Though colorful three-wheeled tuk-tuks are somewhat of a symbol of Bangkok, they're really only a good option when traffic is light—otherwise you can end up sitting in gridlock, sweating, and sucking in car fumes. They're also unmetered, their drivers prone to overcharging; unless you are good at bargaining, you may well end up paying more for a tuk-tuk than for a metered taxi. Some tuk-tuk drivers drive like madmen, and an accident in a tuk-tuk can be scary. Expats are loath to enter a tuk-tuk, but for many tourists, a trip to Bangkok isn't complete without a ride.

Watch out for unscrupulous tuk-tuk drivers who offer cut-rate tours, then take you directly to jewelry and clothing shops that pay them a commission. If a trip to Bangkok does not seem complete without a tuk-tuk adventure, pay half of what the driver suggests, insist on being taken to your destination, and hold on for dear life.

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