Thailand Travel By Samlors & Songthaews
Samlors, or tuk-tuks, are 3-wheeled, open-sided buggies fueled by liquid petroleum gas. As taxis, they are a rather noisy and often uncomfortable (albeit convenient) alternative to metered taxis. Nevertheless, tuk-tuks are an integral part of Thai life and at least one ride is a must. Fares are negotiable before the ride, and while locals do well, tourists usually pay the same or more than a taxi fare, roughly US$1 for a 1.5-km trip.
Songthaews are open-sided minivans and/or pickups seating passengers on two benches. They ply regular routes for fixed fares usually a few baht. In some places such as Pattaya and Chiang Mai, they operate as taxis and you have to negotiate the fare before you ride. Per-person fares are slightly cheaper than metered taxis, but groups are better off taking cabs as the fare is calculated according to distance only, regardless of the number of passengers.