Thailand is a fascinating country of vibrant colours, beautiful landscapes and sleepless cities. Its unique traits make it a popular holiday destination where it is necessary to get to grips with local transport in order to get the most out of the experience. This can be daunting for some but luckily if you are heading to Thailand then you can breathe easy as transport in Thailand is fairly well organised and easy to navigate. From buses to trains to taxis, you can pretty much take your pick.
In Bangkok there is also the Skytrain which is great if you fancy a change from the roadside hustle and bustle. A relatively modern elevated rail system, it offers a fast and reliable way to get around. However, if you’re looking for a more unique and authentic holiday experience, then tuk-tuk is the way to go. Tuk-tuks are one of the most popular forms of transport in Thailand and will take you racing through the manic traffic at an exhilarating speed. In my opinion, it is the best option and will be a memorable part of your Thailand holiday. I will never forget the night I raced home through the moonlit streets of Bangkok by tuk-tuk.
Having said this, although it is more often than not perfectly safe, drivers can be crafty and there are certain traps you should be aware of before your travelling to Thailand:
1. Always negotiate a price beforehand. If it is agreed up front then there is less chance you will be ripped off.
2. If travelling by taxi, be sure to pay by the metre. Some drivers may insist that the metre is broken and offer you a much higher price so check it out before you get in.
3. Make it clear where you want to go before you embark on your journey. Tuk-tuk drivers in Thailand are renowned for trying to convince you to go to a destination you never intended to go to. Make sure you stay firm and stick to your holiday plan, don’t let them sway you.
4. It is useful to always carry a map or address card for your hotel so you can easily show where you need to go and avoid confusion if the driver speaks minimal English.
5. If a tuk-tuk driver offers you a special deal ‘just for one day’, tells you to look out for a tuk-tuk with a yellow flag, or insists that any of the most important monuments are closed then move on. This is usually part of a plan to get you into a family shop which will be way out of your way and leave you under pressure to buy something you don’t want or need.