Mr (Jhirakit) "TOM"
OK his English could be better, but it is very good for a Bangkok Taxi driver. Also the car is bigger than the standard Meter Taxi. In addition to airport transfers Mr Tom will do city tours and also consider longer distances such as Hua Hin, Pattaya and Ayuthaya.
UPDATE January 2013. Mr Tom now has a very nice, brand new Mini Bus to take groups of 4 or more people. This year I have used him for the usual airport transfers, a trip to the floating market at Damnoen Saduak and Mae Klong "railway market as well as a transfer to and from Pattaya.
I have used him numerous times and he has been very punctual, polite and a good driver each time.
If he is double booked he wil arange for another driver, but he will phone after you have been picked up to check all is ok with what he has arranged.
A very nice, polite and professional guy.
I arrived at Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi Airport at the start of my week long visit to the city in September 2007.
The new airport is located some 25km from the centre of Bangkok and, at the time of my visit, has no rail link to the city centre.
I decided that a metered taxi would be the best way for me to get to my hotel in the Chinatown area of Bangkok.
Upon passing through the arrivals hall, I was approached by many touts who asked me if I needed a taxi. I had read that it is best to ignore them, so I did and followed the signs to the official taxi departure point instead.
At the taxi departure point, a young lady asked where I was going and wrote down the name of my destination in Thai in order to give to the taxi driver. I also received an official receipt which doubled up as a complaint form. If the driver had turned off the meter, overcharged me or dropped me off at the wrong place, all I had to do was tick the appropriate complaint box, affix a 2 Baht stamp and put the form in the nearest post box. The form included details of the taxi number and driver, so any offending driver could easily be traced. This eases fears of new arrivals being ripped off by unscrupulous taxi drivers.
My journey from the airport to Chinatown took about 40 minutes, including some time sitting in heavy traffic and cost 400 Bahts (approx. 6 GBP). The meter only read 215 Bahts when I arrived at my hotel, but that didn't include the 50 Baht service charge for all journeys starting at the airport or the two road tolls that the driver had paid en route.
On my return to the airport, the driver asked me to pay the tolls as we arrived at the toll booths. The first was 40 bahts, the second was 25 bahts (a total of 1 GBP). The taxi fare cost just 220 Bahts (less than 4 GBP).
You will have no problems finding a metered taxi in Bangkok – they are everywhere! Many of them are bright pink coloured, so you certainly won’t miss those ones! Simply signal to the driver and, if there are no passengers already on board, he’ll stop to pick you up.
Due to the busy nature of Bangkok’s roads, you won’t get very far very fast in a taxi. If you are located close to a subway or Skytrain station, then I would recommend using one of those as your primary means of transportation around Bangkok. However, if you are in an area not covered by either of these, then I would recommend taxis over tuk-tuks. Tuk-tuks are fun for a one-off journey, but you can’t rely on them to take you where you want to go without an unscheduled stop at a shop or factory (where the driver earns commission).
Within Bangkok, the meter starts at 35 Bahts (approx. 0.45 GBP) when you are picked up. The fares are extremely cheap by European standards, with a journey of several kilometres costing between 1 and 2 GBP. In fact, the 25km journey from Bangkok to Suvarnabhumi airport should only cost about 5 GBP (see separate tip for full details of taxis to and from the airport).
The only time I used a taxi, other than the airport transfer, was for a journey between the Old Siam Plaza shopping mall in Chinatown and Lumphini Park in Silom. This journey of several kilometres took 20 minutes, involved a lot of sitting in heavy traffic and cost a mere 73 Bahts (approx. 1.15 GBP).
The first taxi that I stopped refused to take me to Lumphini Park. The driver seemed to be having difficulty understanding where I wanted to go, despite me pointing out the park on my (Thai language) map. Perhaps he didn’t fancy sitting in heavy afternoon traffic in Silom, or perhaps he had to make another pick up and couldn’t get back in time, but either way I jumped out of the taxi and stopped the one behind it and set off towards Lumphini with no problems.
When arriving at the airport, there were 4 of us - we all came in on separate days, and therefore found our own various ways to the hotel from the airport. We ALL paid something different for that very same ride. 250 BT to 800 BT. Basically we found: Make sure you exit the airport completely, go to the official Airport Taxi stand, get into a Metered Taxi and make sure they run the meter. They'll want to talk you into a flat fee (400 to 800 BT) but the ride should only be about 250 BT if they run the meter. Say "no" to the flat fee and tell them to run the meter and take the express toll way. You pay the toll (usually added to the total but sometimes needed at the toll booth) about 20 BHT per expressway (which can be 2 = 40 BHT total). The service cars and taxi's offered inside the airport by the folks in nice suits were the most expensive (800 BHT.) And I must admit after that long flight very tempting, but it is really only a few more steps to the Official Taxi Stand.
In all actuality it is about a 15-20 min ride into Bangkok and per current exchange rates 400 BHT is only like $10 USD... so it is not all that painful or extreme for a 20 min taxi ride. However, it is nice not to be part of the tourist scam. Also the taxi que lines can be long depending on what time you arrive. If you don't want to wait, go upstairs to arrivals and find a taxi dropping someone off.
I know you guys heard some infamous stories about taxis in Bangkok before. But I should share my personal experience too.
As another driver on the road, the blue/red taxis are the worst ones ever. If you have Thai fonts installed on your PC, the ones with ýý on their plates are very bad. ýý means patience so I guess they want other drivers to have it lol But as a customer who sits in this kind of taxi, you probably get to your destination very quick! The green/yellow ones are personal taxis. That means they can do anything to their meters to make it charge more. The rest are varied.
The meter starts from 35 Baht. Be sure that the driver really starts his meter! If you use a pre-paid taxi from the airport, 50 Baht is added.
The 1st time I took a Taxi to the Airport from my Hotel near Phra Arthit wharf, I was told a set fare of 400tb.
The second time, I asked for the Meter to run. I was travelling from MBK. What I didn't realize until too late, was that he wouldn't use the expressway, took the side roads and we were in bad traffic jams. The Expressway was often alongside, and I could see the traffic zooming along while we were at a standstill. Through this, I only just made it in time for my flight.
If you are going to use the meter, THEN CHECK FIRST IF THEY ARE GOING BY EXPRESSWAY OR BACKROADS, it makes a lot of difference to the time it takes to get there.
Most of the backpackers are staying in the Khao San Road...so if you are in a hurry and your destination is going to Northern Bus Terminal (aka Morchit Bus Terminal), taking taxi is still the best option. But look for Taxi-Meter!!!
Taxi Fare - THB 80.00 up to THB 100.00
(date took the taxi - Feb. 7, 2004)
Bangkok International Airport - National Stadium Station
Since I will stay in Muangphol Mansion which is too near to National Stadium Statiom, my Japanese friend and my gf decided to take taxi rather than taking Airport bus ' coz it will cost THB 300 (THB 100/person).
Taxi fare - THB 140 - THB 150
I found taxis in Bangkok to be extremely clean, fast, and cheap. I took a taxi with A/C all the way from the airport to Khao San Rd, and it cost me less than 200 Baht (5 USD). Sometimes, taxis can be cheaper than tuk-tuks because they seems to want the business.
I found that out as I was going back to my hotel from the Muay Thai fight and the taxi guy low bid the tuk tuk driver I was bargaining with!
I took BTS, transferred to subway and finally a tuk tuk to get to Chinatown. It costs around 50 bahts by tuk tuk (the normal rate for locals is 30 bahts) to get to Chinatown from the nearest subway. I stayed in Siam City hotel, close to skytrain Phayathai station. It only costed me 60 bahts to travel back my hotel from Chinatown. I would suggest going to Chinatown by cab, saves time and in my case, money too. Just double confirm with the cab driver that he is charging by meter and note down his cab number too in case of any problems.
PS: You may worry about traffic jams, just go a bit earlier to avoid it. ;-)
Taxis can be found everywhere. But be sure to take those with Taxi-Meter sign on top.
The starting fare is 35THB.
If the taxi driver dont turn on the meter you may alight and hop on to another one.
There is a airport surcharge of 50THB when u depart from the airport.
There are 2 tolls 40THB and 20 THB.
Cab fare to town will cost 150 THB to 200 THB. It all depends on the traffic conditions.
Once exiting the airport, do not try to book taxis INSIDE the arrival hall. Instead, walk out and join the long queue at the official taxi stand. It's much cheaper here and you are never short of taxis. It looked chaotic but the system works. It should cost you about 400-450 Bahts to get into the center of the city, and do factor in the additional toll tax of about 65 Bahts as well (circa Nov 2007) should you choose to go by the highway and escape BKK's deadly traffic jams.
Once in BKK, taxis are not exactly a bad way to get around BKK (especially to the outlying areas not reached by the Skytrain or the Subway), except during the peak hours along the major roads where you can really be boxed tight in a traffic jam. Much more comfortable and much cooler compared to the Tuk-tuks and you are not exposed to the pollution outside, well at least till you get off.
Always insist on the meter, unless you are feeling really rich or generous.
However, when night falls and you are trying to return to your lodging really late, that it could be a hardball game of bargaining with some drivers to get your fare right.
On my latest visit to Bangkok (circa Oct 09), I hired an AOT limousine to house my entourage of 6 to-&-fro the airport. 1 way was 1200 Bahts and there was a 50% discount if we book the return journey as well...which turns out to be quite economical for us as a group.
We hired a taxi for a day as well this time round to drive around to the destinations we need to go. For a day 10am-7pm, we paid 2500 Bahts. It may be steep by local standards, but to have the taxi at our beck and call the entire day, it worked out pretty fine for us.
There are several ways you can get around in bangkok.
- This is a very traditional and Thai transport. it's fairly cheap and you can bargain the fare. Just be careful of tuk tuk drivers who drive around like the 'Tuk Tuk' driver that drove James Bond in the visa commercial. Yes, that was pretty exaggerating but they can be drive rather dangerously. Let the driver know your discomfort.
Taxi are fairly cheap in bangkok. They run on meter and it's cheap. Some tourist will also bargain with the taxi drivers about the fare.
if you are travelling in a grp of 4, it's very worth it to take the taxi. Some of my frens even commented that it's cheaper than taking the BTS.
Good way to see the Chap Phraya River and Wat Arun Temple. and of course the thai who are living by this ancient river of Siam.
Very convenient, you can take BTS to MBK, World Trade Centre, Siam Sq, Chatuchak and Pat Pong and Sathorn Pier.
In Bangkok meter taxis are plentiful and available 24 hours a day. Sometimes you need to be sure that the driver will use the meter, if they do not want to then do not use them - just wave down the next one. Late at night, especially from the night life areas such as Patpong the cabs lined up waiting for you will refuse to use meters and try and charge you 3 or 4 times the fare as a fixed price. The best option here is to walk away from the lines of cabs and flag down a passing one. It is always useful to have the address of your hotel or destination written in Thai to show the drivers. Hotels usually provide cards for this purpose.
After you collect your bags and clear customs at the Don Muang airport, you now need to find the best way to get to your hotel. If you have a friend or a hotel taxi picking you up, then this tip maynot be so helpful. They would be waiting for you at the visitors area and will take care of you. If not, read on…
If you need to take a taxi, you might want to avoid the Deluxe Taxi counters. These places will charge THB 400 for the service when you can get a regular taxi outside for about half the price. Keep walking through the crowd of people and take a right until you get out of the airport building, then look out for the taxi stand.
Just tell the girl at the counter which hotel you are staying at. She will write something on a piece of paper and hand it to a taxi driver. He will load your bags into his taxi. Tell him your destination, make sure the cab meter reads THB 35 at the beginning of your journey. Please tell the driver to take the "Toll Way" which is faster and will cost THB 70 extra. At the end of the trip, he will add on the THB 50 airport surcharge.
There you go, hope you find this useful.
After my next trip, I will upload a pic of the taxi stand. I forgot to take a pic during my last visit.