Ride-hailing services in Asia differs in every unique way possible from the type of wheels and ways to holler for a ride. Be informed and be prepared.
Foot by the curb and arm sticking out by the sidewalks of New York City is undeniably the most iconic taxi hailing scene ever. As universal as it is, taxis are not as readily available and convenient in some parts of Asia. Rides are still abundant but to get one on hand, here are some local tips to go by.
Short distances in Cambodia are normally covered by their motorised rickshaw or tuktuk for a budgeted trip. Tuktuk is a two-people ride while a big rickshaw can sometimes fit up to four. Homegrown ride-hailing app “PassApp” is popular in Phnom Penh and Siem Reap to book such rides and even taxis. Other than US dollar, it is recommended to have small change in Cambodian riels for the rickshaw and tuktuk rides.
Taxi is a steeper option but it is the safest and most comfortable choice to go around in Ho Chi Minh City. If you see drivers napping in their taxi, don’t worry about waking them up as they are always game for some extra income. As with the xe ôm, known in Vietnam as motorbike taxi, find them easily on “Grab” app or recognise them at busy intersections or the roadside.
Tuktuk is the icon of Thailand’s road. To negotiate the ride’s fare, always choose a tuktuk that is solo and away from the group. Drivers in a group are less likely to lower their starting fare upon ganging up. For single traveller, use the “GoBike” app to hail motorsai taxi (motorbike taxis) if you’re up for an exciting ride. Car taxis are everywhere in the city. You just have to make sure that the meters are used in your journey.
Text by Jessy Wong