Tuk Tuk in Bangkok
We can’t imagine Bangkok without tuk-tuk, the legendary three-wheeled (samlor), still popular with the tourists, fast through the very busy traffic of the city, and for many years living here, I never saw an accident. They mainly go short distance….bargain the price is a must before the ride, don’t hesitate to go down 50% of what the driver wishes. Not much driver understand/speak English, but they know how to count. Many true and false things have been written about them. These are people who make a hard living and of course, some of them will try to take you to shops, massages, nightclubs and other places where he gets some benefits (gas vouchers). Never take a tuk-tuk in front of your hotel, shopping mall, and tourist places, walk away and grab one in the street.
Enjoy The Ride
The ride is fun, but breathing pollution fumes are not, and wearing a mask can help. Don’t accept any special tours, shopping places. No, thank you, and a smile will do. Ask at your hotel to write the destination in Thai, and an idea of the ride cost. To avoid any confusion with the driver always keep a name card of the hotel/place you stay, will make it easier to communicate on your way back in case you use a tuk-tuk.
Capacity 3 to 4 persons. I saw sometime 5 to 6 people or overfull of goods.
Today used in many hotels, and residential apartments as a shuttle for the residents to the BTS or MRT station. Many are still used as well occasionally, especially the small local restaurant to go to the market for their daily shopping. Although its convenience is more expensive compared with the other means of transport.
they used to run on diesel, and now are using LPG (Liquid petroleum gas) and don’t make the tuk-tuk sound they did before. A Tuk Tuk LPG costs 6,000 baht of fuel per month, while an electric one only costs 1400 for battery charging. The future is 100% electric that is already exported to Europe, USA, and Australia, they have started to sell in the Thai market, resorts, hotels, serviced apartments and plan to convert all the 22000 within few years.
There are 22,000 of them all over the country, including about 9,000 on the streets of Bangkok.
Born in 1869 in Japan. In the 1930s, 20,000 used were donated to Southeast Asia. A decline during the Vietnamese war as the Japanese closed their factories, but at the initiative of a driver who created his own factory in his garage, just added a roof, a proper seating, a motorized engine, and voila, the Thai tuk-tuk was born.
Banned for a while in the ’80s, nowadays the proud of the Thai culture. Exported in Europe and some country in Asia, Egypt, Nigeria, Peru.
In 2015 two British citizens have broken the world record for a journey of 42,120 Km around the globe in 16 months.
Where I live, sometimes I wake up with the specific noise of, vrummm tuk-tuk-tuk-tuk, and occasionally I still use their service for a short distance and enjoy it.
I hope this will be useful to you in planning your next trip to Bangkok. If you have any questions, I will be happy to help you.