|Two blondes riding around Bangkok in a tuk-tuk, Thailands most exhilarating form of transportation.|
Long before there were taxis, scooters, buses, or trains, good old fashioned tuk-tuks ruled the streets of Bangkok. They are still the most exhilarating way to get around in Bangkok today and are a must on your to-do list while traveling or living in Thailand. With my camera in my right hand and my left hand gripped onto the safety strap dangling above, there was a giant grin across my face as my vehicle made its way from a hotel near Khaosan Road over to Chatuchak Weekend Market. Prior to hopping in any old tuk-tuk there are a few guidelines you should follow to make your journey more memorable.
1. Go for the experience: When you take a tuk-tuk, make sure to relax and enjoy the scenery as you speed around with an up close view of many of Bangkok's famous sites. Riding in a tuk-tuk also gives you a good picture of how locals are living their every day life.
2. Be direct: Tell the tuk-tuk driver exactly where you want to go and how much you are willing to pay before hopping inside. A short trip of 5 minutes should cost you 30 baht which is about $1. Be weary of the high prices that all drivers will try and charge you in tourist areas. Always negotiate for a lower price. If you're really assertive you might go for 50% off the original price, but Bangkok.com recommends getting at least 5-20 baht off the original fare price. Remember, every tuk-tuk will charge you an inflated price and don't get sucked into going to one of their commissioned jewelry stores.
3. Take a short trip: A 20 minute trip will cost you more money in a tuk-tuk than in a metered taxi; sometimes the prices are double. If you decide to take a taxi request the meter for longer trips of 15 minutes or more. Tuk-tuk's are no longer cheaper than metered taxis because of their popularity among tourist and the drivers ability to charge higher prices.
4. Avoid peak hours: Avoid rush hour in a tuk-tuk because of the fumes you will directly inhale from the nearby rickshaws and vehicles. If you have asthma or any other kind of respiratory problems sitting behind clouds of black smoke during traffic might not be the most enjoyable way to enjoy your day.
5. Have fun with the drivers: If you have a good sense of humor with the drivers they will send laughter right back in your direction. When you're bargaining prices try exaggerating things to them and say something like "100 baht!!??? You're going to make me broke! You make me so sad How about 60 Baht?!" Most drivers appreciate a fun personality and are more willing to lower their prices if they like you. Also take some time to get to know their personal story like information about their friends or family. They are pretty easy to talk to, and many of the drivers like to practice their English skills.
|Our tuk-tuk was very friendly and chatted with us about life in Bangkok.|