Tips for getting taxis in Thailand
So, after my last post where I discussed Tuk Tuk’s in Thailand I felt it was necessary to make a post about taxis. This is from experience in Thailand, but will apply worldwide!
I would recommend always looking for taxis that have the words ‘Metered’ on them. They should be coloured in bright pink – the king’s colours! These will have, obviously, meters inside that will run the cost of the trip based on distance. This way you can guarantee that you are not getting ripped off. The taxi’s in Bangkok would start on the meter at a standard rate of 35 baht. And then would increment as the miles/kilometers racked up.
I took two trips that were roughly 5km each way, the meter would start on 35 baht and rise to anywhere between 75-90 baht total. Which as of writing this would be £1.50-£2.00.
The reason I recommend metered taxis (if you haven’t already guessed) is that some taxis will intentionally rip tourists off as they most likely don’t know what the standard fare is. I have been quoted 250 baht for the trip mentioned above, about 3x the metered cost. So always ask when you get into the taxi if it’s on the meter.
Places that are particularly prolific for this kind of behaviour are outside any airport or train station. Here as soon as you walk out you will be bombarded with taxi drivers all offering you their service. I would recommend walking beyond these scavengers to find a taxi that is either just passing by or waiting.
This is especially important at airports since there will be a toll or service charge that taxis will pay to enter. Airports will have a section where people departing will be dropped off by taxi – try here as they are less likely to be running a fixed price and again, just ask to turn on the meter.
One of my trips the taxi driver claimed that the busy traffic was the reason it wasn’t on the meter. Another used the same excuse when he quoted me the 250 baht. So, just confront them about it, if the price is too much and you’re not willing to pay – dont. Say you will get another taxi and look to leave – they will either reduce the cost or not.
As mentioned in the Tuk Tuk tip, do not accept a taxi ride/diversion where the driver offers to show you ‘good’ places. They are looking for extra fare and possible commision for taking to these ‘good’ places. Just decline their offer politely – claim you’ve been to loads and do not wish to see anymore.
Tipping? Tipping is not required, but more often than not if your fare comes in between a multiple of 10 it is always courteous to round up. The taxi drivers will make very little wages and it will always help. For us westerners especially, anything less than 10 baht is pennies so pay up!
As you will notice, motorcycles and scooters are prolific in Thailand. So when exiting the taxi, be careful one is passing. You don’t want to incur damage to both vehicles and the driver and possible passengers.