by Nadine, Voluntourist, IHF Chiang Rai
Before you come to Thailand, you know and hear that Tuk Tuks are THE typical means to get around.
And it’s true. First stop was Bangkok and I had to deal with a taxi at the airport. Finding a ‘taxi meter’ was not difficult. But on the way the driver told me I would have to pay the meter plus 50Baht for taking me from the airport plus 75Baht for the highway fee. He wanted me to pay while driving. Of course I refused but really feared I would be left in the middle of the way. He grumbled, at least I didn’t understand! Finally I arrived safely to my hotel and my total fare was 445Baht.
It didn’t start so gloriously but the adventures began nonetheless.
The following day I decided to explore Bangkok with a Tuk Tuk. First thing, from yesterday’s experience, was to bargain the fare. 300Baht? No way! Next try… 600Baht! I laugh and I move to another. 100Baht for two or three hours? Ok, and off we go. Wind in my hair and bumpy ride, but fun. Very very fun! The driver stayed with me for at least four hours and I visited all the places I wanted to.
The next experience was heading up to Chiang Rai in a VIP bus. Wow! I didn’t even realize the 12 hours had passed. Very comfortable, lots of space for my long legs and a massage seat. I even got a drink and a snack included in my ticket. And lunch too, at the only stop we made.
In Chiang Rai, contrary to what was planned I found otherwise. No one was waiting for me and I showed the taxi my address, in Thai, I got an ‘OK, OK’ and he left!!! Suddenly the lights at the bus station went off and… panic! Finally one taxi arrived. I gave him Laura’s phone number so that this time he understood the directions to the Center.
Northern Thailand… In Mae Sai, no Tuk Tuks but motor-taxis. Not my cup of tea as I am not the most confident on a motorbike, but it was good… and relatively cheap.
Tuks Tuks are my favourite by large… with Ushmi of course!