Transportation Tips: Tuk-Tuks

Pronounced “touk-touks,” these little buggers are infamous in Bangkok. They’re cute and cuddly, so lots of foreigners take them. Wrong choice, kiddos.

Although I’m sure there are plenty of upstanding citizens who operate very honest tuk-tuk services, I have encountered nothing but schemers, scammers, and swindlers in the form of tuk-tuk drivers, so I simply avoid them.

  • When you’re at the Grand Palace, don’t even think about it! There was actually recently an article about how bad the scams are getting around that area. The Bangkok Police Department is soon going to have official “checkpoints” for people to get honest drivers, but right now it’s just tuk-tuk predators trying to convince you to take a ride. Usually they offer you a ride for around 100B (already too much) to other attractions, or to the pier for a boat-ride/tour, or to other shops. These shops are probably illegal jewelry merchants, and they pay the driver to take you there – even if you don’t buy anything.
  • Other times, they’ll offer to take you to a “very delicious” restaurant for only 10B. The restaurant, you’ll find, is way overpriced and much further than you expected.
  • If you find yourself on Khao San Road (the uber-tourist Mecca, it seems), just walk away. Catch a cab a block away instead of dealing with the tuk-tuks who want to way overcharge you simply because they know you’re not knowledgable about how much a ride should cost.