bangkok taxi service

Bangkok stunned some visitors not only because of their treasures but can also simply because of the taxi colors. Some of my guests with various favorite color had fun picking taxi according to their preference. Blue, pink, yellow, green, purple, red.. and sometimes with color combination too.

Picking taxi here actually not an easy thing to do since some taxi won't take you to your destination with some reason - sometimes only God and the driver knows why. The scene you watch at some hollywood movies also not applicable here. First, you don't shout to taxi. After you hail, you can't just jumped in, close the door, ask the driver to move then tell him your destination. Common scene over here is you hail a taxi, ask the driver from outside about your destination, few seconds he thinks and if he said yes, then you get in. Many drivers can't speak English or can but with a 'unique' pronunciation. This kind of pronunciation not exclusively for taxi drivers but for thai people in general due to their native language.

For instance, if you want to go to Central World, its easier to be understood to say it 'chentran wold'. "Baiyoke" is not 'bay-you-kee' but 'ba-ee-yok'. "Suvarnabhumi' the airport is 'soo-warna-boom', forget the last 'i' vowel. So if you have time, better ask your trusted local thai on how to say it in their way.

Grumpy taxi driver during traffic jam definitely not a convenient sound to hear, but it happens pretty often. Another interesting part but annoying if you hear it too loud or too much (due to traffic or long journey) is the traditional songs over the tape. I still have no guts to ask the driver to turn it off or lower volume, afraid its offensive. But I definitely will insist the driver to slow down if he is slack or speeding.

Scam also happen with taxis here (where's not anyway??). From a crowded tourist spot to a close distance, they can refuse using meter fare and charge you 200 baht, although in normal you just have to pay 50. For you info, some taxi is privately owned, so this type of agreement could be dangerous for your journey too. Try as much as you can to get taxi driver who is willing to use meter fare, its a good start to avoid scams. But if you can't get one and agree to some fare in advance, try to write down the taxi information (number, driver's name, etc) for further purpose if required. For your safety, don't get taxi in a dark, quiet place... beside why would you need to be there anyway.

If you're a tourist staying in a serviced apartment or hotel, it will be easier if you get taxi assistance from hotel staff as they usually speak clearer English, will hail or order the taxi, write down the destination in thai characters or tell the driver your destination. Get a taxi from those places also give you a better opportunity to get your belonging back if you happened to left something by accident (just happened to my guest recently). Some good taxi driver is willing to return, with a bit of money to compensate his time and fuel.

If you stay longer term, the best way is always order taxi through taxi radio 1681. They're pretty reliable, safe, trackable and some english speaking driver. Although you must add 20 baht in the top of total meter fare, the safety and convenient you get worth the price you pay.

Note that if you get taxi from airport taxi stand you must add 50 baht surcharge plus usually 70 baht for toll way (2 gates). In general central city area, toll way is 45 baht so if you need to avoid traffic jam, its a better option.

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