Tuk Tuk Thailand – How To Get Around (The Fun Way)

Tuk-tuks are the iconic open-air three-wheeled vehicles popular among tourists for getting around the city.

This guide is on using Tuk Tuks in Thailand, including:

What is a tuk-tuk?

Tuk Tuks, are a popular mode of transportation for tourists in Southeast Asia.

These unique vehicles are an evolution of the traditional Japanese rickshaw, a three-wheeled bicycle for passenger transport.

A Tuk Tuk typically has a small cabin for passengers that can comfortably fit two people, but you could squeeze in an additional person, sacrificing comfort.

One of the main advantages of Tuk Tuks is their ability to maneuver through narrow alleyways and reach places where cars cannot.

In Thailand, Tuk Tuks are known for their vibrant colors, loudspeakers, and decorations.

Unlike taxis, tuk-tuks in Thailand do not have meters. Instead, you must negotiate the fare with the driver and agree on a price before accepting the trip.

Finding a Tuk Tuk

Tuk Tuks are found in major cities across Thailand, with a high concentration of tourists.

The most popular cities for Tuk Tuks are Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Ayutthaya, and Kanchanaburi.

You won’t have to search far for a Tuk Tuk in Bangkok; you’ll find them at attractions like Wat Arun or the Grand Palace, usually parked outside waiting for tourists.

Additionally, they can be found in bustling areas such as Chinatown, Khao San Road, and Sukhumvit Road.

Also, Tuk Tuks in Bangkok often drive around looking for passengers, and you can easily hail one down.

If you prefer to book through an app, Tuk Tuk Hop or Muvmi are two popular options, but these apps have additional booking fees.

If you want to explore Chiang Mai by Tuk Tuk, you can find them parked in tourist areas like the Night Bazaar, Tha Phae Gate, and Wat Phra Singh.

Cost / Negotiating Fare

When it comes to Tuk Tuk rides in Thailand, keep in mind that prices are not fixed and should be negotiated with the driver before starting the ride.

There is no official pricing per kilometer, and prices vary depending on the city and distance traveled.

Short trips usually start from 50 THB, while longer trips cost 200-500 THB.

Feel free to negotiate with the driver if you feel the fare is too high, and don’t hesitate to decline the ride if you can’t agree on a reasonable price.

Remember, Tuk Tuk drivers may try to charge tourists more, so always be willing to negotiate with them.

If you’re having difficulty finding a Tuk Tuk driver that offers a ride for a reasonable price, don’t stress; there are plenty of other transport options available in Thailand.

Insider tip:

As a tourist, ask a few Tuk Tuk drivers for a fare estimate to compare their fares before accepting a ride.

Tuk Tuk Scams

Tuk-tuks are generally safe in Thailand, but tourists should be aware of some possible scams.

Look out for the following:

  • The driver tells you that the attraction you’re trying to visit is closed and instead recommends taking you to a jewelry shop
  • Tuk Tuks parked in front of popular tourist areas ask for high fares and take advantage of tourists
  • Tuk Tuk drivers offer a low rate but then take you on a detour of shops or attractions where they receive a commission
  • Drivers offer a very low fare but demand more cash once the ride is over

To avoid most of these scams, you can book a Tuk Tuk through an application like Tuk Tuk Hop or Muvmi or arrange a private tour.

Insider tip:

Be cautious of unsolicited rides from Tuk Tuk drivers approaching you on the street. These drivers are often looking to overcharge tourists.

Tuk Tuk Tours

Tuk Tuk tours are an exciting way to explore cities like Bangkok and Chiang Mai, hopping between attractions, enjoying food tours, and exploring hidden gems.

Numerous Tuk Tuk tours are available that will take you around the city, and you can customize your experience based on your travel needs.

Tuk tours can be booked during the day or at night, depending on your preferences, with the price varying based on the tour length, the number of stops you make, and the number of passengers in your group.

You will meet your Tuk Tuk driver at a specific spot in the city and then jump on board to start your pre-organized tour.

Some popular Tuk Tuk tours include visits to markets, temples, and food markets. They’re a fun way to see the city from a unique perspective while sampling the local culture.

Insider tip:

Read reviews from other travelers who have experienced the tour to understand the service quility and ensure that the tour company is reputable.

Tips for Taking a Tuk Tuk

Are you planning to ride on a Tuk Tuk during your travels? Here are some tips to help make your ride a smooth one:

  • Negotiate the price with the driver upfront, as Tuk Tuks are not metered, so agree on the total fare before getting in.
  • Carry small notes to pay the driver, as they may not have enough change for larger notes
  • Be aware of scams and avoid any Tuk Tuk drivers that approach you offering a deal that seems “too good to be true”
  • Hold on tight! Tuk Tuks usually don’t have seat belts, so keep a firm grip while riding.
  • To avoid the hassle of negotiating a fare and finding a reliable driver, consider booking a Tuk Tuk through an app to get a direct pickup from your location.
  • Avoid a Tuk Tuk if you have a lot of luggage unless you’re traveling by yourself, meaning extra space for your luggage
  • When negotiating the fare with the driver, being friendly will go a long way

Pros and Cons of Tuk Tuks

Pros:

  • A fun way to transit around the city and immerse yourself in the local culture
  • A unique experience you might not have tried in your home country
  • Tours around the city take you to multiple attractions like temples, night markets, and street food
  • Tuk Tuks can maneuver down small alleyways, getting you through traffic faster

Cons:

  • Not as comfortable as taxis
  • Expensive compared to taxis for long-distance travel
  • Price negotiation is usually required to get a lower fare
  • Open air cabin, so riding in one can get hot during the day
  • Some drivers might try to overcharge tourists at popular attractions
  • Not as safe as a car because of the open-aired doors and lack of seatbelts

Before you go…

Looking for other travel guides? We have compiled a list of helpful articles to help you plan your trip to Thailand.

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Written by Nicky

Hi! 👋 I'm an expat who has lived, explored, and worked in Asia for over 10 years. I started findyouthere.com to share the knowledge I've picked up over the years with travelers interested in visiting Asia. Find out more on our about page.

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