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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