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Thailand Travel Guide

Tuk-Tuk Travel

Tuk-Tuk Travel

So-called because of their flatulent sound, these three-wheel cabs can be slightly less expensive than taxis, and are, because of their maneuverability, sometimes a more rapid form of travel through congested traffic. All tuk-tuk operators drive as if chased by hellhounds. Tuk-tuks are not very comfortable, require hard bargaining skills, are noisy, are very polluting, are very difficult to see out of if you are more than 4 feet tall, and subject you to the polluted air they create—so they're best used for short journeys, if at all. They are fun to take once, mildly amusing the second time, and fully unpleasant by the third.

If a tuk-tuk driver rolls up and offers to drive you to the other side of Bangkok for B20, think twice before accepting, because you will definitely be getting more than you bargained for. By dragging you along to his friend's gem store, tailor's shop, or handicraft showroom, he'll usually get a petrol voucher as commission. He'll tell you that all you need to do to help him put rice on his family's table is take a five-minute look around. Sometimes that's accurate, but sometimes you'll find it difficult to leave without buying something. It can be fun at times to go along with it all and watch everybody play out their little roles, but other times you really just want a ride to your chosen destination. Either way you end up paying for it.

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