Hagglers’ Heaven

Aside from the ‘snail rail’, Thailand offers some other interesting modes of transportation.


Meet the ‘tuk tuk’, a motorized tricycle that is responsible for the majority of the air and noise pollution around Thailand.
Inside a tuk tuk.

Getting stuck in traffic in a tuk tuk is bad news for the lungs…

Since these are not metered taxis one would have to negotiate with the driver before hopping on.  I think J pissed off his fair share of drivers by low balling them as most would just shake their heads and drive off without a word.  So when they say ‘100 bhat’, don’t counter ’40 bhat’ if you don’t want to get the evil eye.  This was one aspect of Thailand I wasn’t comfortable with.  Why can’t they just go by the meter or fair price, instead of jacking up the price and hoping for the best.  One example was when I was buying a table runner at the Chatuchak Weekend Market in Bangkok.

Vendor: 350 bhat.
Me: Whoa.
Vendor: OK, I give you good price, 250.
Me: Hmmm…
Vendor: OK 200.
J: 175.
Vendor: No no, 200.

See the difference between me and J?  I don’t even need to counter, and the guy lowers the price on his own.  J tries his best, but must lack that ‘charm factor’ : )  Later when we were walking through a different night market, I saw the EXACT SAME runner and out of curiosity I asked how much she was selling for.

Lady: 650 bhat.

WHAT!?! You see what I’m saying?  They’re just throwing a number out there and seeing what sticks.  For all I know, the runner’s probably not even worth 50 bhat.  Makes one very wary, though I’m sure some people enjoy this game immensely.  Thailand is certainly not for the ‘thin-skinned’.
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7 Responses to Hagglers’ Heaven

  1. You have to haggle everywhere in Asia! Walking away or not showing interest is the easiest way to get it lowered!

  2. Juin says:

    So, did you get the runner?

  3. L.Y. says:

    Yes, I got it for my colleague.

  4. SY says:

    Too bad haggling takes so long, in China I felt like I spent 30 minutes haggling to get like 2USD off the final price.

  5. SY says:

    Guys are not good at haggling! It seems to be a woman-thing I say! R is abominable at it!

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