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.
What would Bangkok be without the hated and beloved tuk-tuks. You know them well colorful noisy vehicle. They drive on three wheels through Bangkok and leave a black cloud behind. The tuk tuk name comes from the sound that makes the two-stroke engine of this mode of transport. The tuk-tuk in Thailand are especially popular among tourists. Thai people will find them particularly noisy and dirty.
Tearing through the busy traffic of Bangkok is definitely a fun experience. However, the tuk-tuk is often not cheaper than a taxi and is also much less luxurious. For short trips tuk-tuk still consider this and you will have to pay up to 40 baht and more .
Furthermore, the tuk-tuks are often associated with scams. A tuk-tuk has no meter so one must negotiate in advance for a fixed price. Is it always agree on the price before you get in, and be clear about your destination
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).
we stayed near to pratunam market we took a tuk tuk to reach Siam centre which is around 1 km from our hotel and it costs us THB50 per person to and fro this was after a bargain :) . the ride was good we were 4 together and adjusted in 1 tuk tuk :). it is more convenient than to take a taxi.and we had get it very easily outside our hotel.
A must try for Bangkok travellers, the tuk tuk. It takes you to your destination faster as it beats the traffic and jams by squeezing its way through. But be sure to bargain your price before getting on one. Tuk tuk is not for the faint of hearts though. You got to hold on tight ya. But I love it.
They all seem to have the same lines asking where are you going to or what have you not seen yet. Promises that they will take you for a mere 20 baht (less that a US$1). But then, you are in tuk-tuk hell! They take you to jewelry store and tailors and can waste your entire day with making you shop! Anyway, don't let them bully you into going to these places. It's always just "one more stop" before you get to see what you really want to see. We, fortunately, ended our tuk-tuk excursion with him dropping us off sorta close to where we wanted to go and then walked back to catch the boat taxi back to our hotel.
There are no seat belts in these things so Hold On! They drive rather recklessly. I think you're better off catching a cab but it's like choosing the lesser of two evils.
Never trust tuk-tuk drivers who approach you and offer you advise.
Standard practice is to offer you valid advise at the offset and then tells you the place you currently is visiting is going to be close for the day or is close for prayers, etc. Don't believe them.
Next, they will offer to take you to adjacent tourist spots that are still open, at a price of course.
They will think nothing of disrupting your travel plans.
I found this out the hard way when one of them approached us while we were approaching (walking) Wat Pho and he claims that the temple will close at 3:30pm everyday (time was then 3:00pm). We ingored his approach and continued to make our way to the entrance and ticket counter, preferring to take our chance.
Upon reaching the ticket counter, we asked the ticket sales personnel what time the temple will close and was told 9:00pm daily.
If we had believed the tuk-tuk driver, we would have our travel plan disrupted and, probably, never get to visit Wat Pho and ended up visiting other minor tourist spots or shops selling tourist goods.
Another instance was the day before, after alighting from a taxi at the wrong entrance, we were approached by the tuk-tuk drivers who uses the same tactics.
We were told the Grand Palace / Wat Phraew was closed in the morning for prayer and would only open in the afternoon. He offered to take us to visit other tourist spots and perhaps take us back to the Grand Palace after 1:00pm. That disrupted our plan and we decided against it and took another cab to go shopping instead.
To make matters worse, we wanted to try one of the tuk-tuk ride and was armed to the teeth on the location, maps, routes and is very certain how to get there. The tuk-tuk driver agrees to bring us there at an agreed price. He drove pass the obvious signboard and even pointed out it to be a fake and drove us to another location where he claims to be the authentic place. We ended walking backwards for 10 minutes (with the help of on-hand gps map) to the correct restaurant location.
The restaurant he had driven us to was a pathetic place and the actual site location is as shown in the picture below. The Seafood Market & Restaurant (though expensive) was a plesant place and good ambience and we all enjoy our meals there.
For those who paid more then THB20 for tuk-tuk rides, hope you will realise that the fares are way too high.
With tuk-tuks, the main problem is that they often take you to all kinds of shops where they get a percentage on the sales or coupons to buy fuel.
Once one of them only charged us 10 THB to take us to 2 temples. Before and while driving, we very clearly pointed out to him several times that we weren't interested in any kind of shop. When we left the first temple ... we looked for him ... but he was gone !! He just took off and "assigned" someone else to take us to the next temple. We hadn't even paid him yet, as we were to go to another temple.
The other guy insisted to take us to the second temple for the 10 THB we agreed upon with the first one. But he would probably dropped us off at some kind of shop also. Therefore we walked a bit and stopped a taxi-meter to take us further to our next destination.
Since then we avoided to use tuk-tuks in Bangkok.
Tuk tuks are absolutely everywhere in Bangkok. They are cheap, efficient, if a little small and dirty; made out of a motorbike, seats and a roof welded together.
50 baht should be enough for most local trips.
No trip to Bangkok is complete without a spin in the classic Tuk Tuk.They are O.K. for short trips but for longer trips they can be fairly dangerous depending on your driver.Furthermore,It's no fun getting cought in a traffic jam in a Tuk Tuk as the combanation of heat and pollution on the roads can really get to you.They are a fun way to get around but you have to bargain for the fare and they can be a rip off for tourists.Especially the ones that hang around temples and hotels.
Half bike, half erm phonebox?
These loud, polluting things are the best way to get down back alleys and in and out of the heavy traffic. Cheaper than a cab and faster in rush hour.
Negotiate the price first