Whenever you take a taxi from Bangkok, the first thing you will hear is that there is too much traffic and they either do not want to go or will quote an unearthly price. If the driver agrees on a lower price he will tell you in advance to spend about 10 -15 mins in a particular shop as he will get money for gasoline if you go there. Things are fine till then, but what happened with us for a step further. We asked the driver about places to shop and he offered to take us to Siolim instead of back to our hotel as according to him there will be a lot of traffic and siolim is a big market and we will get whatever we want there. We can shop there and then leave after peak hours for our hotel so that we will avoid traffic.
Well, we did end up in Siolim and he took us to one shop which was exorbitant and we ended up buying nothing and spending another 100 baht and half an hour trying to get a taxi to take us to our hotel.
Unique Suggestions: Never ask the taxi driver for a good place to shop
Even if he says good idea etc. dont listen to him and change your plan, stick to it
Fun Alternatives: If you are lucky, you might just end up at a fun place also!
Make sure you tell the taxi/tuk-tuk driver you dont want any stops, many times, after i negotiated a fare or got the meter turned on, the driver said, with a smile of course, please make 1 stop, you have to be forthright in saying 'no stops' even walk away, most times they will reluctantly say ok ok
I would say Taxis are generally safe and convenient to take. However, there will definitely be black sheeps around.
Taxi drivers will also tell you that a certain place you are going is closed or not opened yet and asks you to make a detour to gem factories for free gas voucher.
Unique Suggestions: Always ensure that taxis run on meter before boarding. If they do not want to switch on their meter, you can opt to take another or bargain for a comfortable price you are willing to pay for the journey.
Never trust the driver that a certain place is closed, check with your hotel for opening hours.
Fun Alternatives: BTS runs through most tourist attractions and it's a cheap way to travel around Bangkok.
While we were travelling in a taxi we were frequantly checking the meter we knew that the meter starts from 35 baht.
When the journry get to an end the Meter was displaying 51 baht and suddenly the driver press the accelerator and it went to 53 baht and within a second he reset the meter and said 100 baht.
we were keeping an eye on the meter so we said it was 51 baht. he againg tried to cheat and said "ya ! ya! 61 baht"
we were really disappointed when he tried to cheat us twice. So we left the taxi by giving him a note of 50 baht.
Unique Suggestions: keep an eye on the meter of taxi. try to check it frequently. cuz they make you busy in the buildings and all that kinda stuff so try NOT to put your attention any where else beside the meter.
Fun Alternatives: As far as possible try to travel by BTS!
Its fun as well as quick and accurate
I asked a local taxi driver to take me to a good resturant that was reasonably priced.... He took me to a nice seafood resturant and the charged me not only a service charge but also tried charging me a taxi service fee for taking me to the resturant..... HELL NO..... i left without paying so in the end they lost out!!!!
Nearly every tuk tuk now will offer you a free or discounted ride if you agree to go with them and look at jewellery shops. If you dont mind this then it is great, but occassionally you get one that does not want to do what you want to do ! Agree on everything before you get in!
We had a taxi driver dump us a long way from our hotel because he refused to switch on the meter for our ride and he also wanted us to visit a jewellery store.
Unique Suggestions: If you catch a taxi, ask him to switch on the meter before you start. If you already know the price for the trip he may be able to agree on a fixed price, but I would suggest the meter every time!
Fun Alternatives: If you are staying at a hotel ask the hotel to call the taxi for you....in most cases they will write down the number plate of the taxi before you get in. This keeps them honest.
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
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!!
when you leave baggage reclaim and you are making your way to exit..you will run the gaunlet of "cheap" taxis!! ignore these and make your way outside to the taxi rank. these taxis will get you into the centre of bangkok for half the price!
It's not a big deal but when you ride a taxi back to the airport, I suppose you don't need to pay the 50 baht airport surcharge. It's only needed for getting out of the airport not going in.
My travel guide book didn't mention it. 50 baht is not a big deal for a traveller and it's your last day in Bangkok, but it's a big tip for the driver when your taxi fare is about 200 baht ;)
Unique Suggestions: Taxi driver definitely won't say thanks when you give them a 20% tip.
Don`t take an airport taxi from taxi guys right when you go out of customs! They`ll rip you off! Please remember, the "normal" taxi is just when go out of the airport building.You`ll probably see a line of people, but it`s going really fast and you`ll save a lot.
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!