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Tuk Tuk in Bangkok - How to Avoid Scams & Enjoy Hassle-Free Rides - Smiling Tuk Tuk - horizontalTuk Tuk in Bangkok – How to Avoid Scams & Enjoy Hassle-Free Rides


Tuk Tuk (auto-rickshaw) is Bangkok’s iconic transportation. Riding a Tuk Tuk is one of the most popular things to do in Bangkok for travelers. A Tuk Tuk ride is not a luxury experience, but it gets you under the skin of Bangkok. While getting the speed, you get better sights, smells and touches of the city. You feel the tropical heat as much as you get cool breezes and car exhausts. Yet, riding a Tuk Tuk is a unique and fun experience. You should give it a try. In this blog, we talk about basic guidelines of how to take one. And if you’re interested, continue to read about its intriguing fact and background.

A few travelers have unpleasant experiences with Tuk Tuk – don’t let these put you off. Follow our guideline and you should be pretty safe from scams. However, several travel agencies in Bangkok offer Tuk Tuk as transportation for city sightseeings. Taking a Tuk Tuk via these agencies, you can be worry-free. With Smiling Tuk Tuk Tours & Events, you can hire a private Tuk Tuk. We also offer a food tour, day tours, and night tours by Tuk Tuk.


Fares of Tuk Tuk in Bangkok

Tuk Tuk in Bangkok - Smiling Tuk Tuk - Avoiding Tuk Tuk scams

Tuk Tuk don’t have the meter. Fares vary, depending on the distance travelled, the time of the day, the traffic, and the mood of the drivers. A travel distance of 2 km may start at ฿50, if there is no traffic. Keep in mind the drivers will always offer inflated rates. So, negotiate ฿10 – ฿20 off the proposed fare, and get the drivers to agree on the final fare before you hop on. Know that you’re likely to be charged more than Thais are, even you think the fare you get sounds reasonable.

In fact, Tuk Tuk is not the most practical way to get around Bangkok. But like we said, it’s for the experience. The cheapest and most comfortable chartered vehicles is taxi. If you need to get somewhere fast, a motorbike taxi.


When Should You Take a Tuk Tuk in Bangkok?

  • Use Tuk Tuk for short trips. It’s easier to not get cheated for the prices.

  • Avoid taking a Tuk Tuk in front of tourist attractions and tourist areas like Nana, Asoke, Khao San Road. You will not get fair prices. Those areas are also notorious for Tuk Tuk scams.

  • Avoid taking a Tuk Tuk during peak hours (7am – 9am, 3pm – 8pm). It’s not fun getting stuck in a traffic and breathing car fumes.


Popular Tuk Tuk Scams & How to Deal with Them

Tuk Tuk drivers can make a deal to get commissions with any businesses that make money with tourists, be it tailors, souvenir shops, travel agencies, or guesthouses. They get money as soon as they drop you off in front of the establishment, and they might get paid more if you give the place some business. The drivers will ‘offer.’ They will ask “would you like to go to…?” All you have to do is to turn down any offers. A short and sweet “no thanks” with “just get me to the place” will save you from the scams.


Hiring a Scam-Free & Reasonably Priced Tuk Tuk to Sightsee Bangkok

Tuk Tuk in Bangkok - Smiling Tuk Tuk - happy tourists

Happy tourists on The Foodie Tour by Tuk Tuk, operated by Smiling Tuk Tuk

Several travel agencies in Bangkok, including Smiling Tuk Tuk, offer Tuk Tuk with a driver for rent. Since the Tuk Tuk are represented by the agencies, they’re scam-free and hassle-free. All you have to do is to discuss how many hours you’d like to use a Tuk Tuk and give the agency some of where you’d like to be taken to. Smiling Tuk Tuk doesn’t only offer Tuk Tuk rentals for leisure and work trips, but can arrange fun tours by Tuk Tuk as well.

The Foodie Tuk Tuk is the one you visit Bangkok’s off-the-beaten-path dining neighborhoods and their famous local restaurants at night. The Romantic Tuk Tuk is great for lovers who’d like to be shown to romantic sites and activities in the evening. If you’d like to sightsee Bangkok Old City’s illuminated attractions at twilight and at night, street food dining, and a local market, Bangkok Magnificent Lights is the one you should go for.


What’s in the Name ‘Tuk Tuk’?

In 1960s, human-powered rickshaws were banned on streets of Bangkok. In the same time, different models and brands of Japanese motorized rickshaw trucks were imported to Thailand. They were modified for the use of carrying passengers. Engined rickshaws have replaced the man-powered ones ever since. Tuk Tuk is the sound made by the early models of the engined rickshaws. Though it’s written Tuk Tuk, the t sound is pronounced as dt. So it goes dtukdtuk.


Tuk Tuk around Thailand

Frog-face Tuk Tuk in Trang, a southern province of Thailand

Tuk Tuk are available in several cities in Thailand like Chiang Mai, Ayutthaya, and Trang. They’re widely used by locals to travel within the city. The ones in Ayutthaya and in Trang look different from the typical ones in Bangkok. They’re called Tuk Tuk Hua Kob (Frog-face Tuk Tuk) as they’re the modification of Daihatsu Motor’s MP4 Midget and MP5 Midget models.


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