unless it is prepaid as part of a large tour outside of Bangkok. They will either try to charge you several times the amount a taxi will, or will bring you random places to try to make a profit off of you. They make commisions by dropping you off a 'gem' or 'jewelry' places and they will insist that they are showing you a special place. Don't fall for it!
Unique Suggestions: If you have no other option, insist on your price. If they say the trip will be 500 bahts or will not take you directly, jump out and talk to the next guy.
We knew not to but we did it anyway and got scammed, we haggled a price to the sky train station and told the driver straight there please and after a while noticed we were going the wrong way and we ended up at a fake tourist shop in the middle of chinatown in the back streets, the driver would not carry on till we went in the shop so he could get fuel vouchers, we walked away and around the corner we got a metred taxi thank goodness.
Unique Suggestions: Always carry a map and use a metred taxi but remember to ask them to turn the metre on. Do try a tuk tuk though it is an experience but don't get suckered into going into gem stores or fake tourist offices.
Fun Alternatives: Always use a metred taxi, we never paid more than 80 baht to go where we needed to go and they are air conditioned.
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.
becareful of tuk tuks in bangkok, know where you want to go, other wise they will suggest where they should take you. this should not be the case, so dont get in his tuk tuk. if you want to go somewhere wait a minute for another one. the general price should be no more than 100 baht
Unique Suggestions: DO NOT GO WHT HIM MAKE UP EXCUSES!!!
Fun Alternatives: GET IN ANOTHER TUK TUK
The tuktuk men outside of our hotel offered us a tuktuk ride to MBK for only 30 baht. So, seeing that it was cheaper than what the hotel quoted for a ride, we climbed aboard. What we didn't know was that he was going to take us to a horrid little gem shop were all the attendants follow you like dogs! we hated it all and we also got really annoyed.
Unique Suggestions: if you're inside the store just pretend to browse and then after about 2 mins get out. SOme of those nondescript stores sell FAKE jewelry so it's better if you buy gems at your home country, where you are more familiar, or at the many respectable malls in bangkok. (though they are much more expensive, at least you're guaranteed that they're genuine)
Fun Alternatives: after enduring the scam by the tuktuk men just go to ocean world, located at the siam paragon mall ;) you can swim with sharks (black tip sharks, nurse sharks etc.) Also it's said to be the largest aquarium in SEA
Becareful if someone offers you a cheap tuk-tuk ride. There is definitely something behind it. I was offered a tuk-tuk ride for only 20 baht that will bring me to 2-3 temples in the town. This was introduced by a 'lecturer from a nearby university' who approached me at the entrance of the Grand Palace. Well, the ride is not expensive at all and it's a good experience to sit in a tuk-tuk and you'll still get to visit the promised attractions. But in between he'll bring you to gem shops after gem shops. In fact be prepared to visit more than 5 of those darn shops. I stopped after the second, paid the 20baht and left. It was worth it anyway since I have visited one of the temples. According to the tuk-tuk driver, if he brings me to a certain nos of shops he gets free fuel voucher for his tuk-tuk!
Unique Suggestions: If you want a really cheap ride that covers a few destinations you want to visit (and if you have plenty of time and patience) then this is not too bad an offer. Don't worry to stop in between if you think you have enough. The tuk-tuk drivers are quite friendly and they mean no harm. They'll even help you to flag down a taxi for your next destination!
Fun Alternatives: Tuk-tuks and taxis are not that expensive and are plentiful. Just take a point-to-point ride and ignore such 'tour offers'.
They look cute and a novelty to ride the open air, but few Thais travel in a Tuk-Tuk and you shouldn't either. They are loud and open air to the noise and air pollution. When it is hot and you are stuck in traffic, you would think of this tip. Don't ride the TUK-tUK. oFTEN TIMES THEY will overcharge,and if they do not get the money they want, they will just drive you elsewhere, or drive reckless to scare you to jump out. I have been there and heard many stories about the bad drivers.
Unique Suggestions: set a price
Fun Alternatives: air condition taxi, walk or ride a bus or skytrain
Tuk tuk's around Khao san Road suck!!! For one they won't even give you a ride unless they can take you to a store where they get a kick back for taking you there. They get 5 litre's of gas apparently. So...you can't even hire one unless you pay out the ass for it because they want the gas. We got one Tuk Tuk driver to take us to Chinatown and he went around the block and stopped. We got out. He was chasing us down the road still trying to make a deal. It's ***!
Unique Suggestions: Don't take a tuk tuk unless you are on a main road, even then you can end up nowhere and just pissed off because they didn't take you where you wanted to go.
Fun Alternatives: Learn to take the local buses or take a taxi. But the taxis sometimes won't take you either if you tell them to turn there meter on.
We were warned, but had to experience it for ourselves anyway. You have to have a tuk-tuk trip when you're in Thailand - hair-raising driving in heavy pollution. We gave in and agreed to a driver taking us to see the three main temples - he waited outside for us at each one and we just hopped back on again - which was great. The downside was that we had to go and pay an obligatory visit to the tailor...