Motorcycle Taxis, Bangkok
You will get swamped my Tuk Tuk drivers everywhere, they spot tourists easily. They always take you on a tour before taking you to your requested location, they will take you to jewellry stores, travel agentss and tailor shops because they get a 'kick back' or stamp for petrol if you get out of the tuk tuk and go in the shop. This can be pesky, we had heard about this and did it anyway because it was part of the adventure. If you view it lightheartedly you will have fun. but if you seriously want to go directly somewhere get a metered taxi.
One of the hassles of living in Bangkok is the traffic. The city is almost always congested and you can never find a taxi when you’re in a hurry. However one of the fastest ways to travel around the city is to ride a Bangkok motorcycle taxi. With their ability to zip in and out of traffic (and even occasionally on the sidewalk!) a motorcycle taxi can get you to your destination faster than any other form of transport.
Bangkok Motorcycle taxis are easily spotted by their orange or red vested drivers and are often gathered on street corners. Motorcycle taxis don’t travel all over the city like a car taxi. They typically spend their day in the same area so they will often have excellent knowledge of the nearby streets and neighbourhoods. Motorcycle taxis are ideally suited for short trips that are too long to walk but too short for a regular taxi.
Helmets are required by law, but they are rarely enforced. In the unlikely event that you are pulled over by the police and you are not wearing a helmet then unfortunately you will be the one who is fined, even if the motorcycle driver didn’t give you a helmet. More and more motorcycle taxi drivers are starting to carry an extra helmet so it your driver doesn’t have one, just wait for another one.
Fares are usually negotiated in advance and for a quick 5 min ride 20 – 40 Baht is average. Most motorcycle taxi drives will have little contact with foreigners, so keep in mind that their English skills may be limited. You may want to write down your destination or home address so you can easily show it to the driver rather than speaking it. If speed is a priority, nothing can beat a motorcycle taxi, but be aware of the risks and keep those knees in tight when threading through the Bangkok traffic.
With the intense traffic jams
that are a way of living in Bangkok,
hopping on the back of a taxi motorbike
is definitely worth considering.
This is not for those that get nervous,
and only practical for those traveling solo.
But on the back of these motorbikes,
you’ll probably get there a lot quicker
than most other ways of transportation.
Depending on the distance,
it’s probably even more economical.
Just look for the guys
with the orange colored vest,
riding a motorbike!
Note It is the law to use a helmet,
and these will b provided by your driver.
To avoid using these bear headed,
(because you never know about head lice)
I do recommend that you
have a baseball cap to protect yourself.
OK, I can only think of 2 instances when you should consider taking a motorcycle taxi in Bangkok.
One is when the city is flooded after heavy rain and you need to enter the street to go back to your hotel or wherever you are going. It's a good idea cause the water will be icky and you might get infection and stuff
The second one is when the traffic is jammed packed and you absolutely need to be elsewhere for an important meeting, then you can consider the motorcycle to go between cars.
Otherwise I will not advise you to take them. In the 15 months I was in Bangkok I saw a motorcycle accident on a big road and a close colleague of mine broke his arm when his motorcycle taxi was licked by a bus.
If you, under the two circumstances I described above, decide to take them be aware that in Bangkok they can be found normally in the entrance of the Soi (street) wearing bright orange jacket. They also normally have a board stating the price to go to different areas from that waiting spot.
I would say that on average it costs 1/3 to 1/2 of the price of taxi. Remember folks, emergency only! :)
Motorcycle taxis serve two purposes: Short hauls up and down sois (especially for those who ride buses down main roads) and Long hauls to beat the traffic during times of congestion. Motorcycle taxis always wear a vest which identifies where they are permitted to base their operations, and with a number on their back which is unique to the individual.The motorcycle taxis are usually found at the beginning (and sometimes the end) of sois ( I got one at intersction of sukhumvit and soi5) which have a lot of people, usually due to apartment buildings or businesses, and their main role is shuttling people up and down that soi. They are usually near a bus stop. The fee is usually standard, e.g., 5 baht in some places, 10 baht in others. No helmet is necessary on these little sois. If you need to flag down a motorcycle taxi within the middle of a soi or on a main road, you do so the same way as for taxis, turning your palm down and waving them in with your fingers. However, if you are close to a motorcycle taxi group, then no motorcycle taxi outside that group will pick you u.
The motorcycle taxis for long hauls are the same as those for short hauls. Just go to any motorcycle taxi stand. The fare for long hauls is negotiable. You will pay approximately the same as you would for a taxi, more or less. You will just get there quicker on a motorcycle taxi during rush hour, as they drive down the stripes between cars, off the side of the road, down back alleys, literally under buildings, and wherever a motorcycle with two people can squeeze. (Underneath buildings means thru build underground parking lots.) Be careful to keep your knees in and watch your feet in order to avoid injury. When the road opens up, they may go very fast, including between cars. If you have the misfortune to get a daredevil motorcycle driver, or come across an overly aggressive taxi, it can be a harrowing experience.
Motorcycle Taxis are another great and inexpensive way to get around the city. You will see motorcycle taxis on many street corners. The drivers wear very colorful vests that make them stand out from the average motorcycle guy taking a break. Their fares are negotiated before you ride, and are very reasonable. I paid 80 Baht (US$2) for a ride from Thonburi to Sukumvit -- this is a 20-30 minute ride that would cost double or triple the price in a taxi. Motorcycle taxis are also nice in rush hour or other heavy traffic (nearly anytime in Bangkok) as they will squeeze between cars waiting at lights and avoid the long lines.
Just like with tuk tuks, negotiate your fare with the driver before you leave, and don't pay until you arrive at your destination.
In rush hours, there is a lot of traffic jam, if your late and want to be on time you can try the motorcycle taxi. Fares must be bargained in advance. Minimum fares are 10 baht. You need to bargin the fare before taking the ride.
If you are in a big hurry, then mc-taxi is an option. BUT, it is not the safest. If you go anyway, keep you feet, arms and legs close to your body otherwise you will soon loose one of them against another car or truck.
You will be provided with a helmet but it won't help much if an accident.
They drive like crazy!
You HAVE to take one of these.... it doesn't matter where you're going.... it's WONDERFULLY scary! You might forget the club you ended up, but the ride there will forever remain in hyour memory!
PLUS, you won't be stuck in traffic!
Since discovering this marvelous form of transport around bangkok it has rapidly become one of my favourites. A short walk to one of the jetty's then ensures you a quick and (very cheap) trip down the river to a number of destinations. Ignore the touts who want to sell u the expensive boats but find the river taxi! Its around 20 baht or something to some of the main attractions such as the Wat's from the nearest jetty to Koa San! Well worth it! Dont follow the tourist trend of the overly priced tuk tuks! It also means you get to see parts of Bkk from the river without all the diesel fumes from the streets!
Motorbikes are also a common way to travel and are a lot more fun than the other ways. They only do short journeys and cost around 10 - 20 baht for wherever you want to go. They are also very dangerous and you will not be given a helmet so be warned. Just look out for a bunch of thais on motorbikes wearing normally orange jackets.
All over thailand you can rent motor bikes that cost less than $5 a day for all day rental. Usaully insurance is added but make sure it is because driving around in the streets of thailand is like signing your death certificate!
Not sure if that is an excitement or nervousness. I must confess that for the first few times I got a bit shaky taking a motorbike taxi. They go so fast, zigzag, and you just gotta hold it tight..wherever for you to grab. Of course not the rider. Anyway, its better than being stuck in traffic in a taxi and let the meter goes higher and higher, specially if you're in a rush.
A new form of transport provides a faster, albeit riskier answer for commuting during peak traffic hours. They can be found at almost every corner and can go anywhere in Bangkok. Fares must be negiotiated.
One day on my last trip I was in a bit of a rush to get somewhere, actually it was to Winston's (travelagent4tahailand) travel agency to pick up my tickets for Vietnam. So I decided to take one opf the motorcycle taxis to get thru the traffic. In general it wasn't as bad as I thought it might be, but sometimes it was positively frightening. How do they fit thru some of those gaps in the traffic?? Also I'm not sure he allowed for the fact he had a heavy fereng on the back rather than a trim Thai so our acceleration across traffic was also sometimes worriying.
However it was cheap and definitely quicker than either a tuk-tuk or taxi would have been