Should You Take a Tuk-Tuk in Bangkok?

Should You Take a Tuk-Tuk in Bangkok?

The ever-popular tuk-tuk is an iconic sight cutting across the traffic in Bangkok. These brightly-colored auto rickshaws zip everywhere around the city, but especially around the tourist hubs.

a green tuk-tuk in Bangkok, Thailand

Bangkok tuk-tuk via Pixabay

A tuk-tuk is one of Bangkok’s iconic “motor rickshaws”, a small carriage pulled by a low-powered motorbike. They are one of the iconic sights of the city, but are sometimes  not worth taking.

The general rule seems to be when you want one, you can’t find one. When you really don’t want one, they will be there to harass you. Generally tuk-tuks appeal to grungy backpackers who don’t understand that the rough and generally unsafe tuk-tuk is actually more expensive to take than an air conditioned metered cab! You will have to haggle with the driver to find a good price, which will, unfortunately, be a lot higher than if you were a local.

If you watch carefully, you'll notice that it's almost always foreigners who take the tuk-tuks around the city. Sure, they may be fun,

but you'll pay a lot more than you would for a regular taxi!

Unfortunately some tuk-tuk drivers will try to take advantage of you. It can be fun to take one, but it’s not really a safe, economical, or “authentic” way to get around town, as many tourists seem to believe.

So, is it worth it? It's definitely an experience, and they are undoubtedly fun to take. As long as you are just going a short distance and don't mind paying a little extra for a little less, it's not bad. Have fun and enjoy. Just make sure it's not about to rain!

They're never there when you need them, but swarms of drivers will hassle you to hire them when you absolutely don't. Love them or hate them, Bangkok's tuk-tuks are here to stay.

Learn more with the helpful e-book "Getting To, From, and Around Bangkok", a helpful transportation guide to the "Big Mango"