Thailand is an incredibly popular destination to visit, and it’s one of my favourite countries in the whole world.
But is there Uber in Thailand?
This is an extremely common question as Uber is used by millions of people across the globe, and it would be convenient to use the same app in Thailand as in your home country, right?
Luckily for you, I’m a full-time backpacker and a lot of my blog content focuses on South East Asia, so I’m here to provide a complete guide to Uber in Thailand.
So let’s d(r)ive straight into it!
Is there Uber in Thailand?
If you’re looking for a very quick and short answer, it’s no. Uber does not operate in Thailand.
In the past, Uber has been an option for transportation in Thailand, but this is no longer the case.
To put a long story short, Uber originally didn’t focus on South East Asia, but realised there was a gap in the market around 2015. Three years later, in 2018, Uber sold all of its operations in Southeast Asia to Grab, another ride-hailing app which was a lot more popular in the region.
So Uber does not operate in any countries along the popular Banana Pancake Route, or in any other countries in this beautiful part of the world.
Fear not though, as there are other options to travel around Thailand. Including the ride-hailing alternative.
But to summarise, the answer to “Is there Uber in Thailand?” is no.
What is the equivalent of Uber in Thailand?
There are quite a few Uber alternatives in Thailand which you can use during a trip to the country.
The first and most obvious one is Grab, which is who Uber sold all of its operations to. It’s incredibly popular and easy to use. This is the app you will find locals use in Thailand.
Just like Uber, you can get taxis and different types of transport, as well as food deliveries, groceries, literally anything and everything. It’s an all-in-one app for Thailand.
To give you an idea of how expensive it is…it isn’t. It’s considerably cheaper than Ubers would be. For example, an 11-minute journey costs just THB 35 on a bike or THB 87 in a car. That’s the equivalent of only $1.01 and $2.52. Great news if you are backpacking Thailand as you can get around for very small prices.
Some local taxi firms also have their own apps, but most of the time these are more expensive than Grab.
Another ride-hailing app in Thailand is Bolt, which is also really popular and used throughout Southeast Asia. They’re pretty much the exact same in what they offer and do, but Bolt is just a bit more expensive.
Most drivers will work for both companies, so there shouldn’t really be a situation where you have to use Bolt, but it might be worth downloading just in case.
But make sure you have the Grab app downloaded, it’s the best Thailand Uber alternative.
Transportation Options in Thailand
Thankfully, there are so so many ways to get about in Thailand, and the options are plentiful. Whether you’re just looking to get around a city, or want to head between destinations, you definitely won’t be short of choice.
Apart from ride-hailing apps and taxis, the 5 main ways to get around Thailand are:
- Boats and ferries
All of these have a time and a place where they are most convenient way. To get around a city, you might use public transport like buses and trains (like the SkyTrain in Bangkok), or you might opt for some cheap transport in Tuktuks or Songthaews.
Ride-hailing options, despite being extremely cheap, are actually one of the most expensive options. Tuktuks and Songthaews will be even cheaper.
Top Tip: Make sure you negotiate a price before your journey and/or ensure there is a meter running, otherwise the taxi drivers may try to scam you with an inflated tourist price.
If you want a really easy way to get around Thailand, book a Thailand backpacking group tour. They plan your itinerary and take you from place to place, making it super easy to see the country.
Is there Uber in Bangkok?
No, unfortunately, there is no Uber in Bangkok. Uber does not operate in the city or throughout the rest of Thailand, or Southeast Asia as it sold all of its operations to Grab.
Grab and Bolt are very easy to use in Bangkok, and being such a busy and bustling city, you will never wait more than a few minutes for your ride to arrive.
That being said, it’s much cheaper and often quicker to opt for a tuktuk or a bike ride, as it’s always cheaper to pay for things in person rather than digitally in Bangkok when it comes to transport anyway.
Is there Uber in Chiang Mai?
No, Chiang Mai does not have any Uber services as Uber doesn’t operate anywhere in Thailand.
Chiang Mai does have both Grab and Bolt though, which are perfect like-for-like Uber alternatives. Grab is the more popular of the two options as it’s cheaper.
Like Bangkok, it’s often cheaper to get a tuktuk, especially in the heart of Chiang Mai.
Is there Uber in Phuket?
No, there is no Uber in Phuket. And even though it is an island, there is still Grab and Bolt available in Phuket. By the way, make sure you know how to pronounce Phuket.
And like the two cities above, it’s also cheaper in Phuket to get a tuktuk or a bike ride as paying for a tuktuk driver in cash is naturally going to be cheaper than booking a ride-hailing service on your phone.
Is there Uber in Thailand: FAQ
Below are a number of questions related to Uber in Thailand along with my answers.
Uber left Thailand and the rest of Southeast Asia because Grab was much more popular in this part of the world. So Uber sold its operations in the region to Grab and focused their efforts in the West.
There are two main alternatives to Uber in Thailand: Grab and Bolt. Both apps do the same things, but Bolt is more expensive, meaning Grab is the go-to option for ride-hailing services in Thailand.
Lyft does not operate in Thailand. Lyft only operates in the US and Canada. The equivalent of Lyft in Thailand is the Grab app, which offers ride-hailing services for an incredibly cheap price.
No, Uber does not work in Bangkok. Uber withdrew from its services in Southeast Asia after selling its operations in the region to Grab, the more popular option for ride-hailing in Bangkok, Thailand and throughout Asia.
Is there Uber in Thailand: Conclusion
And there you have it, a complete guide to Uber in Thailand.
Remember, Uber does not operate in the country, as it sold all of its operations to Grab.
Grab is the best alternative for Uber, and it’s much cheaper too.
So enjoy your trip to Thailand, and hopefully using Grabinstead of Uber isn’t too big of an inconvenience 🙂