Travel Tips

How to Use Uber in Bangkok

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Uber’s presence in Bangkok is making already cheap transportation even more affordable, but to make the most of it, there’s just a few things to know.

1. You can use Uber without enabling data services

I assumed you needed to have GPS enabled to use Uber, which wouldn’t work for me since I don’t have a global data plan. BUT it turns out you can use your app with just wifi! Just keep declining “Enable Location Services” and manually punch in your address.

Using Uber without Data Enabled

2. Free ride credits earned from referrals in the US do not apply to Bangkok rides

I was pretty excited that my 1000 baht (~$33 USD) Uber Black ride from the hotel to the airport was going to be almost free. But when I saw my emailed receipt, it turns out the free ride credit didn’t apply. At least now you won’t have to worry about wasting a free ride worth $20 on a $2 UberX ride. 🙂

3. Available Uber Black and UberX cars are limited

They have yet to take over that market so the little cars on your screen can be few and far between, with wait times of more than 15 minutes.

Uber Bangkok No Cars Available

So a few tips:

  • If you want to take it to the airport, open the Uber app a day or two before around the time you want to leave to see what general availability might look like.
  • Don’t count on it for tight deadlines — it might take 30 minutes for a car to reappear on your screen.
  • When cars do appear, request them immediately as they’ll soon disappear.

For all Uber’s faults, this is a great development for tourists who will no longer have to worry about being scammed by unscrupulous tuk tuk and taxi drivers. Speaking of which, Uber Tuk Tuk would be an awesome option!

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5 Comments

  1. Luke

    April 6, 2015 at 6:42 pm

    Uber to and from either Bangkok airport has flat rates. For that, GrabTaxi/MyTeksi is a better option to avoid the haggling process.

  2. Brent

    April 6, 2015 at 7:37 pm

    For the same price or cheaper I’m able to book a town car where the driver waits with a sign with my name on it at the airport, helps me with my luggage, and parks nearby so I don’t have to wait outside in the heat.

    You are also forgetting the concept that a majority of drivers like to call passengers when they arrive or when they cannot find you. They are not going to call an international number. You already mentioned that free credits earned in the US do not apply. They have to be the same currency, doesn’t matter which country.

  3. paquan

    April 7, 2015 at 3:41 am

    Thanks for the 411 on Uber credits. I was wondering if they’d work. BTW, you can by a cheap True talk/data SIM at BKK or any 7-11.

  4. Kim

    September 12, 2015 at 2:46 am

    GPS has nothing to do with global data plan. You can still have location services turned on even without cellular data.

  5. Big and Small Foot Runners

    November 18, 2015 at 2:25 am

    So how much does it cost for an uber ride from the international airport to the central city like the Siam Paragon?

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