Tuk Tuks in Bangkok Dangerous

Tuk Tuks in Bangkok Dangerous


I very rarely take a tuk tuk. They are not very good value for money. The drivers often demand far more than what a similar trip would cost in an air-conditioned taxi. They are also dangerous. Today I saw two reports of accidents. This first one was early this morning. The tuk tuk crashed into the barrier of the Thai-Japanese Bridge near Wat Hua Lamphong. @js100radio reported that there was one fatality. The second one was tonight on Soi Dansamrong Sukhumvit 113. According to G. Matthew Hammond it was full with teenage girls.


What about you? Do you use tuk tuks much or are they just for tourists, market vendors & school kids? Do you think they are safe or should they been banned like the rickshaws?

22 thoughts on “Tuk Tuks in Bangkok Dangerous

  1. Tuk-tuk’s should go the way of the Dodo.
    Here are some of the reasons why:

    + There’s no meters on this thing. I’ve overheard them charging 200Baht from Central World to Nana.
    Cost by a metered taxi for the same distance? 40Baht per taxi.

    + I’ve also heard them wanting to charge 1,000Baht to the airport from Khao San Rd.
    Cost by metered taxi? 250-300Baht per taxi.
    Cost by Van? 150Baht per person.

    + This tiny, noisy vehicle tends to be overcrowded. I’ve seen 5 adults on it at once.
    + This makes the already unstable vehicle easy to tip over.

    + AND, the drivers charge by the number of people, rather than by distance.

    + The drivers speed, and swerve and weave their way in and out between cars. Throwing caution to the wind. You literally hear the passengers screaming sometimes. (ironically some actually think it’s a joy-ride at DisneyLand)

    + A metered taxi is so much safer, more comfortable, and rain-proof. It is also less noisy, less polluting, and less dangerous.

    By all means, keep the Tuk-Tuk.

    BUT, only allow it for FREE transport like those who wear nice uniforms, and are owned by the high-end Hotels. Otherwise, please make it go extinct. The second way to lead it to it’s demise, is if Insurance companies do NOT make payment if deaths/injuries are the result of having ridden in a Tuk-Tuk. That should drastically slow things down.

  2. I never even try to take a tuk tuk – much more expensive than a taxi. But occasionally useful for transporting something big like a table or chairs. I’d really like to convert a few to run on compressed air though, as proof-of-concept. Missing a wheel, glass etc.. they are ideal for it.

  3. Bangkok without Tuk-Tuks, come on, I mean yeah they over charge, yeah they are dangerous but there have been times during Red or Yellow demos that one of these guys has been there when no one else would pick me up. Bangkok is a wild and wonderful place, stop trying to make it like Des Moine, Iowa.

    1. There is no doubt that the Tuk Tuks are iconic and important for tourism. For that reason alone they will probably remain. But they do need to be regulated. If they can put meters on motorcycles then why not Tuk Tuks?

          1. That is interesting; I have yet to see a metered motorcycle taxi.

            I will only take a tuk-tuk if I cannot get a taxi to take me and it is too far to walk. or like once I had a huge framed picture too big for a taxi and it started to rain when along came a tuk-tuk, so that worked out.

  4. I never use tuk tuks, the roads are dangerous if you are in a car, let alone some three wheeled motorcycle with no safety belts, doors and windshield. But motorcycle taxis are even more dangerous.

  5. Took a tuk tuk from Democracy Monument to Hua Lampong MRT Sunday night when there were no taxis. 80 Baht for two of us (two passengers max advised). Exciting (!) ride. Wet cement between drop off point and MRT entrance.

  6. It’s such an experience to ride in one of these that here in the states people always ask if you went to Thailand “did you ride a tuk tuk?” But so many of these drivers are drug addicts, drive unsafely, and rip off customers it’s a good idea to warn people from taking them. I’ve witnessed a few near fatalities with tuk tuks. If you decide to ride one of these, do it at your own risk but try to pick and old guy that looks safe to ride with and only do it once. If people ever catch on, the tuk tuk’s will fade away.

  7. We only use tuk tuks when they fit their purpose, like getting down our soi from the main road, or carrying loads that a taxi can’t/won’t.

    For example, I once had my motorcycle break down. For 100 baht, the tuk tuk guy and I loaded onto the back, strapped in on, drove me home, and helped unload it.

    But, we never use a tuk tuk when a taxi will do.

    On the subject of rickshaws, you’ll find peddle powered rickshaws all over Nonthaburi, but few tuk tuks.

    1. There used to be many samlors in Samut Prakan when I first came to teach here but now there is only a handful. Like other places, they are no longer accepting new registrations. When the drive dies his samlor is “buried” alongside him. The reasoning is that they cause traffic jams. In Bangkok they are banned.

  8. I’ve had the experience of both the tuk tuk and the rickshaws, great experience but the worse thing is the pollution to cope with as your always stuck in traffic in bangkok! its like having an old 2 stoke bike with the petrol/oil smell.

  9. I would definitely not ride one in fast moving traffic. This makes me wonder if they are allowed (or would dare to go) on the freeway?

    My son, a teenager at the time, almost fell out of one as it was taking a corner too fast.

    I always assumed they were used for short trips, like when you have bought too much at the market and didn’t feel like carrying it all by hand.

  10. You guys complaining about Bangkok tuk-tuks should come for a holiday in Phuket. Then you’ll see how REAL monopolies can screw up a place.

    200 baht wouldn’t get you 200 meters here.

  11. I like tuk tuk very much! Always take tuk tuk when i am in Bangkok. Dont see it dangerous. Other vehicles also involved in accidents, not just tuk tuk!!

  12. Sure, getting on a tuk tuk is a higher risk than getting on a taxi – but part of Bangkok’s charm is that you still have the freedom to chose which risks you want to take and which don’t. Don’t Singaporeize Bangkok, there’s enough boring places on earth already, and if you want to avoid the risk, just don’t get on a tuk tuk. We’re adults.

  13. We only use them in BKK when we need to transport things to our car that is parked further on. They are perfect for transporting big bags of products in the Chinese part of BKK. They are basically the only vehicles that can do this because of the small and crowded soi’s.

    We also use them often outside BKK at places where there are no taxis.

    They can’t be banned at all places because they are absolutely necessary in some parts of BKK.

  14. Hate those tuk tuks. Not just the dangerous way they drive but how they cheat innocent tourists too. If they r to stay, perhaps an authority needs to step in with stricter rules.

  15. Never use them myself in Bangkok. Expensive, dangerous, uncomfortable, slow, hot, and cause me to breathe in extra traffic fumes.

    Always flag down a Taxi Meter on the road. Cheaper, safer, comfortable, fast (depending on the traffic of course!), cool, and often have a nice chat with the driver.

  16. I’ve taken tuk tuks many times and usually they drive well but a bit too fast!!!
    My advice if the driver goes too fast tell him “cha cha cha please!!!” “slow slow slow please!!!”.
    They will always slow if you ask them!!!!
    As for overcharging this is a problem.. Always agree a price first!!!!

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