Taxi scams, Bangkok
Most taxis in Bangkok runs on meter. When i say most, i really mean it. A lot of taxi driver will try to quote you a steep price when you get to their taxi for a short distance. Look for the this sign. If its lighted up means they run on meter BUT make sure they turn on the meter when they start moving. If not, ask them to do so politely and if they start to quote you a price, just get off the taxi and get yourself another one. If the signed is not lighted up, just forget it. You will be amazed how cheap it is to travel within the city but be prepared to pay a net price for your ride after midnight especially when you have just finished having a good time in a pub/club
taxi from patpong to khao san only costs 60b metered. in case taxi or tuktuk charges you 150 or 120 because it's past 1am and since there are no more bus back to khao san, you feel like taking it, i suggest you better wait for a taxi driver who is willing to use the meter. meter-conscious taxis still exist in witching hours
If you land in BKK at late night,,,you wld find these taxi vendors allover the airport proclaiming that min taxi fare to anywhere in Bkk is 800baht....do not get trapped....walk down to the lower floor and you can hire a cab at the meter rate there...all you hv to do is wlk down!!
Most taxi scams target tourists especially at the Airport, Bus Terminals, and Hotels that many tourists and foreigners stay. The quickest way to spot them is that they are usually old and dirty looking. Moreover, there will be someone to call them up for you. Beware of the bellboy or concierge staff. The reason behind this is because the flagfall starts at 35 baht for all metered taxis. So the old taxis are facing difficulties getting enough passengers to make a living. They find a way to survive by forming taxi ranks to charge fixed rate from tourists. If you dare to tell them to use the meter, they'll definitely ignore you. Or worse, if u get in, they'll drop you off in the middle of the road. Many of these taxi drivers will usually tout you to go to places where they get commission. It will be quite an annoying experience.
Unique Suggestions: When you face such a scam, please remember one thing, you have the right to refuse them once you haven't gotten on the taxi. But if you face such scams when you are already in the taxi, write down or remember the taxicab's license plate or the taxi radio code that appear on the rear windshield. If it is in the day time and the area you'll get off is crowded, try getting off near the police booth, mostly located near the intersections. You can go to report such scam to the police. If it was at night, your safety should be your first priority, just do anything to avoid conflict. If what they wanna charge you is not too high to accept, just pay them, then report the incident to the police later or call 1584 to report your bad experience to the department of Land Transportation. They will be able to punish the violators.
Fun Alternatives: My tips to avoid the scam are the followings:
1) Try to flag down passing taxicabs and not just ask someone to do it for you especially when you need a taxi to the airport or long distant trips to upcountry.
2) Taxi fares to upcountry are fixed rates and quite reasonable. You should asked for fixed rate price list that is issued by the Department of Land Transportation for reference. All taxis are required to have that pricelist inside their taxis.
3) Try hailing rather new looking taxis and if possible pick the GREEN ones, and notice that they have radio antenna on the rear trunk. Taxis with radio are rather safer since they are being dispatched by radio call center. They are professional drivers that make their living from providing service not like taxi drivers who line up in taxi ranks waiting to rip off tourists.
3) In my experience, GREEN taxis are the most reliable taxi company in Bangkok. They are exclusively chosen and trusted by many five star hotels, hospitals, and big corporations in Bangkok to provide taxi service to passengers. Their drivers wear uniforms and seems to be more polite and patient. One of their drivers told me that they have to use meter only and if they get complaints they can no longer serve the passengers at the ranks. I think it is pretty good set up for passengers especially tourists. Taxicabs themselves are quite new and clean.
Do not trust taxi or Tuk Tuk drivers. If you take a taxi do not stop any taxi passing buy. You should try taxi stations and check whether they on the meter or not. For a taxi or tuk tuk driver declare your way very clearly, do not let them to wander about.
All 4 of us came in on different days, same flight/time, however we all paid something different for the cab ride to the hotel from the Airport. Best tip is pass all the taxi drivers and walk straight to the official taxi stand outside at the airport. Get into a metered taxi ONLY and make sure they run the meter. Also make sure the driver is clear on where you want to go BEFORE leaving the airport or Hotel. Many times the staff loading you into the cab will tell you the driver knows where you are going and they have no idea. Trying to point it out on the map on the freeway is not the great follow-up idea. Also, Tuk Tuk's can be fun and the drivers know the local streets much better then the taxi drivers, beware. They often overcharge tourists. But if your cab driver doesn't know where you want to go, after you get to town, switch to a Tuk Tuk. They are more familiar with the city streets. We found this particularly true in Phuket.
When getting a taxi make sure they put the meter on. If you don't, they can charge you anything.
Unique Suggestions: When we flagged down cabs on the street, we told them where we were going before we even got in and said we wanted it on the meter. Sometimes they agreed and we got in, but sometimes they'd shake their head and say the price (100 or 200 bht usually). In which case we'd say 'no', send them on their way and flag down another.
Don't worry if you have to do this, there are plenty of taxis in Bangkok.
Fun Alternatives: When catching taxis in a taxi queue, such as outside a shopping mall, there didn't seem to be this problem. They can't very well say no and drive off if they are part of a queue, but you still have to 'remind' them to put the meter on when you get in!
Please don't ever get a taxi outside your hotel...always walk a little way down the street first. We only ever had troubles with taxi drivers when getting a taxi from the hotel. One guy tried telling us that the shopping centre wasn't open yet...instead he would take us elsewhere for an hour...we demanded he take us to where we wanted to go and when he wouldn't we asked him to stop and we got another taxi...
Unique Suggestions: Make sure you choose a meter taxi and make sure the meter is working...
Almost all will try to rip you off...
The "of course I know where that place is", followed by a big left right tour of the city.
Meter, what meter?
Unique Suggestions: Add your hotel phone number to your cell phone address book.
Make sure all rides are by the meter, and don't be afraid to get out and catch the next cab.
?1 Never ask for the price (then you wille get ripped)
?2 Look as if you are a regular taxi-customer ( 99% of the times, the taxidriver then will turn on the meter)
?3 Leave the taxi, if the meter is not turned on (don't argue - just leave)
?4 Look as if you know where you are going
?5 Never leave the taxi without your belongings
We wanted to go visit the Grand Palace and we got the Taxi Stand at our hotel to help us get a taxi. However, they said that it was too difficult to go to the Grand Palace with all this traffic today, so maybe we should think about going up there via a river boat. On the river boat, we could also see the floating markets. I thought, well, isnt this sweet that we can do all this and the Grand Palace all in one clean sweep. Little did I know that the Floating Market was only ONE boat, they overcharged us considerably (500 bhat, my friends payed 700 each though on their tour), and when we wanted to get off the damn boat there was also a docking charge.
Unique Suggestions: It was pretty fin being on the boat, but we did get drastically overcharged. Try to haggle more to make the price go down. It was a very nice way to see Bangkok however.
Fun Alternatives: If you want to go on a boat, a better bet might be the dinner cruises that are available.
Overall, we had no problems with the taxi drivers in Bangkok at all. Some even gave us little tours and were quite friendly. However, we did have a problem at the MBK Center once. On the ground floor along one side is a taxi queue. After waiting about 10 min. we got our taxi but the driver didn't put the meter on. We pointed this out and told him to put it on. First he pretended like he didn't hear us or notice us pointing at the meter, which was very annoying. Then we were forcefully telling him to put the meter on. After that he told us it would be 200 bahts (and we knew it was 50 tops) to our destination. By this point we were angry and yelling at him to let us out. But he wouldn't!! Instead he tried to bring the price down to 150 and then 100 bahts. Yeah, right. I was angry and a little scared. Finally my husband opened the door even though he was picking up speed and he let us go. What a jerk. Just be sure they put the meter on. Also, make sure you can point out your destination on a map, that helps too because a lot of drivers have very poor or no English skills and possibly can't read. If they can read then it helps to get a business card from your hotel written in Thai (if that's where you are going).
in bangkok taxis and tuk-tuks are the way to get around...
you should know, that for 100 bath (2 EURO) you would be able to get from one end of bangkok to the other far side;-)) don´t get fooled!!
they all try to rip off tourists! tuk-tuks are always cheaper but you have to bargain!
to make it comfortable, take a taxi and insist on turning on the taximeter!!!
If a taxidriver calls on you or comes up to you, you can be 90% sure, that he will fool you with the price. one even tried to get 400 bath for a 3 minutes ride ;-(
One more ting: most drivers don´t know how to read! So, if you need to go some place, which is not very well known, make sure, the driver knows the way, most of them pretend to do so, and after a few minutes they start asking again.. get out, and find another ride, and dont even bother paying...
If you are intended to use the cab make sure that the driver is at least speaks some broken english. Do not hop inside a cab in which the driver doesn't understand simple english or pretended not to understand english at all. Otherwise be prepared to be taken for a joyride at your own cost. I took a cab from Hualomphong train station to Southern bus terminal at Sai Tai Mai and the driver who doesn't to be understand any english at all initially took me via the route that I've expected and after some distance claiming that the road ahead is one way and he had to make a detour back passing the train station again (surprisingly he knew these two words in english, "one way" and "u turn") . I protested but he kept on mumbling in Thai and drove me thru the expressway (and he made me pay for the toll too). All it was too late and to my frustration I knew that I've been taken for a joyride when I could see that the cab had passed mo chit bus terminal (bus terminal to the north) and chatuchak market. I kept on protesting and he kept on mumbling in Thai but it was already too late and I decided to sit tight until I reach my destination. The journey on a cab cost me about 220 Baht and on my way back to hotel I decided to take a bus and to my horible experience it only cost me 16 Baht.
Be sure to have at least 300 THB small notes when u arrive at the airport and take a cab.
The taxi driver will say that they do not have small change and will not give u your change.
Unique Suggestions: At least break the $ when u take the tollway or have 300THB small notes with u.
Fun Alternatives: Ask the driver to drive u to a nearby convenient stall to break the notes.