Taxi scams, Bangkok
EVEN FOR TAXI
try not to take THE BLUE WITH RED (IF I REMEMBER CORRECTLY) THEY ARE FROM THE PIRVATE COMPANY... SOME TIME THEY LIKEs TO GO ROUND CIRCLE BEFORE REACHING THE PLC OR PRETEND NOT TOO SURE ABT THE PLACE.(sometime they really don knoe the plc)
or at the airport they will ask for 300 baht to 400 baht with tax 50 baht.( normally its cost abt 180 to 200 baht with tax form the airport to city) always take the taxi in the taxi stand. and remeber the above advises
TAKE THE GREEN WITH YELLOW TAXI.
its better as these are
driven by the owner
AND ALWAY ASK FOR METER .
before u even step into the taxi
if no meter get out .
Fun Alternatives: sky trian or subway
its the best
To be fair, taxi drivers taking advantages on tourists is not unique to Bangkok. However, the incapability of taxi drivers to understand English may increase your chance to wander aimlessly in Bangkok in a cab. Don't expect they will at least know the English street names. They don't.
Unique Suggestions: Get a Thai name of your destination and present it to the driver.
Glimpse the map to get an idea what direction and how far is your destination. If the taxi goes to a different direction for some time, probably the driver misunderstood your destination or he is not taking the direct route. Don't feel bothered to reconfirm your destination if this happens.
Know where some major landmarks are (e.g. famous hotels) so you will still know where you are after the cab has traveled many streets.
This is my 2nd experience in Bangkok
At night I thought of going to Chinatown and have a look what do they have there.
The taxi driver told me that Chinatown has closed, nothing there. They said go to Silom Road, there is better. After Bla Bla Bla Bla they started asking whether want to go to massage before dinner & etc. I'm damn frustrated with them. I thought that if Chinatown is closed then the chinese no need to eat? I was damn angry that day. You want to go to Chinatown or not? If yes how much, don't want then said don't want. Then I go to take another taxi to Chinatown.
When I reach the Chinatown, you won't believe it. It just like Petaling Street in Kuala Lumpur. If those shops were closed how do the Chinese who open their stalls in Chinatown survived?
I paid 80baht from Mandarin to Chinatown because the driver would not want to go on meter. I took it because it is very jam that day. But I return to Mandarin hotel for 50baht only.
Mandarin hotel is somewhere along RamaIV road if not mistaken
Unique Suggestions: Tell the damn taxi driver where you want to go. And be confident with your primary destination.
Most of the taxi drivers will divert your attention and recommend to you another new places, the places that is not your primary destination.
This is my experience,
1. I got a taxi in the morning. I wanted to go to the Grand Palace & etc. So I direct the taxi driver to fetch me to the nearest pier (I did mention the name of the pier but can't remember at the moment). He brought me to a private pier and he is gone. When I walk to the pier I feel something different, no sign no passengers. Then I start to ask the man there, and they said they only have tour along the canal and which cost 800 baht per person. I was damn shocking instead. I want a boat to Grand Palace. So I said no! I want to go to Grand Palace only. So he said 400 baht per person. Since I don't know where is the nearest pier I just paid that man 400 baht and get on the boat.
On the way the boat driver still asking whether you want to tour the canal or not, now just another 100 baht per person. I said no! and straight away he sent me to the pier next to Grand Palace.
When I reach the pier I have to pay another 20baht for using private boat using the pier.
Damn this is ridiculous.
Unique Suggestions: Please tell your taxi driver where you want to go and make sure he understand.
Thailand is well known for its scams (especially Bangkok), so there's a fairly long list of warnings, but if you have your wits about you, you will be fine.
Some things you should be aware of -
If you take a taxi in Bangkok, make sure the meter is on! If the taxi driver refuses to put it on, get another taxi. Elsewhere (where metered taxis may not be available), agree a fare before setting off.
At the bus stations and airport, make sure you take an official taxi and don't go with a tout, they may rip you off.
Don't believe tuk-tuk drivers when they tell you an attraction is closed, they are probably going to try to take you to a shop (from which they collect a commission). This is especially true if they only ask for a cheap fare. If your guidebook tells you an attraction is open and someone tells you it's closed, go check for yourself - the guidebook is probably right! Sometimes drivers will also tell you a guest house is closed or 'dirty', if a different place will pay them commission - if it's somewhere you want to go to, again, it's worth seeing for yourself.
There are lots of fakes about - fake labels, fake fabrics (especially silk) and fake gems. Almost everything cheap is a fake or unbranded, but not everything expensive is real, unless you are in a 'reputable' shop (eg the Nike shop in Siam Square is definitely for real!). Take care when buying; one thing to bear in mind is that refunds are *very* hard to get.
Also, be especially cautious of anyone who approaches you in the street; chances are that they will be a tout or a con-man; get even more suspicious if they want you to go somewhere with them - if you want to chat, suggest going to somewhere public like a cafe or coffee shop. Gem scams in particular start like this (or with a tuk-tuk ride); you can read all about these at this excellent page at 2bangkok.com.
There are plenty of people offering you to take you around at a cheap price, or to practice their English etc - do not fall into such scams as they would ultimate corner you to a spot and you would be coughing up lots of money for their services.
Anywhere in Asia - be it Bangkok or even in my country home, Kuala Lumpur, avoid at all time to take taxis which are pulled over at the side roads and with the drivers standing outside their vehicle. They usually never run the meter, and would be calling their prices - at least 2 -3 times if not more higher than metered prices.
This happened to us once too often. As we walk from Saladaeng skytrain towards the Jim Thompson shop (which has been there since I was a kid!!! but now a larger boutique), there would be ladies or sometimes men asking where are you off to. And they would chit chat with you and tell you that you are being ripped off to buy Jim Thompson stuff, and you should shop at the shops at the next block up from the JT shop. These people actually operate in a small booth at the corner street of JT shop, and if you do not take heed of their advise and come out of JT shops with bags of goodies, they may even snare at you. It is just their way of luring you to their shops to earn them a commission.
Taxi touts and disreputable reps. As soon as you leave your hotel, you'll probably have to run the gauntlet of touts trying to get you in their cabs with the promise of cheap fares. Beware since these guys have no intention of taking where you want to go! They'll try and take you to a seedy tailor or gemshop for which they get a commission. If you want to really go somewhere, flag a 'taxi meter' cab down since they're the real McCoy. Stay away from tuktuk taxis too since they are deathtraps!
Tour reps are no better. My girlfriend and I booked a tour to see the royal palace and on the way back, we were driven to an 'official' looking gem factory and store. I doubt it was official in the slightest. We weren't asked whether we wanted to go, we were just taken along with the 10 or so others on the bus. If this happens to you, have the last laugh and walk out without buying anything!
Another related tip. Remember if you do go to a gemshop or a tailor, that these guys will say anything to get you to hand over the money. There are plenty of other stores to go to so don't stand for any of it. If you feel you are being pressured to buy something you don't want then put your foot down and leave! Most of the tailors I had the misfortune to encounter were bare face liars, saying one thing on the window sign, e.g. '$99 for 2 suits, 3 shirts, 6 ties', and once your were in the prices were double or three times as much. If you do buy, make sure you agree the price up front and be sure to have the chance to try on the finished article before paying.
Instead of sending you to the place you want, they just drop me to places where they'll get commission rebate, eg. travel agencies, jewellery shops, tailors, etc...