One of the most iconic modes of transportation, the tuk tuk is a truly Thai vehicle. The colorful, noisy, open-air tuk tuks that are found throughout Bangkok are both a “must ride” experience for visitors and a convenient way for both visitors and locals to quickly travel around. While tuk tuks are generally more expensive than air conditioned taxis, they are often more easy to find and certainly can be more fun to ride. That said, tuk tuk fares are not fixed and tuk tuk drivers have been known to overcharge unsuspecting foreigners. Visitors should agree upon fares with tuk tuk drivers prior to boarding the vehicle. Short tuk tuk trips should cost between 30 and 50 baht regardless of how many passengers you can pile on board.
In different parts of Thailand tuk tuks take on various designs that are quite different from the traditional tuk tuks found in Bangkok. These include motorbikes with covered sidecars, which are the primary public taxis in Ao Nang Beach, Krabi. Often, Thais will refer to any small transport vehicle as a tuk tuk regardless of its design, provided the vehicle has three wheels or is powered by a small motorbike.
It should be noted that near popular tourist destinations, particularly in Bangkok, tuk tuk drivers are frequently involved in scams targeting unsuspecting visitors. Beware of tuk tuk drivers who erroneously inform you that a tourist attraction is closed or that they will take you sightseeing for free. Such tuk tuk drivers receive commissions to take unsuspecting visitors to fraudulent gem shops or other places of business whose sole purpose is to rip-off visitors.