Taxi or Tuk Tuk in Bangkok? Taxi is Cheaper, Tuk Tuk May Be Fun!

Blue Tuk Tuk in Bangkok Thailand
Blue Tuk Tuk in Bangkok Thailand

Its funny to begin with. Meter Taxi in Bangkok is cheaper than tuk tuk, for a tourist certainly. A Thai local may somehow manage to get a ride in a tuk tuk for 30 THB, but that would be impossible for a tourist. I have paid 60 THB to go one km distance in the Nana / Asoke area of Sukhumvit. And I have been asked 200 THB by tuk tuk drivers to go a 3 km distance. On the other hand, I once travelled by taxi from a hotel on Soi 18 Sukhumvit to Hotel Nasa Vegas in Ramkhamhaeng Bangkok at 1.00am at night, and paid a total fare of just 60 THB. I can only speculate if a tuk tuk driver would have agreed to take me to Nasa Vegas at that time and if he did, how much the fare would have been. Bangkok’s tuk tuks have another problem. Many of the tuk tuk drivers are involved in scams. They offer to take you on two-hour sightseeing tours for 50 THB, tell you things like “Grand Palace is closed today”, and then take you to a “government gems shop” where “very cheap gems” can be purchased. There may be times when you will need or want to ride in a tuk tuk in Bangkok. And that would be the times to to take some precautions…

Before Taking About Bangkok Tuk Tuk Scams…The Bangkok Taxi Fares

The base fare for a Bangkok taxi is 35 THB for a distance of 0 to 1 km. From 2 to 10 km, the fare is 5.50 THB per km, and then from 11 to 20 km, the fare is 6.50 THB per km. For even longer distance, the per km fare will be still higher. There is an extra charge when a taxi gets stuck in traffic. At such a time, the meter will increase by 2 THB per minute provided the taxi is moving at a speed of under 6 km per hour. These fares are likely to increase any day now because the taxi drivers associations have been demanding a hike for long. There has been a recent increase (March 2017) in the fares charged by provincial taxis (not covering Bangkok) whereby the starting fare was increased to 40 THB. The new fare for a distance of 2 to 10 km has been increased to 6 THB per km and for a distance above 10 km, the fare would be 10 THB per km. Again, these fares were not applicable to Bangkok.

Tuk Tuk Scams

You ride a tuk tuk in Bangkok for fun and that too, for a short distance after agreeing on a fixed fare. Do not haggle much. If the tuk tuk driver is asking for 200 THB and you want to pay 50, it would be better to look for another tuk tuk or even another mode of transport. Do not fall for cheap temple tours and do not attempt to buy gems at places recommended by a tuk tuk driver. Also, do not ride a tuk tuk to go to a place that you do not know about.

Taxi Scams Too

There are taxi scams too. If you are going to an airport in Bangkok, agree in advance on who would pay for the highway tolls. Actually taking a taxi to the airport at an odd hour may need some negotiating skills. A taxi called by a hotel’s staff at night would not take you to Suvarnabhumi airport by meter. They will demand 600 THB. You should pay 400 including highway tolls. Other than in such a situation, a taxi driver is not supposed to demand a fixed fare. Do not even ask how much. If a taxi is vacant, just hop in and tell the driver where you want to go. If the fare by meter comes to 46 THB, it is polite to pay 50 THB and not demand change. But you are not expected to pay 100 THB when the fare by meter is 78 THB. Just pay 80.

Hi. Thanks for visiting my travel blog. As of now, two countries, Thailand and Cambodia, are covered in this blog. Both of these countries are great for tourism and both can be visited without buying any conducted tours. Please read my articles and leave a comment or question for additional information. I will be happy to help.  | Facebook | Twitter