Taxi in Bangkok: how to choose the cheapest and not be shortchanged

Taxi in Bangkok: how to choose the cheapest and not be shortchanged

It’s likely that your eyes will start to become dazzling from the large number of car colors when you first find yourself on the streets of Bangkok. It is difficult to name the exact number of taxi colors, since each fleet tries to decorate the cars in its own unique color. There are green, pink, red, brown, purple, blue, even two-color ones.

Taxi in Bangkok: how to choose the cheapest and not be shortchanged

The color of a car can indicate whether it belongs to a private individual or a taxi company. For example, a car of brown-green or yellow-green color in 90% of cases will belong to a private person.

Surprisingly, but true, a taxi ride can cost you less than the metro if you are traveling together and each person pays for himself. In general, taxis in Bangkok are one of the cheapest among all megacities in the world. This is explained by the fact that the car runs on gas, not gasoline. To give you an idea, the average cost of a trip around the city by taxi is 70 baht (110-120 rubles),

just like in the Russian provinces. The first two days I traveled by tuk-tuk, but when I found out the cost of a taxi ride, where there is air conditioning, music and a guaranteed sober driver, I forgot about tuk-tukers.
However, during rush hour it is better to choose the metro or motorcycle taxi.
The price to and from the airport is about 300-400 baht, if they ask for more, catch the next taxi.

Before the trip

1. Payment only in cash, bank cards are not accepted in taxis.
2. The colors of the cars are different, you can catch any, there is no difference in price.

The price can be fixed (there is a special price list for this) and by meter. A fixed price is if you are going somewhere really far away or to the airport. In other cases, you must be guided by a meter (boarding costs 35 baht). But there are pitfalls.

Taxi in Bangkok: how to choose the cheapest and not be shortchanged

How tourists are cheated

1. The most common way is to refuse to follow the meter. This usually happens during peak hours or if you are hailing a taxi in a tourist area. The way out of the situation is simple – try to negotiate a ride using the meter with a smile, or catch the next taxi. I left in 5th place at most.

2. The driver takes you along the longest route. To avoid this, periodically monitor your movements using GPS. If the driver takes you for a ride, then ask to follow the route, do not pay attention to the driver’s convictions and smiles that everything is “ok” (a standard form of excuse from a know-it-all tourist). In the event that you come across just such a driver, do not hesitate to demand a discount for an unnecessary city tour.

3. Change. Sometimes they allegedly forget to give – check carefully.

4. Fast counter. Although this is extremely rare, still keep an eye on it while driving to ensure it is operating evenly. Within the city, the cost of a trip should not greatly exceed 100 baht.

There are toll roads in Bangkok, this may add to the cost of the trip, but, as a rule, the taxi driver will tell you about this in advance, and you will see the checkpoint of such a road yourself.

Taxi in Bangkok: how to choose the cheapest and not be shortchanged

How to explain where to go

It would seem that it could be easier, but in Bangkok this is the main problem with taxi drivers. A real disaster on a national scale 🙂 Don’t be surprised if a taxi driver doesn’t know a major street, a large shopping center or an entire area.

There can be two explanations: either the taxi driver himself is not from Bangkok, or the name of this or that place sounds completely different in Thai.

Showing cards is useless. Most likely, there is simply no such subject as geography in Thai schools, since not a single taxi driver, when I showed him the map, could understand anything at all.

Taxi in Bangkok: how to choose the cheapest and not be shortchanged

What to do if you still can’t explain your destination

1. If you are going to a hotel, it is better to have the hotel’s phone number with you. The driver can call the reception and confirm the location.
2. Ask another taxi driver or passers-by to help you find your destination.
3. Remember that there is a large street, a shopping center or something else nearby, so you have a better chance of correctly explaining where you need to go.
4. Show the way yourself using GPS or navigator.

If none of this worked with one taxi, then try this:

Popular applications

1. Uber. Everything is as usual: it arrives in 5-10 minutes and the destination address is clear, but it is one and a half times more expensive than a regular taxi.
2. Grabtaxi. An ordinary taxi with a meter, only an additional commission to the fare of 25 baht and payment in cash – cards are not accepted. During rush hours it is difficult to find a free car; it is easier to catch a taxi on the street. For your first trip you get 50 baht as a gift. A small thing, but nice.

My advice – take a taxi around the city late at night when there are few cars. Seeing Bangkok in the evening, immersed in colorful lights, is what I advise everyone to do in the Asian city of angels.

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