One of the most excited things you can do in Bangkok is to ride a tuktuk. This is something you don’t have in the united States, so every visitor to Thailand are tempted to have a ride on this vehicles at least once. However, there are a lot of things to consider when riding a tuktuk. Here’s a short list.
They can weave through traffic because they are small and narrow enough to do so. It seems that tuktuk drivers can manage to drive the tuktuk in every open crevice possible especially during traffic like rush hour.
You can get them anywhere. You hail them like you hail a cab. Some places have them in lined up really for passenger.
They are quintessentially Thai. You can only find this vehicles here. There are other tuktuks in other Asian countries but they are configured very differently.
The drivers can go through the narrowest streets and alleyways. They seem to know where the best shortcuts are to the place you want to go.
They are fun to ride and perfect for a hot and humid weather because of their “open-air” concept. Feel the breeze 🙂
There is no fixed price for a ride. Unlike taxis that uses meters, you would have to negotiate a fare with the driver first before getting in.
No seat belts. If you are concerned about safety while riding this vehicles, you would have to hold on to something because the driver can really go berserk.
Drivers can and sometimes will talk you into taking excursions with various companies. This is because they make a cut from the excursion companies from what you pay. But there are also drivers that will tell you of the best and cheapest way to get to places.
You can only pay in cash. They do not have credit card machines with them, the same goes for taxis.
You are exposed to pollution. They are after all an open vehicle, so they are to the elements including pollution.
Some of them don’t like to drive through traffic. They don’t like doing it unless it’s for the right price. Even taxi drivers would ask for a higher fare especially during rush hour.
Tuktuk drivers can be part of a scam. I discovered articles online about tuktuk drivers taking tourists to the Lucky Buddha and other places around town from only 20Bhat. Then their accomplices in these places will ask tourists exorbitant amounts of money for either services or products of low quality. I, myself almost fell for this scheme.
I know this list have more bad than good things about them, but I’m sure other travelers who has been to Thailand had better experiences than I had. At the end of the day, this trip may be the only opportunity you’ll be in Thailand so its best and just seize the moment. Just be careful so you won’t get scammed.