Taxis in Bangkok
Affordable and Convenient
Taxis in Bangkok are plentiful and never a problem to find. Undoubtedly, this is one of the fastest and most convenient options to travel, especially with no Bangkok skytrain / BTS or MRT lines around. Even in weird hours taxis are easily available in most parts of Bangkok Thailand.
Adding some lively colors to Bangkok streets, yellow-green and red-blue taxis (as well as bright one-color cabs) are easy to spot from a distance. The red light inscription on the front indicates that the taxi is free. English-speaking drivers often use funny-looking window stickers, saying something like “We can speak English!” or “I love farang!”
In comparison with traditional tuktuks, Bangkok taxis are smoother, more secure, and keep you away from the hot, lead-soaked air of the outside. The fare starts with 35 Baht for the first 2 km and adds 5 Baht each km after that. A little extra fare is applied in case of traffic jams. All taxis in Bangkok are metered, and the price the meter displays at the end of the journey is what you pay. Tipping a taxi driver is not a practice, but rounding the fare is quite common. Generally, getting around to major attractions won’t burn your pocket; taxis in Bangkok offer a really good value for money.
However, first-time visitors to Thailand sometimes experience unethical behavior from taxi drivers, trying to take advantage of a situation. It is important to know that demanding a flat price, which normally exceeds the actual price at least twice, is illegal, and the use of taxi meter is always a must (don’t listen to any excuses, just leave the taxi – in most cases, the driver will be willing to switch on the meter seeing such turn of events). Occasionally, in situations complicated by a heavy storm or the necessity to reach very distant (province-neighboring) districts, you can expect paying a flat fare, but then the reason is more or less justified.
When hiring a taxi from the airport, head to the taxi counter just outside the airport building, avoiding all the offers in-between. Though you have to pay 50 Baht extra, you will get a slip that guarantees reaching the right destination and can be used to lodge a complaint in case the need arises. In any case, it is useful to appear well-informed and familiar with the city. Just a couple of confidently pronounced Thai phrases are often enough to make the taxi driver presume you know how things work and leave scamming intentions.
Many taxis in Bangkok have a price list displayed on the back of the driver’s seat, also providing contact details in case a complaint needs to be lodged. Note that not all taxis will agree to go to the neighboring province, not to mention more distantly located areas. The ones which do will have a price list with set fares according to the destination.
Taxis in Bangkok can also be arranged through different taxi call services, with 1661 being the official one and charging 20 Baht extra in addition to the meter fare.
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