Tuk-Tuks in Thailand
These smoke sputtering three-wheeled motorcycles are very famous and popular in Thailand. Navigating through the busy streets of Bangkok in a Tuk-Tuk is a scary but exhilarating experience.
Although they are not very comfortable, you have to at least ride once in a Tuk-Tuk to really experience Thailand.
Where to find a Tuk-Tuk in Thailand?
Tuk-Tuks are everywhere in Thailand. Normally there are more Tuk-Tuks than willing passengers. They can be hailed anywhere in the streets but you will normally find them close to shopping centers and touristy places. Remember to negotiate the rate before you get into the back seat. Drivers know all the tricks and are fast talking. You have to be an excellent haggler to get a very good deal.
[note color=”#57accc”]Sometimes it is cheaper and more comfortable to take a trip in a metered taxi.[/note]
The truth is that most Tuk-Tuk drivers are very pushy and can easily talk you into taking a ride that benefit them more than you. Some will give you a ridiculously low charge for the day if you agree to go inside a couple of shops. Many Tuk-Tuk drivers have arrangements with shop owners to get free gasoline if they bring customers to browse the shops.
In 2006 when I visited Thailand for the first time, I had a couple of hair raising experiences and one Tuk-Tuk driver actually stopped and asked me to get out. Not to worry as there are plenty of drivers that will not try to scam you.
Safety tips for using a Tuk-Tuk in Thailand.
- Tuk-Tuks can be dangerous. Always make sure that you keep your arms and legs inside the vehicle.
- Keep a close eye on your bags. Remember the traffic in Bangkok is horrendous and many people get robbed of cameras or bags while in Tuk-Tuks.
- Tuk-Tuks are not closed and you will be breathing a lot of smoke and polluted air. It can also get hot.
Fun in a Thai Tuk-Tuk.
When my friends and I decided to cram into a Tuk-Tuk, we never expected to laugh so much. Yes, 5 of us squeezed into a Tuk-Tuk and got much more than what we bargained for. This driver was the exception and didn`t charge us a lot and also didn’t insist on taking us to various shops. He was by far the friendliest driver that I have met in Thailand.
When he didn’t`t make us laugh, the stickers in his Tuk-Tuk did!
Where: Bangkok, Thailand.
When: March 2013