Tuk tuk appears in several South Asian countries, which is a form of casual taxi, in an exotic way. Passenger squeeze in as many as they can, and they share the cost. Sometimes they have fixed price, and allow people to hop on hop off. Its small size give it the flexibility to wander along narrow lanes and backstreets. Some people love it as it brings them from A to B without many stops. But somebody finds it frustrating as everytime you have to deal with the hassle. There are several tricks tuk tuk drivers always use to cheat passengers, if you are smart enough, you won’t fall into their traps.
1. Bargain or agree with the price before getting on
If you know how much do the local people pay for the trip, that’s wonderful, pay the same. If you don’t know, bargain with a reasonable price before hopping on, otherwise they could charge you way higher than usual price.
2. Keep you waiting, test your limit
They said it is sharing tuk tuk, tell you the usual price, but you have to wait until more people get on. When you start to lose patience after 10 mins, they offer you a higher price to go alone and at once. You are indeed wasting your time if you keep on waiting, because they would never put other passengers on your tuk tuk. The drivers know foreigners are richer and with less patience, they want to see how long can you endure.
3. Tour around a city for 50 rupees
In big cities, tuk tuk drivers offer a good deal like 50 rupees tour around the city, then you will expect they stop in every expensive souvenir shops and ask you to buy something so they get the commission. And they will drop you to tourist places but limit your time of visiting, using all the excuses of parking control and stuff. BY the end of the day, if you didn’t buy anything, they ask you to pay a lot more which you have to burst out to argue with them. Totally ruin your mood to visit the city.
4. Exaggerate the distance of the trip
Even if you have checked the distance of travel on Google map, tuk tuk drivers give you a much higher figure and say it is too far, and no buses go there, just wanting to limit your choice but to take their surface.
Honestly, I rarely find a honest amd decent tuk tuk driver who charge me reasonable price, most of the time I hate to deal with them as I know they are going to cheat me anyway. And I would rather take local buses which have fixed price system!
Western travelers may disagree with me, who don’t care too much about fares, because it is cheap anyway for them. However, I am a super budget traveler, and always will be. Every dollar counts, the less I spend means the longer I can travel. Besides, I just don’t like the idea of being cheated.
Ask some local how to get the tuk tuk and how much it costs before you hop on! It is eventually a FUN experience, don’t be scared to try though!!