Getting around a new country can be daunting, especially if it’s busy, noisy and you’re getting in from the airport jetlagged and at a weird time. Nowadays, many international travelers are using Uber to get their bearings in a new city, thanks to their safety features, upfront rates, and easy payment process. So, is there Uber in Thailand? Let’s find out.
Is There Uber in Thailand?
Unfortunately, there is no Uber presence in Thailand at the moment and that seems unlikely to change. Uber’s corporate office pulled all its Southeast Asia interests back in 2018 and sold the majority of it to Grab, a similar service that’s based in Malaysia and operates throughout the area.
Was Uber Ever in Thailand?
Uber used to operate in Thailand, with some success, but you’ll no longer be able to use the Uber app in this entire area. There are plenty of alternatives, whether it’s a different app-based service or a different mode of transportation, so you won’t feel the Uber-less void the next time you’re in Thailand.
What Uber Alternatives are There in Thailand?
So, with Uber out of the equation, what are your affordable, convenient options for traveling around Thailand’s beautiful cities?
If you’re looking for a like-for-like alternative to Uber, then Grab is probably the best. It’s a ride-sharing, delivery, and financial services app that is based out of Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia. Grab works across most of Southeast Asia, so if you’re out here for a while, it’s an ideal traveling companion.
2. Tuk Tuks
One of the quintessential ways to get around much of Southeast Asia is by Tuk Tuk. They’re not the sturdiest looking modes of transportation, but they’re cheap and super accessible.
Great for short journeys but not comfy enough for long trips. Make sure you agree on a price before you get in the Tuk Tuk and that you have the correct change where possible.
What are local taxis like in Thailand?
Local taxis are a lot cheaper on the whole than using the Grab app, and they’re pretty prevalent all around the city. If you’re going short distances and don’t mind sketchy driving, Tuk Tuks are a cheaper option.
As with taxis in any part of the world, be sensible and agree on a fare before getting in the car. Also, get a route up on your phone and show the driver that that’s the way you want to go. A lot of taxi and Tuk Tuk drivers take a long way round and charge way more.
What’s the Best way to Get Around Cities in Thailand?
The best ways to get around cities in Thailand, especially during busy periods are by taxi, bus, or Tuk Tuk. If you’re in Bangkok, you’ll also have the option of getting the Skytrain or express boats that run up and down the river.
Try to avoid peak travel times, and even though it may seem quicker to walk, traffic is crazy and comes from all directions, so maybe just pay up for a Tuk Tuk.
What’s the Best Way to Travel to Different Cities in Thailand?
If you want to check out a few places around Thailand, then your fastest option is via internal flights. There are a few budget airlines that connect Thailand’s major cities, so if you’re short on time, you might want to take to the skies.
Got a bit more time in Thailand and want to save some cash? Hop on a sleeper train and save money on accommodation as you travel to your next destination. The super popular Chiang Mai – Bangkok route has second-class sleep tickets for around $15, which is way more economical than flying.
Finally, if you’re heading to the islands, the most convenient way to travel is by ferry. You can find tons of tourist routes that vary based on destination and season, but tend to be pretty regular and affordable.
No Uber in Thailand, but Grab is Just as Good!
While there is no longer any Uber presence in Thailand, you can download the Grab app which is super similar, or opt for local public transportation, or Tuk Tuks to get around the cities.
Just make sure you do your homework when it comes to taxi and Tuk Tuk rates, map out your route, and, if all else fails, ask a local to direct you to a reliable driver.