If you are planning to visit Thailand in 2023, you might be wondering how to get around the country easily and affordably. You might be familiar with Uber, the popular ride-hailing app that operates in many countries around the world. But is there Uber in Thailand? And if not, what are the alternatives?
In this article, we will answer these questions and provide you with everything you need to know about transportation in Thailand. We will also share some tips and tricks to make your travel experience more enjoyable and hassle-free.
Is there Uber in Thailand?
The short answer is no, there is currently no Uber in Thailand. Uber launched in Thailand in 2014, but it faced legal challenges and protests from local taxi drivers who claimed that Uber was operating illegally and unfairly. In 2018, Uber decided to sell its Southeast Asian operations to Grab, a regional competitor that offers similar services. Since then, Uber has shut down its app and website in Thailand and redirected its users to Grab.
What is Grab and how does it work?
Grab is a Singapore-based company that operates in eight countries in Southeast Asia, including Thailand. It offers various services, such as ride-hailing, food delivery, grocery shopping, and payment solutions. Grab is the most popular and widely used app for transportation in Thailand, especially in urban areas like Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Phuket, and Pattaya.
Using Grab is very similar to using Uber. You just need to download the app on your smartphone, create an account, and enter your destination. Also, You can choose from different types of vehicles, such as cars, motorcycles, or tuk-tuks. You can also see the estimated fare, the driver’s name and rating, and the arrival time. You can pay by cash, credit card, or GrabPay, which is Grab’s own e-wallet.
Grab is generally cheaper, safer, and more convenient than regular taxis in Thailand. You don’t have to worry about haggling, language barriers, or scams. You can also enjoy features like live tracking, in-app chat, and customer support. Grab also has a loyalty program called GrabRewards, where you can earn points and redeem them for discounts, vouchers, and other benefits.
Advantages and disadvantages of using Grab in Thailand?
Here are some of the pros and cons of using Grab in Thailand:
- Grab is easy to use and reliable. You can book a ride anytime and anywhere with just a few taps on your phone.
- Grab is affordable and transparent. You can see the fare before you confirm your booking, and you don’t have to pay any extra fees or surcharges.
- Grab is safe and secure. You can see the driver’s details and ratings, and you can share your trip details with your friends or family. You can also contact the driver or customer service if you have any issues or concerns.
- Grab offers a variety of options. You can choose from different types of vehicles, such as cars, motorcycles, or tuk-tuks. You can also order food, groceries, or other items through the app.
- Grab is not available everywhere. Grab mainly operates in major cities and tourist destinations in Thailand. If you are traveling to remote or rural areas, you might not find any Grab drivers or services.
- Grab is not always cheaper than other modes of transportation. Depending on the demand, the time, and the location, Grab fares can fluctuate and surge. Sometimes, you might find cheaper alternatives, such as public buses, trains, or ferries.
- Grab is not always faster than other modes of transportation. Thailand is known for its traffic congestion, especially in Bangkok. Sometimes, taking a Grab car can take longer than taking a motorcycle, a tuk-tuk, or a metro.
Other transportation alternatives in Thailand?
If you don’t want to use Grab or you can’t find any Grab drivers or services in your area, don’t worry. There are plenty of other ways to get around Thailand, such as:
You can find them easily in cities, but some drivers might not use the meter or charge too much. Agree on the price before you get in, and ask for a receipt. You can also book a taxi online with apps like All Thai Taxi or Taxi OK.
Motorcycles are a fast and cheap way to get around Thailand, especially in places with heavy traffic. You can hire a motorcycle taxi or rent a motorcycle yourself. But not very safe. You need a license, a permit, and insurance to ride a motorcycle. You also need to wear a helmet and follow the rules.
You can hire a motorcycle taxi or rent a motorcycle yourself. They are fast and cheap, but not very safe. You need a license, a permit, and insurance to ride a motorcycle. You also need to wear a helmet and follow the rules.
Buses are a common and inexpensive way to travel within and between cities in Thailand. There are different types of buses, such as public buses, minibusses, or VIP buses, that vary in quality, comfort, and price. You can buy bus tickets at bus stations, travel agencies, or online platforms like 12Go Asia or BusOnlineTicket. You can also use apps like Transit Bangkok or Moovit to plan your bus routes and schedules.
Trains are a scenic and relaxing way to travel across Thailand. There are different types of trains, such as ordinary trains, express trains, or sleeper trains, that vary in speed, comfort, and price. You can buy train tickets at train stations, travel agencies, or online platforms like 12Go Asia or Thai Railway Ticket. You can also use apps like Thai Railways or SRT Mobile to check train timetables and fares.
Is there Uber in Bangkok?
Bangkok, Thailand’s capital and largest city, has no Uber service since 2018. Instead, you can use Grab, a similar app that lets you book cars, motorcycles, or tuk-tuks, (SkyTrain in Bangkok). Grab also has food delivery, grocery shopping, and payment features. Grab is easy, cheap, and transparent, and you can pay by cash, card, or GrabPay.
Grab is safer and more secure than taxis, as you can see the driver’s details, ratings, and trip details. You can also contact the driver or customer service if needed. To use Grab, download the app, create an account, and enter your destination. You can see the fare, arrival time, and live tracking of your ride. Grab is the best Uber alternative in Thailand and a “Super App” that can help you with anything.
Is there Uber in Phuket?
Phuket is a big island in Thailand that many tourists like to visit. But you cannot use Uber in Phuket. Uber stopped working in Thailand in 2018. It sold its business to Grab, another app that does the same thing.
Grab lets you book cars, motorcycles, or tuk-tuks. You can also order food, groceries, or other things with Grab. Grab is easy to use and cheap. You can pay with cash, card, or GrabPay. Grab is also safe and secure. You can see who your driver is and how they are rated. You can also share where you are going with your friends or family. You can also talk to the driver or the customer service if you have any problems.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Is there Uber in Bangkok, Thailand?
A: No, there is no Uber in Bangkok or anywhere else in Thailand. Uber sold its Southeast Asian operations to Grab in 2018, and since then, Uber has stopped operating in Thailand. You can use Grab instead, which is a similar app to Uber, or other modes of transportation, such as taxis, motorcycles, or tuk-tuks.
Q: Is there Lyft in Thailand?
A: No, there is no Lyft in Thailand or anywhere else in Southeast Asia. Lyft is a US-based company that operates mainly in North America. You can use Grab instead, which is a similar app to Lyft, or other modes of transportation, such as taxis, motorcycles, or tuk-tuks.
Q: What is the best way to get around Thailand?
A: There is no definitive answer to this question, as it depends on your preferences, budget, and destination. However, some general tips are:
- Use Grab for short and convenient trips within cities, especially if you want to avoid haggling, language barriers, or scams.
- Use motorcycles or tuk-tuks for fast and cheap trips in places with heavy traffic, but be aware of the safety risks and the legal requirements.
- Use buses or trains for long and inexpensive trips between cities, but be prepared for delays, crowds, or discomfort.
- Use ferries for easy and enjoyable trips to and from the islands, but check the weather conditions and the schedules beforehand.
Q: Do I need an international license to drive in Thailand?
A: Yes, you need an international driving permit (IDP) to drive in Thailand, along with your valid driver’s license from your home country. You can obtain an IDP from your local automobile association before you travel to Thailand. Driving without an IDP in Thailand can result in fines, penalties, or invalidation of your insurance.
Q: Are taxis expensive in Thailand?
A: Taxis are generally affordable in Thailand, especially compared to other countries. However, the exact fare depends on the distance, the traffic, and the type of taxi. Most taxis in Thailand are metered, but some drivers might try to negotiate a fixed price or refuse to use the meter. Make sure to agree on the fare before you get in, and ask for a receipt. You can also use apps like All Thai Taxi or Taxi OK to book a taxi online and avoid overcharging.
Q: Do taxi drivers speak English in Thailand?
A: Some taxi drivers in Thailand might speak some basic English, but many of them might not. It is advisable to have the address of your destination written in Thai or to show it on your phone or a map. You can also use apps like Google Translate or Speak & Translate to communicate with the driver.
Thailand is a beautiful and diverse country that offers a lot of attractions and activities for travelers of all tastes and budgets. However, traveling around Thailand can also be challenging and confusing, especially if you are not familiar with the transportation options and the local culture. That’s why we created this complete guide to answer the question: Is there Uber in Thailand?
We hope that this guide has helped you understand the availability and use of Uber in Thailand, and the alternatives that you can use instead.