Tuk-tuk in Bangkok
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Doing a similar job to the taxi is Thailand's ubiquitous Tuk-tuk ตุ๊กตุ๊ก. So named because of the sound of their engine, these are motorized rickshaws and are popular amongst tourists for their novelty value. Tuk-tuk is a symbol of Thai ingenuity. It is a modification of a Japanese delivery vehicle popular in the country during the 1960s. It has become popular and it is now being exported abroad. They are occasionally faster than taxis in heavy traffic as weaving in and out is easier, but generally about the same or slower. Without any luggage, 3 people can fit into one fairly comfortably - it's possible to fit more in but it gets a bit cramped. Fares always have to be bargained for, and it is sometimes possible to bargain tuk-tuk drivers down to less than the taxi flagfall of 35 Baht when they make good value. Most times, they offer no savings over a taxi, except perhaps if you're good at bargaining and can speak good Thai. The initial price they quote is likely to be well over the going rate, but it's easy to bargain it down to a more reasonable one if you know roughly the equivalent taxi fare.
Take a Ride on a Tuk-Tuk in the metropole Bangkok as a must-do experience. Touring around on a tuk-tuk is one of the best ways to experience Thai city life; allowing you to take in the sights, sounds, smells and sensations that make city life such an exciting experience. It’s a lot of fun, feeling the wind on your face and through your hair as you make your way through the traffic, often reaching your destination in quicker time than if you went by taxi. The combination of the tuk-tuk driver’s English skills (or lack of) plus my new-found Thai language skills will make the trip fun and interesting. Many Tuk-tuk drivers are experienced and only too willing to answer your many questions or tell you about people and places along the way. Photo taken from another Tuk-tuk in the centre of Bangkok so no panning needed to get this speed effect.
The motorized tuk-tuk brought the solution to Bangkok's transport need around 1960. Safe, stable and yet open, allowing a free passage of air, the tuk-tuk hasbecome a symbol of Bangkok. The modern-day tuk-tuks are environment-friendly, running on 4-stroke, 250 cc LPG or CNG engines. They are designed to seat up to three passengers with additional space for baggage, but very often many more than this will squeeze into the back. Manufactured in Thailand, tuk-tuks are now exported to many countries worldwide. Tuk-Tuks are an essential way of getting around in Thailand, except in Bangkok where they are slowly fading away. In Bangkok the Thais much prefer to take taxis which don't cost much more and have air conditioning and safety.