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Is there Uber in Thailand? No, Uber is not currently available in Thailand. The service ceased its operations in the country in 2018, following a merger with Grab, a similar ride-sharing service now the region’s dominant platform. Visitors looking for ride-hailing services in Thailand can use Grab, which offers a comprehensive range of transportation options.

Thailand, a country known for its vibrant cities, stunning landscapes, and rich cultural heritage, offers a plethora of transportation options for both locals and visitors. While Uber exited the Thai market in 2018, the rise of other ride-hailing apps like Grab has ensured that travelers have access to convenient transportation services. This guide provides an overview of the current ride-sharing landscape in Thailand, traditional taxi services, and other local transportation methods to help you navigate the country with ease.

Is There Uber in Thailand?

cartoon of man ordering a taxi, a large phone shows the different options for different taxis
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As mentioned, Uber ceased its operations in destinations throughout Thailand including Bangkok, Phuket, and Chiang Mai. in 2018 as part of a wider strategic withdrawal from Southeast Asia, choosing instead to merge its regional business with Grab. This decision marked the end of Uber’s direct presence in Thailand and several other countries in the region. The merger was a significant event in the Southeast Asian ride-hailing market, effectively consolidating it under Grab’s brand, which became the dominant service provider.

The exit of Uber from Thailand was influenced by various factors, including the intense competition in the ride-hailing sector, regulatory challenges, and the strategic realignment of Uber’s global operations. This move was aimed at reducing the company’s operational costs in competitive markets where it faced stiff competition and regulatory hurdles. For Uber, this meant a focus on markets where it could either dominate or establish a significant, sustainable presence.

Following Uber’s withdrawal, Grab took over its operations, user base, and driver network in Thailand, ensuring a seamless transition for users who relied on app-based transportation services. Grab has since expanded its services in Thailand, offering not only ride-hailing but also food delivery and financial services, mirroring Uber’s business model in other markets.

The absence of Uber has left a gap that has been filled by Grab and other local ride-sharing services, such as Bolt and Get, providing similar services ranging from budget-friendly rides to more premium options. These platforms have adapted to the local market, offering services that cater to the unique needs and preferences of Thai consumers and tourists.

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Are There Other Ride-sharing Apps in Thailand?

Carsharing service abstract concept vector illustration.
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With Uber no longer available in Thailand, several ride-sharing apps have stepped up to provide comprehensive transportation services across the country. These apps not only offer a range of services from standard rides to more specialized transportation options but also cater to different user preferences and budgets. Let’s delve into the details of each significant player in the Thai ride-sharing market.


Grab has become the most dominant ride-sharing service in Thailand post-Uber. Grab is the most widespread rideshare option in Thailand and has the greatest number of drivers, however it is also often the most expensive option.

Grab offers a wide array of services including:

  • GrabCar for private car rides,
  • GrabBike for quick motorbike trips,
  • GrabTaxi to book metered taxis through the app,
  • GrabExpress for courier and parcel delivery services, and
  • GrabFood for food delivery.

Fares: Grab’s pricing is dynamic and depends on factors such as time of day, demand, and type of service. For example, a typical GrabCar ride from Suvarnabhumi Airport to central Bangkok might cost around 350 to 400 THB ($10 to $12 USD), whereas GrabBike would be considerably cheaper for shorter distances within the city.


Bolt, previously known as Taxify, operates in several Thai cities, providing another alternative for ride-hailing. Bolt is appreciated for its competitive fares and straightforward pricing model. Unlike Grab, Bolt focuses mainly on car rides.

Fares: Bolt tends to offer slightly lower prices than Grab for similar distances. An average ride within Bangkok might cost around 100 to 150 THB ($3 to $5 USD), making it a budget-friendly option for travelers.


inDrive offers a unique model in the ride-sharing market, distinguishing itself by allowing passengers to set their own fares for rides, which drivers can then choose to accept, counter-offer, or decline. This negotiation-based model can lead to more competitive pricing and gives both drivers and passengers more control over their ride experience. inDrive’s services are not limited to just car rides; depending on the market, they may also offer delivery services and other transportation options.

When requesting a ride, passengers enter their pickup and drop-off locations along with a proposed fare based on their assessment of the distance and local rates. Drivers nearby will see the request and can accept the fare as is, ignore the request, or make a counter-offer, which the passenger can then accept or decline. This system encourages fair pricing and transparency, as both parties agree on the fare before the ride begins.

inDrive’s availability can vary by city and region within Thailand, so it’s recommended to download the app and check for service availability in your specific area.

Fares: Since fares are negotiated directly between the driver and passenger, prices can vary widely. This system allows for potentially lower fares than fixed-price services, especially during off-peak hours or in less busy areas. However, during high demand times, prices may be higher due to the negotiation process.

Rideshare Example Costs and Comparisons

To give you a better idea of how these services stack up against each other, here’s a comparison of estimated fares for a common route: from Suvarnabhumi Airport to Siam Square in central Bangkok.

  • GrabCar: Approximately 350-400 THB ($10-$12 USD)
  • Bolt: Around 300-350 THB ($9-$10 USD)
  • inDrive: Similar to Grab and Bolt, around 300-400 THB ($9-$12 USD) under normal traffic conditions. However, with inDrive, you might be able to negotiate a fare that’s lower or higher than this range, depending on demand, your negotiation skills, and the willingness of the driver to accept your proposed fare.

These estimates can vary based on traffic, time of day, and specific service chosen. It’s always a good idea to compare the fares on the apps before booking your ride.

Taxis in Thailand

ride share taxi app with taxi with backdrop of a city
Image by Freepik

Taxis are a ubiquitous sight in Thailand, especially in larger cities like Bangkok, Chiang Mai, and Phuket. They offer a convenient, at times challenging, way to navigate the country’s bustling streets and scenic routes. Understanding the taxi system, including pricing, practices, and safety tips, can significantly enhance your travel experience in Thailand.

Are Taxis Cheap in Thailand?

Generally, taxis in Thailand are considered inexpensive by international standards. However, prices can vary depending on the city, time of day, and specific circumstances such as traffic conditions.

How Much Do Taxis Cost in Thailand?

Taxis in Thailand use a metered system, which starts with a base fare of approximately 35 THB (about $1 USD) for the first two kilometers. The fare then increases by about 2 to 5 THB per subsequent kilometer, depending on the distance of the journey. Additional charges may apply for tolls, which are typically the responsibility of the passenger.

Example Fare: A taxi ride from Suvarnabhumi Airport to the city center of Bangkok (approximately 30 kilometers) can cost between 300 to 400 THB ($9 to $12 USD), excluding toll fees.

Do Taxis Accept Credit Cards in Thailand?

While the acceptance of credit cards is becoming more common in Thai taxis, especially those booked through apps like Grab, the majority of traditional street-hailed taxis still operate on a cash-only basis. It’s always advisable to carry enough cash for your journey and confirm payment methods with the driver beforehand.

How Do I Catch a Taxi in Thailand?

You can hail a taxi directly off the street in most urban areas. Look for taxis with a red “vacant” sign in the front window. It’s also possible to book taxis through ride-hailing apps like Grab, which offer the convenience of cashless payments and fixed fares.

Are There Taxi Apps in Thailand?

Rideshare app Grab also functions as a taxi booking app, as does Bolt. Both platforms allow users to book metered taxis. These apps offer an alternative to street hailing and can provide a more secure and convenient way to travel.

Are Taxis Safe in Thailand?

Taxis in Thailand are generally safe. However, as with any travel, it’s important to exercise caution. Always ensure that the taxi uses a meter, and avoid taxis that refuse to do so. It’s also a good practice to note the taxi’s identification number and driver’s name, usually displayed on the dashboard.

Common Taxi Scams in Thailand?

While taxis in Thailand offer a convenient way to get around, especially in tourist-heavy areas, visitors should be aware of some common scams. Here’s a list of potential scams and tips on how to avoid them:

  • Refusal to Use Meter: Some drivers may refuse to use the meter, especially in tourist areas, and instead offer a flat rate that is usually much higher. Insist on the meter being turned on as soon as you enter the taxi. If the driver refuses, politely decline and find another taxi.
  • Long Scenic Route: Drivers may take a longer route to increase the fare, particularly when they realize you’re unfamiliar with the area. Use a GPS app on your smartphone to monitor your route and ensure it’s the most direct path to your destination.
  • Claiming Destination is Closed: A driver might tell you that your intended destination is closed (when it’s not) and offer to take you somewhere else, usually a shop or attraction from which they receive commissions. Verify the opening hours of your destinations before your trip and be firm about your intended destination.
  • Switching Notes: After handing over a large note, the driver might quickly switch it for a smaller one, claiming you underpaid. Pay close attention to the denomination of the notes you hand over and announce the amount as you hand it to the driver.
  • Toll Fee Scam: Drivers may claim that toll fees are higher than they actually are to get more money from you. Look up the common toll fees for your route beforehand and have small change ready to pay the exact amounts.
  • Fake Taxis: Some vehicles may mimic legitimate taxis but are unlicensed and may overcharge passengers. Use recognized taxi stands or book through a reputable app. Check for a taxi license and identification inside the cab.

Being aware of these scams and knowing how to avoid them can help ensure that your taxi experience in Thailand is both safe and enjoyable. Always be cautious, and when in doubt, trust your instincts and seek alternative transportation.

Do I Need to Tip Taxi Drivers in Thailand?

Tipping is not mandatory in Thailand, but rounding up the fare or leaving small change is appreciated for good service.

Other Ways to Get Around Thailand

Bus and bus driver at a bus stop

Thailand offers a variety of transportation options beyond taxis and ride-sharing apps, catering to the preferences and needs of all travelers. Here are some popular alternatives:

BTS Skytrain and MRT Subway in Bangkok

  • How to Use: Purchase tokens or a rechargeable card at the station. Maps and signs are in both Thai and English.
  • Cost: Fares range from 16 to 59 THB ($0.50 to $1.80 USD) depending on distance.
  • More Information: BTS Skytrain and MRT Subway websites provide detailed route maps, fare information, and operating hours.


  • How to Use: Agree on the fare before starting your journey. It’s essential to negotiate the price upfront.
  • Cost: Fares are negotiable but expect to pay at least 60 THB ($1.80 USD) for short trips. Prices can be significantly higher for tourists, so bargaining is recommended.
  • More Information: No official website, but travel guides and hotel concierges can offer advice on reasonable rates and hailing tips.

Motorbike Taxis

  • How to Use: Look for drivers wearing numbered vests at designated stands. Agree on the fare before riding.
  • Cost: Starts at around 25 THB ($0.75 USD) for short distances. Always negotiate the fare beforehand.
  • More Information: Information is more informal, but asking locals or your accommodation for advice on fares and reputable stands is helpful.

Songthaews (Shared Pick-up Trucks)

  • How to Use: Wait at designated stops or flag them down. Tell the driver your destination and ask if they’re heading that way.
  • Cost: Fares are usually very cheap, starting at 20 THB ($0.60 USD) for short trips within towns or between nearby destinations.
  • More Information: Local tourism offices or accommodation providers can offer advice on routes and prices.


  • How to Use: Thailand has an extensive network of local buses. Purchase tickets at bus terminals or on the bus, depending on the route.
  • Cost: Fares vary widely depending on distance and bus type, starting from as little as 8 THB ($0.24 USD) for local buses.
  • More Information: Look up local bus routes and schedules for more information.

Ferries and Boats

  • How to Use: Essential for reaching islands or crossing rivers. Tickets can be purchased at piers.
  • Cost: Fares depend on distance and the type of boat, ranging from 15 THB ($0.45 USD) for short river crossings to several hundred baht for longer island trips.
  • More Information: Search compare and book ferries with Bookaway.

Rental Cars and Scooters

  • How to Use: Available in most tourist areas. You’ll need a valid driver’s license and, for cars, often an International Driving Permit.
  • Cost: Daily rentals start at around 250 THB ($7.50 USD) for scooters and 1,000 THB ($30 USD) for cars.
  • More Information: Search compare and book ferries with DiscoverCars.

How Do I Get from the International Airport to the City Center?

Passengers with luggage in airport flat illustration
Image by pch.vector on Freepik

Navigating from Thailand’s international airports to city centers can be straightforward with several transportation options available. Here’s a guide for the two major airports in Thailand: Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK) in Bangkok and Phuket International Airport (HKT) in Phuket.

From Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK) to Bangkok City Center

Private Transfer
  • How to Use: Book in advance through travel agencies, hotel services, or online platforms.
  • Cost: Prices range from 1,000 to 1,500 THB ($30 to $45 USD) for a standard car.
  • More Information: Websites like TripAdvisor offer booking services.
Airport Rail Link (ARL)
  • How to Use: The ARL connects the airport to the city center, with stops including Phaya Thai (direct BTS connection).
  • Cost: Fares range from 15 to 45 THB ($0.45 to $1.35 USD).
  • More Information: Airport Rail Link provides details on schedules and fares.
  • How to Use: Taxis are available at the designated taxi stands. Make sure the driver uses the meter, or negotiate the fare in advance.
  • Cost: Approximately 300 to 400 THB ($9 to $12 USD), excluding expressway tolls.
  • More Information: Follow airport signs to the official taxi queues.
Public Bus
  • How to Use: Several public bus lines serve the airport, connecting to different parts of Bangkok.
  • Cost: Fares are as low as 24 THB ($0.72 USD) depending on the destination.
  • More Information: Bangkok Mass Transit Authority has information on routes and schedules.

From Phuket International Airport (HKT) to Phuket City Center

Private Transfer
  • How to Use: Pre-book through hotels, travel agencies, or online platforms.
  • Cost: Typically between 800 to 1,200 THB ($24 to $36 USD) for a standard vehicle.
  • More Information: Online platforms like Klook and Viator offer various options.
  • How to Use: Available at the airport. Agree on the fare before starting your journey or ensure the meter is used.
  • Cost: Fares start from around 600 THB ($18 USD) to the city center.
  • More Information: Locate the taxi stand outside the terminal.
Airport Bus
  • How to Use: An airport bus service connects the airport to Phuket Town and other major areas.
  • Cost: About 100 to 150 THB ($3 to $4.50 USD) per person.
  • More Information: Visit Phuket Airport Bus

Each option offers a different balance between cost, convenience, and speed, allowing travelers to choose based on their preferences, budget, and the level of comfort desired.

How to Travel Between Cities in the Region

Three passengers on a train reading books and tablets

Traveling between cities in Thailand is convenient, thanks to a well-developed network of transportation options catering to various preferences and budgets. Here’s a rundown of the main ways to get around the country.

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Domestic Flights

  • How to Use: Book through airline websites, travel agents, or online booking platforms.
  • Cost: Varies widely based on destination, booking time, and airline, starting from as low as 1,000 THB ($30 USD) for budget airlines.
  • More Information: Major carriers include Thai Airways, Bangkok Airways, AirAsia, Nok Air, and Thai Lion Air.


  • How to Use: Purchase tickets at railway stations, through the State Railway of Thailand’s website, or via agents.
  • Cost: Fares depend on the class and distance, ranging from 50 THB ($1.50 USD) for third-class seats on short journeys to over 1,500 THB ($45 USD) for a sleeper berth on longer routes.
  • More Information: The State Railway of Thailand provides schedules, fares, and online booking options.


  • How to Use: Tickets can be bought at bus terminals or online. There are both government-run and private buses, offering various levels of comfort.
  • Cost: Prices start from around 100 THB ($3 USD) for shorter distances and can go up to 1,000 THB ($30 USD) or more for luxury coaches on long-distance routes.
  • More Information: Search, compare and book buses with Bookaway.


  • How to Use: Tickets are available at bus stations, some train stations, and travel agencies.
  • Cost: Fares vary but are generally between 200 to 400 THB ($6 to $12 USD) for inter-city routes.
  • More Information: Information is more readily available at local bus terminals or travel agents.

Rental Cars

  • How to Use: Available from international and local rental agencies. An International Driving Permit (IDP) is often required along with your home country’s driving license.
  • Cost: Daily rental rates start from about 1,000 THB ($30 USD) for a small car.
  • More Information: Major rental companies like Avis, Budget, and local firms offer online booking options.

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  • How to Use: For travel to islands, ferry tickets can be purchased at piers, through travel agents, or online.
  • Cost: Fares range from 300 THB ($9 USD) for short crossings to over 1,000 THB ($30 USD) for longer journeys or high-speed ferries.
  • More Information: Search compare and book ferries with Bookaway.

Each mode of transportation offers its own set of advantages, whether it’s the scenic views of a train journey, the convenience of flying, or the flexibility of driving. Planning ahead can help secure the best fares and ensure a smooth journey between cities in Thailand.

Is There Uber Eats in Thailand?

Cartoon image of a man and his phone showing food delivery options

Uber Eats, similar to Uber’s ride-sharing service, is not directly available in Thailand. After Uber merged its Southeast Asian operations with Grab in 2018, Grab took over the food delivery market as well, launching GrabFood, which quickly became one of the leading food delivery services in the country. Despite the absence of Uber Eats, Thailand’s food delivery scene is vibrant and competitive, offering a variety of options for consumers.


  • Services Provided: GrabFood offers a wide range of food options from local street food stalls to high-end restaurants. The app allows users to browse by cuisine, restaurant, or dish, providing a convenient way to order and pay for food online.
  • Website: GrabFood


  • Services Provided: Foodpanda is another major player in the Thai food delivery market, with a broad selection of partner restaurants. It offers similar features to GrabFood, including various payment options and user-friendly app navigation.
  • Website: Foodpanda


  • Services Provided: LINE MAN, an extension of the popular messaging app LINE, offers food delivery services among its range of lifestyle services. It’s known for its extensive list of restaurants and quick delivery times.
  • Website: LINE MAN

Gojek (through GET app)

  • Services Provided: Gojek entered the Thai market with its acquisition of the GET app, expanding its services to include food delivery. The GET app provides access to a wide range of dining options, catering to various tastes and preferences.
  • Website: GET by Gojek

These platforms compete by offering a mix of promotions, quick delivery times, and an extensive range of restaurants and food vendors. They cater to Thailand’s love for convenience and its vibrant food culture, ensuring that even without Uber Eats, residents and visitors have plenty of options for food delivery.

Final Thoughts on Uber and Transportation in Thailand

While Uber’s direct presence in Thailand came to an end in 2018, the transportation landscape in the country has continued to evolve and adapt, offering locals and visitors alike a plethora of options to navigate the bustling cities and scenic regions. The transition from Uber to Grab and the emergence of other ride-sharing platforms like Bolt and local services ensure that the demand for convenient, app-based transportation is well met.

The traditional taxi system, despite its challenges, remains a viable and often economical option for getting around, supplemented by a robust public transport system in urban areas, including the BTS Skytrain, MRT Subway, buses, and more. For those looking to explore beyond the cities, Thailand’s extensive network of buses, trains, and domestic flights offers efficient and scenic ways to travel across the country.

The food delivery market, though missing Uber Eats, thrives with services like GrabFood, Foodpanda, LINE MAN, and Gojek’s GET app, reflecting the country’s embrace of technology to cater to the dynamic lifestyle of its residents.

For visitors, understanding the nuances of Thailand’s transportation options can greatly enhance the travel experience, providing the freedom to explore the rich cultural tapestry and natural beauty of this vibrant country. Whether it’s navigating the urban sprawl of Bangkok, exploring the ancient cities of the north, or relaxing in the southern islands, Thailand’s transportation network supports an array of adventures and experiences.

In summary, while the absence of Uber might initially seem like a hurdle, Thailand offers a wealth of alternatives that ensure convenient, reliable, and diverse modes of transportation. Coupled with the warm hospitality of its people, Thailand remains an accessible and welcoming destination for travelers from around the world.

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