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THE TUK TUK, AN ADVENTUROUS WAY TO DISCOVER BANGKOK!
A Tuk Tuk ride is certainly not the cheapest, cleanest or fastest means of transport in Thailand. Still, many tourists visiting Bangkok have a ride on their bucket list and that’s not for nothing! A Tuk Tuk allows you to experience Bangkok like no other means of transportation does. The smells, the sound, the warm wind through your hair and the antics the driver plays when overtaking. In short, if you are a bit adventurous, then it is highly recommended to take a trip through Bangkok!
What does a Tuk Tuk cost?
Always agree on a price before you get in and pay at the end of the ride. Because a Tuk Tuk does not have a meter like a cab. A ride with the Tuk Tuk will therefore always be more expensive than the same distance with the meter cab. But a cab is not comparable to a Tuk Tuk. Always negotiate about the price because the price that the driver initially asks is often much too high. Actually, the driver does not even expect you to agree to this amount. Even though he hopes you will! Generally, half of what the Tuk Tuk driver asks is reasonable. Most Tuk Tuk drivers know that you know that and therefore sometimes ask three times as much!
Tuk Tuk’s parked along the sidewalk near tourist spots or a hotel are best avoided. Usually the drivers want to offer you a tour and there is also little to negotiate. Instead, walk on and stop an empty driving Tuk Tuk.
Tuk Tuk negotiating tip
The most important tip is always to negotiate the fare! You can ask about the price for a particular destination before boarding but that often favors the driver. Instead, try to find out in advance what a reasonable price is. You can do this for example by asking other tourists, in your hotel or on the Internet. You can also listen in on other people’s negotiations. First mention a lower amount than you actually want to pay so you can meet the driver halfway.
Of course, you can also just use your common sense or learn by trial and error. After all, that’s also a bit part of the Tuk Tuk adventure. The ‘damage’ will often not exceed a few hundred baht.
The unwritten rules
The unwritten rules of negotiation actually apply throughout Thailand. Speak in a hushed tone, smile, be friendly, make a joke and you’ll really go a long way! Don’t you agree on the price? Then walk away, there is a big chance that you will be called back and your Tuk Tuk adventure can start anyway!
The 20 baht rides
Today there is a special offer! For 20 baht you’ll take a tour of Bangkok and visit several temples as well. Sounds too good to be true? It is! In practice, it comes down to the fact that you’ll spend most of your time in jewelry and tailor-made stores with pushy and annoying salesmen. The jewelry with so-called valuable (precious) stones is worth much less than they tell you and the tailored suits are often of poor quality. If you haven’t dropped out yet you will indeed also visit one or two temples. The cheap tuk tuk rides are among the top 3 scams you will encounter in Bangkok.
Thinking around = cheap Tuk Tuk rude!
But you can also turn the Tuk Tuk scam around, do you have a lot of time on your hands or a tight budget? Are you good at dealing with tricky salespeople and not easily persuaded? Then the Tuk Tuk scam is a cheap way to get a ride in a Tuk Tuk! You will also see 1 or 2 of the many temples that Bangkok has to offer. If you do not expect too much it is always worth it!
Provide a little bit sanuk
Sanuk (pronounced sanoek) is almost as important as negotiating the price. Sanuk means something like fun in Thai. Thai people love sanuk! Who doesn’t? Negotiating is part of everyday Thai life and a joke is part of it. This way you will not only get better prices, but it will also be more fun!