Bangkok Tuk-tuks

Doing a similar job to the taxi is Thailand's ubiquitous tuk-tuk ตุ๊กๆ). So named because of the sound of their engine, these are motorized rickshaws and are popular amongst tourists for their novelty value. They are occasionally faster than taxis in heavy traffic as weaving in and out is easier, but generally about the same or slower. Without any luggage, 3 people can fit into one fairly comfortably - it's possible to fit more in but it gets a bit cramped. Fares always have to be bargained for, and it is sometimes possible to bargain tuk-tuk drivers down to less than the taxi flagfall of 35B when they make good value. Most times, they offer no savings over a taxi, except perhaps if you're good at bargaining and can speak good Thai. The initial price they quote is likely to be well over the going rate, but it's easy to bargain it down to a more reasonable one if you know roughly the equivalent taxi fare.

It's essential to bargain the price with tuk-tuks before getting in. If you only ask after the ride, it's likely to end in a request for an ridiculous fare which can obviously lead to an unpleasant situation.

Just like taxi drivers, the tuk-tuk drivers mostly come from the rural northeast of Thailand and don't have to undergo any training (some will not even have passed a driving test), so don't be surprised if they sometimes have no idea where your destination is. A subtle point to remember when in one is not to rest your feet on the rail near the drivers head, as doing so is extremely disrespectful towards the driver.

As tuk-tuks are open-ended, they expose passengers to the high pollution levels in the middle of Bangkok's roads and offer almost no protection in case of an accident. There is theoretically a ban on new tuk-tuks as they are so noisy and polluting, but it doesn't really seem to be being enforced at present. Nevertheless, many of the local residents are not too enamoured with tuk-tuks nowadays and, were it not for their popularity with tourists, the days of the tuk-tuk on the streets of Bangkok would surely be numbered.
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Problems with Bangkok tuk-tuks
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Typically the tuktuks charge around 200 baht, which you could bargain down to 150baht or if you are really good, 100 baht. Red flags should be raised when you get too good a deal like 30baht for wherever you are headed for. Asking some simple questions will generally result in the driver telling you to visit some gem factories or clothing outlets, so that they get petrol vouchers for their tuktuks. If you do agree on visiting one, they will try to make you visit another. 30 baht for a complete waste of precious holiday time. Not worth it! When they say it is too good to be true, it usually is!
' BenTan21
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make quite sure you know your destination or do a round trip. We made the mistake of letting the young lady driving the tuk-tuk take us to a tailor's shop (we had already been to see a few tourist sites e.g. palace etc. and in her broken english she said l take you to another one which turned out to be this tailor's shop ] It turned out to be what we think was a sham because we did not spend more than a few minutes in the shop as we did not want a suit making, she got really stroppy and would not take us any further, luckily we had a vague idea were we where and so jumped a cab but it could have turned out very ugly.
' ann
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My six-foot, three-inch Italian boyfriend, who is very slim, could barely fit into the tuk tuk. However, his driver got him to his destination in a phenomenal five minutes, in time to see the World Cup Italy vs Slovakia soccer match. Unfortunately, Italy lost to Slovakia. However, the tuk tuk defeated time and the Bangkok traffic!!!! It was a harrowing ride, but the job got done!
' Leslie Haas
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the people that drives the tuk tuk follows u until u will go in sometimes its wierd and funny
' alina
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Dear sir/ms/mrs I would be interrested in buying a dozen of tuk-tuk. May I please have the current market price & a few addresses of the dealers. Sincerely yours, leslie
' leslie cole's
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Might it be worth mentioning that tourists should be aware that quite a few of the tuk tuk drivers are paid by the owners of a large factory supplying artifacts to tourists and when the tourist gives his destination he is tricked into being taken to the shop instead of the given destination and made to pay for the tuk tuk fare as well? This happened to me twice in two weeks and I had to get the sky train back to where I started. It is upsetting, a scam and a regular practise from what I have been told. I think it is only fair to warn people.
' S Lane
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my friend and I are planning to go to Thailand on September this year specifically to Bangkok and Pattaya. What is the the current weather in Thailand? what is the expected weather around that time and will it be good to go around the place? Some say it's best to go at that time while some other reviews don't recommend it. By the rule of thumb, it's hard to enjoy the best spots of any place if you can't have fun. Can you help me on this matter?
' joanne
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well i love thailand. i went there in Aug for a missions trip and it was so great and such a wonderful experience. id deffinatly go back again sometime. yes its a long plan ride and stuff but its all worth it.
' amy
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I live in Hua Hin and manufacture tuk tuks to European standards. This means that my company pass all the EU emission tests, they are also fitted with 3 point EU approved seat belts. We also fit power assisted brakes including front disc. We were the first tuk tuk company to get EU approval and if you take a look at our web site you will see we are still moving forward. Check, www.tuk-tuk.co.uk Many thanks, Mike Williams, MMW Tuk Tuks.
' Mike Williams
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