We got scammed twice and we were a big group of 5. The tuk tuk drivers work together to scam you and take you to these "pit stops" where they can get free gas vouchers or work together to scam tourists at overpriced shops like the "gem factory" or the "suit shop" or "James fashion" until your final destination. These "pit stops" are in the middle of nowhere too.
Go with a cab even if they are more expensive.
What a disaster TukTuks are ! What a reputation !
- they don't bring you where you want, but to places they get commission for:
fake gem shops and (wait for it !) the Thai King's Royal Cashmere Factory, which is actually a
tailor shop which want to sell you synthetic as Cashmere,
- they charge you multiples of what was agreed
- in addition to the 'fare', they want YOU to buy THEM gas !?!
- endless arguments
- MAFIA organisation
- everyone knows about them, police don't do anything about it
And these guys are licensed ? What a joke !
I'll never take a tuk unless I have a good idea what the price should be. Last May I got a tuk from the train station to Panthip Plaza. The driver wanted 200bt but agreed to 120. I paid him with a tip and did my shopping. Going back to Hua Lampong station I took a metered taxi. It was only 65 baht.
Taxis who won't use meters always cost more,, Around the Palace or Koh Sarn Road the taxis always want a set fare but just go out to the main road and flag one.
When there's 3 people, taxis are often cheaper than MRT or BTS and I've never had a bad experience with a meter cab.
The tuk tuk's are plenty out there for travelling. Always ensure that you bargain and agree on a price to the destination before you get into the tuk tuk and ask them to take you straight to the location without stopping at any other locations. I noticed that most of the tuk tuk drivers tell you a very less rate so that its tempting to get into where unfortunately you end up paying more and more and getting to your location way late than expected as they tend to stop at various places for something called `coupons'.
When I take a meter aircon taxi from Hualamphung railway station to my hotel, it cost me, depending on traffic, between 60 and 75 Bath. When I ask a Tuk-Tuk driver hw much he will charge me, they usually ask 200, and never less than 150 Bath. (March 2012)
Thailand is a great place with nice people. If you fall for a scam or trick then it is usually down to your ignorance. Other posters on here have clearly pointed out circumstances where you would not do the same thing in your own home town, so why do you turn your brain off when you are in another country.
Most scammers wont be a really big problem, just walk away. You have two feet ... USE THEM IF YOU FEEL NERVOUS INTIMIDATED OR THREATENED.
If you act like an idiot then people will take you for being one. there are lots of normal police in Thailand, keep your eyes open at all times for them, that way when .... if ... you get into trouble you know where to look.
Demand the meter is on.
Ask a reception / conc in a DECENT name brand hotel for a Tuk Tuk, they dont scam you as they will get fired if you get shafted from a driver they put you with.
Split your money and cards up. This way if you are pick pocketed then they might not get it all.
Be warned of tuk-tuk touts that seems very helpful at tourist spots offering you advise and tips. They would tell you the current tourist spot is close and advise you to go to an alternative location.
Case 1: Arrived at Grand Palace via Taxi and was approached by the tuk-tuk touts was told the Grand Palace would be close in the morning for prayers and advised on dress code. While dress code was good advice, the Grand Palace closure was meant to trick you into going to another location using their tuk-tuk.
Case 2: Arrived at Wat Pho from a short walk from Grand Palace and was approached by the tuk-tuk touts and advised the Wat Pho would be close in 1/2 hours time at 3:30pm. They offered to take me to other tourist spot on their tuks tuks instead. I ignored their advise and went to purchase ticket and double checked with the attendance that the Wat Pho only close at 9:00pm.
Case 3: Took a short tuk-tuk ride to go to Seafood Market & Restaurant with a good map on hand. Told the driver that I would only go to Seafood Market & Restaurant. He agreed and while driving there, he drove to another restaurant while driving pass Seafood Market & Restaurant. I refused to eat at the unknown restaurant.
Lesson learned. Never listen to those touts or they may upset your travel plans and ruin your visit in Bangkok.
Tourists are more prone to being brought to unannounced side trip while pledging lower tuktuk fares. Another scam is that drivers will say they get gas stamps/coupons from this 'gem companies/silk companies' and therefore you should feel bad for not obliging.
One tuktuk driver we took asked forthright if he can bring us to a gem factory before bringing us to Wat Phra Kaew. Stay for 15 minutes and he gets a gas coupon even if we do not buy anything. I wanted to go to one so I obliged. Anyway, that's another travel tip.
My excuse for falling for this special tuk tuk tour was that I had only just arrived that morning and I hadn't slept in 24 hours and I was waiting to check into my hotel! No excuse I know but that's what I'm going to keep believing!! I was told by a helpful man on the street that today was "Buddha Day" and there were festivities happening at various temples. Ok I said, thanks I'll check them out. Then he hailed me a tuk tuk going by and arranged a 10 baht 4 temple tour. Ok, the man hadn't asked for money or anything so how could this go wrong? Well, as I was taken around to the temples I found that I was too late for the Thai Boxing demonstrations and other temples I went to were actually closed! I checked!
So as my tuk tuk driver drove me around he mentioned that he gets commission (or fuel vouchers) by taking me to various shops in between temples. I agreed to go to one tailer - who were actually very good and I was able to bargain the price a bit - but I didn't agree to go to the jem shop or other awful tourist places that he insisted he take me to. I started to get cross and said that if he doesn't take me to a proper temple he won't get paid. Well what he did was "dump" me at the Marble temple and then announce that it was his lunch time and I would have to make my own way back. Ha!
The moral of the story? If you need to get sucked in by the cheap 10B tour then insist on the places you want to go to and insist that shops are not part of it. Good luck to you - the Thai's are very convincing!
Before you go to Bangkok it is essential you realize one thing; there is no honest tuk tuk driver in Bangkok. No matter how nice one may seem, his goal is to take you to a fake temple or gem shop or suit shop and will leave you in a moments notice if he thinks you won't go to any more shops for him. I'm sure you read about how it works with the drivers getting gas vouchers for taking you to gem and jewelry shops. They are safe, but sneaky and could care less about you. Here's what you do. Unless absolutely necessary, do not take a TUk Tuk, get a taxi. The tuk tuks in Bangkok are really uncomfortable, the air in Bangkok is horrible. Take a taxi
If you get into a Tuk Tuk and the price is way less than you expected, this is why.
He will take you not to where you wish to go, but instead to a shop down a back street where you will be expected to buy some cheap tat.
My driver took me to a temple (not the one I had asked for), then to a shop. I told him no, but he ignored me.
I didn't like being in a courtyard with several men.
I threw a fair fare at him and walked off despite his shouts.
Also, Tuk Tuk drivers can be crazy. Time is money so hold on tight.
Be careful of the 'mafia' tuk-tuks around touristy areas, who often boasts privileged knowledge of 'secret' or 'special' shopping places and things. Some of them may offer sightseeing tours and unsolicited help to take you places. A short and sweet "no, thanks" will save you from their scams. The same rule applies to taxis.