The Tuk Tuk is a worldwide recognized symbol of Thailand with its distinctive design and sound. If you’re a first-time visitor then it’s a must do to take a spin in one even though you’re breathing in traffic fumes, they’re unstable and you’re probably being overcharged.
Always agree on a price before you get in and make sure your destination is understood. It’s usually best to hail a passing one on the street rather than one that is parked in a tourist area like Khaosan Road. There are no set fares but you shouldn’t really pay more than 60-100 baht to take a short trip such as from Khaosan Road to the Grand Palace, Wat Pho or destinations around Rattanakosin. However, in reality, you’re more likely to end up paying 200 baht to go anywhere.
As a general guide try to agree on half of the price that a driver quotes you. If there is a group of you it can be quite reasonable if you’re splitting the fare between you.
Tuk Tuk drivers are involved in many of Bangkok’s tourist scams. You should resist any offers of free or cheap tours because this will involve you being taken to dodgy gem or tailor’s shops. The price quoted is usually 60 baht for a city tour which will probably involve a promised trip to see the Big Buddha. This will include several shopping stops where drivers receive commission and being dumped by the driver if you don’t buy. The worst drivers tend to hang around Khaosan Road, the Grand Palace & Wat Pho. Metered Taxis (that use the meter) are much cheaper, cooler and safer than Tuk Tuks.
If exploring the Old City Rattanakosin area or staying around Khaosan Road, there is good news on the Tuk-Tuk front. A new private hop on – hop off tuk-tuk on-demand service is offering an unlimited ride ticket operating between 08.30-16.00. Its operation area covers Rattanakosin Island, Dusit & Chinatown. It’s run by the same company who operate the Chao Phraya Tourist Boat & the Tuk-Tuks are honest. The ticket costs 399 baht and discounts are usually available if you book online.
This is a good deal. Most hostels and hotels in the Banglamphu area can book this service for you and have brochures in the lobby. You will need to download the free app at the play/apple store or on the website. You just call a tuk-tuk via the app and wait for it at a selected location. The only downside is the amount of time you may need to wait for a pick-up. You can book 15 minutes in advance. If you don’t have WIFI on your phone they can also sell you a sim card & 24-hour WIFI package for 49 baht.
Online bookings at http://www.tuktukhop.com