The simple Tuk Tuk remains an important mode of transport , however I believe its presence is fading , possibly due to the Skytrain and the new Metro rail system giving better and more efficient transport. The Skyrail and metro only service certain areas and the Tuk Tuk remains prominent in areas where rail has not reached.
It is a refreshing experience if not scary at times to take a journey in these little machines. More often than not the tourist loses control when he enters the Tuk Tuk as the direct route is nearly always via a tailor or jeweller, where the driver earns commision in a petrol allowance should you stay 5 or 10 minutes. Should a sale be made he earns a commission and if he is generous he may not charge you for the journey.
Enjoy your trip.
These are all individually designed and painted little open air “people movers”…some say they’re dangerous which they probably are but each one is a little different from the other and I kind of liked the tacky colors and dingle balls and neon that most were decorated with.
I used these little oil guzzlers more than a few times getting around in certain areas of Bangkok…and for the most part I thought it was kind of fun, for sure…a little noisy…and a little smelly but there was almost a feeling of a ride at the carnival whenever I used them. I like the feel of wind blowing on my face and through the little hair that I have left.
The fumes from the engines were sometimes a little much but it was a cheap way of getting around and it was a challenge to obtain a price that I thought was fair for transport.
PRICES for transport with these things are NEGOTIABLE.
BUYER BEWARE…these guys, Tuk Tuk drivers will TRY to squeeze you for more than what the ride is worth. So for sure..PLAY with them and enjoy the little battle of wills…more than once I let the guy drive away, unsatisfied with the price he wanted to charge.. soon enough there was another coming down the road looking for a way to make a buck.
There are a billion of these around Bangkok so don’t worry about letting them go on if he won’t meet your price.
These three-wheeled 'open-air' motorised taxis are popular for short journeys. Fares must be bargained in advance. Minimum fares, for journeys of up to 3 kilometers, are approximately 30 baht.
for new adventure in the city, some people like Tuk Tuk, some said that it's too fast and dangerous, some said Tuk Tuk is expensive. I think Tuk Tuk is a unique transportation in Bangkok which not bad to try.
Ok, a tuk-tuk is neither the cheapest nor the safest way to get around, but for me a visit to Bangkok isn't complete without it.
Always negotiate the fare before getting on and don't fall for offers to show you around BKK for 10 Baht/h unless you want to end up visiting one shop after the other.
Tuk tuks are a cheap way of getting around Bangkok. You will have no trouble flagging one down, in fact they will more than likely approach you first!
Make sure you agree on a price before you get in, prices are negotiable.
We caught one from Chinatown to Khao San Rd for only 80baht which we thought was good value split between 3 people. Yes, 3 of us fitted in the tuk tuk...but only just!
It was a case of get in and hold on tight. Our driver took great delight in zipping in and around the traffic!! I think the object is to get to the destination as quick as possible and find another fare.
Lots of fun and an experience not to be missed.
Tuk Tuks aka as Samlors (motorised three wheelers)
They are small utility vehicles, powered by notoriously noisy two-stroke engines, They are worth using for short rides, but can be uncomfortable and unstable in heavy traffic or during rainy days. Fares should be negotiated before departure.
We were fully aware of the tuktuk scams but we still managed to end up on a tuktuk tour. A random Thai man flagged a tuktuk down for us and showed us (and the tuktuk driver) places we should visit before we go to the Grand Palace (apparently it was closed for the morning and we believed him on this occasion because a reliable source told us it was a public holiday that day). So anyway, we were told it would cost us 40 baht. I was very suspicious yet somehow my boyfriend was convinced it would be ok and we ended up on this tuktuk.
Our first stop appeared to be a dodgy back alley carpark which worried me what I had got myself into, until I got out of the tuktuk and saw a building with an ornate roof and was told that this was the "Lucky Buddha Temple" which was only open to tourists one day a year (I'm pretty sure that was a lie but we got some nice photos and it didn't cost us anything so I didn't mind). Then we were taken to the Marble Temple. Then unfortunately our next 3 stops were at various gem/silk shops. Our tuktuk driver was very honest and told us if we spent 5 minutes looking around, we didn't have to buy anything, then he would get a petrol voucher. We appreciated his honesty and obliged, particularly as we hadn't paid him yet and he had already taken us to a couple of temples.
We parted ways with our tuktuk driver at the Grand Palace, so we got there in the end. It was a good experience to ride a tuktuk but just be wary and always negotiate a price before you get in.
First things first:
Taking a Tuk-Tuk is actually not as bad as people say it is.
YES, it is noisy!
YES, it usually is more expensive than a taxi.
YES, you are sitting completely exposed, inhaling the fumes of the passing cars.
YES, it could be rather dangerous at times.
However, especially for first-time visitors, it still is a great experience and you should try to take a Tuk-Tuk at least once to later tell your kids about it. ;-)
Rule no.1: Don't get in without having agreed upon a fixed price.
Rule no.2: Don't get in if you're in a hurry.
Rule no.3: Don't get in if you're not prepared for the draught of wind/fumes.
Rule no.4: Get your camera ready but fasten it around your wrist.
Rule no.5: Enjoy!
It is advisable to have an approximate idea on the fare to your destination. Compare the fares of the BTS or Metro (if available) or estimate the taxi fare and set yourself a limit. Once you're set, haggle, haggle and haggle again and don't compromise too much. If they don't accept your offer, just walk away and try the next Tuk-Tuk...
I paid about 20 Baht from Rama V memorial to MBK centre. I bargained with the driver that he can send me to some boutique stalls selling jewellery and silk so that he can collect his petrol vouchers. It is a win-win situation. I got cheap trips and view factories and he got his worth.
The only way to travel inside Bangkok in my opinion is via tuk-tuk. These three wheel motor scooters are fearless and will weave throughout traffic with no trouble whatsoever!
I did find it sort of ironic however that they all wear masks to protect themselves from the pollution, but there is no recommendation that the passenger wears one! Several times, being in the open air next to busses, it would have made sense!
Fares ranged from $.50 USD to $3 USD depending on how far and where you had to go.
Negotiation is always essential, as fixed prices creep up if you do not deal right away. Never get in a tuk-tuk without a price at the beginning.
Since you're in Thailand, you might as well try a ride on the Tuk Tuk, just for the experience.
We took a Tuk Tuk on the 1st night from Silom back to the hotel. The 1st Tuk Tuk driver wanted 200Bht which we knew were way too expensive. We tried bargaining for 100Bht, but he was unwilling. Just as we were leaving, another younger Tuk Tuk driver came to us and accepted the offer of 100Bht.
It's my first & last ride on the tuk tuk during my trip. It's really a thrilling ride with the little tuk tuk weaving in & out of traffic. Sometimes, you find that you're just inches away from the bus next to you. And with the constant traffic jam, you can imagine the air quality.
For the rest of our stay, we travelled using the meter taxis. The trips never costs more than 100Bht & we don't have to bargain. Even if there's a jam, you're still in the comfort of an air-conditioned taxi.
I must say I had much better fares with metered taxi’s than with Tuk-Tuks. The Tuk-Tuks drives inflate prices hearing if you don’t want to go to a shop/emporium with them (for their commission)
Do bargain with both taxis and tuk- tuk drivers.
Tuk-tuks are 3 wheeled vehicles unique to Thailand. They serve as another mode of local transportation. But before getting on one, make sure you agree on a price first as these are not metered like regular taxis.
There are two very simple and easy rules to remember about Tuk-Tuks but if you know them, they're priceless!
A) There are two types of Tuk-Tuk in Bangkok - those with white number plates and those with yellow ones. The white ones are freelancers - basically they can charge you what they want for a trip - all you have to do is haggle with them to get the best fare. The yellow number plated ones are government sponsored and the drivers receive a salary. As such they cannot charge over 100baht for any trip, anywhere in the city. So, if you want to take a long distance trip, say from Sukhumvit to Chao Praya, it's yours for 100 baht. Anything shorter and you know where you can start haggling from. The drivers may still try it on, but tell them you know the rule and they soon back down. When they realise a "farang" (western foreigner) knows the rules, the look of astonishment is great!
B) Almost all farang use tuk-tuks for single trips here, there and everywhere. However the Thai people don't use them in this way. Instead, they "hire" the tuk-tuk for a period of time (say a couple of hours or so) to ferry them around to multiple places. By arranging an hourly fee with the driver you can get several trips for a fraction of the cost. Current going rate is about 40-50baht per hour. Again, this isn't something many farang know, so again you'll get the same surprised look.
Finally if you try point B) then choose a yellow number-plated tuk-tuk and you'll be laughing.
The worst experience that we’d have had.
This is the story: We were behind the gran palace and we wanted to know where was the main entrance to the temple and asked to a guy well dressed, not a driver, just a guy; he told us that that day the temple was closed because a special ceremony with monks but we could go to another temple to see the black and the white buda, he showed these temples at our map and ask to a tuk-tuk driver to take us there, but he didn’t forced us, was very sharp. He took us to a small temple far away, there was a guy well dressed too, very nice and courteous, closed the door and start to talk with us but at the end he talked about a silk place, on sale, we didn’t say anything, I wanted to go to the other temple (time is gold) but the tuk-tuk driver told us to go to a place where sold jewel, I said no, he started to get very ungry and told us that if he took us there he was going to have a free fuel ticket, then we were agree, and we spent no more than 2 minutes in that store, and when we went out the driver was going to take us to that place where sold silk, we said not and he told us really ungry: get out. So we lost all the morning, we couldn’t visit the temple that day and he ruin us all that day. They are a gang, be carefully and check these pictures.
1. Tuk-Tuk Driver.
2. Temple were we were taken.
3. Courteous Guy member of the gang (not the guy with the backpack, but the other, left side).