Southeast Asia Report 15: Tuk Tuk in Vientian

November 16, 2007 Vientiane (Laos)

The Mekong River
The Mekong River

“How to take a cheap tuktuk”

It was the first time for me to get sick in this trip. I had a terrible headache all day. I had breakfast after checking out the guesthouse which I had stayed for 5 days. Then, I took tuktuk to the airport.

At first, a tuktuk driver called me by a horn. He offered 5 dollars. Of course, I said, “No”. He offered 4 $ again. I answered, “10000kip (=1$)”. He showed his ‘Menu’, which said, “To Airport 4$”. It didn’t make sense at all, because he made it. I wanted to say to him showing his menu, “So what?” and I said, “See you.” He looked disappointed. I had confidence I could find cheaper tuktuk, because I took tuktuk from the airport to my guesthouse for 10000kip 2 days ago. If I want to find cheaper one, I have to get local one, which means the drivers can’t speak English.

I tried asking the price to the airport to a driver. He answered 4$ in English. I was about to getting away, and then he discounted to 3, then 2. But my answer was “No”. I started walking. After a couple of minutes, he followed me and offered 1.5$. I showed all of my money, 1.25$. “Sorry, I have only this amount”, I said. He subtly smiled and said, “OK”. When I gave him 1.25$, he gave 0.05$ back to me. Probably, he wanted to say, “Sorry about that”, because a foreigner in front of him had only a couple of dollars.

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