The best and fastest way is by metered taxi. Make sure that insist on metered. I would also suggest that you get one away from the Patpong area, they are not as easy to negotiate with, just walk a couple blocks away from the area and you should be fine.
For better prices, why not try the Suan Lum night market at Lumpini. Much better market
We did have some problems with tuk-tuks and taxi's in Bkk. On our first 2 visits we didn't use them a lot, but in 2005 we encountered several problems.
The biggest problem was that they didn't want to put the meter on. We stayed several times in Twin Towers hotel, each time for 1 night when stopping over. The hotel was very close to the Hualamphong trainstation, but we took a taxi several times to avoid the hassle of dragging our luggage over the streets. Each time they tried to rip us of by asking a fare between 300 and 500 THB, where the meter-fare was only 50 THB. I don't mind paying a bit extra or giving a tip, but they don't have to exaggerate.
At one time we called a taxi through the hotel to take us to the international airport (was still Don Muang airport at that time). The guy at the hotel told him to put the meter on, but when he drove away he refused to do so. Only after we were ready to get out of the car he agreed to put it on. Then he first took us to the domestic terminal (which was furher away) instead of the international, so the meter was higher than it normally had to be.
Also be careful when you take a taxi and pay extra for the toll at the expressway. There are several points in the city to enter the expressway: depending on where you enter you pay a fare to use it. Very often the taxidrivers charge you the highest rate, but they only enter at a point further down the expressway, so where they don't have to pay the complete fare they've charged you.
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.
The normal way of taking a cab is 4 passengers. But on our last day in bangkok, the 6 of us were really short of money, and we weren't keen to walk miles. So what we did was squeeze into 1 cab. Yes, 6 passengers in 1 cab. We did felt bad for the cabbie and gave him a tip as well. Still, it worked out to be cheaper than taking 2 cabs. And since we 3 girls were petite, it was not that uncomfortable for a short 5min ride. I still can't believe we could all take one cab. That would never happen in my country.
When going to Safari World, the advantage of having a private ride versus their park bus is you can tell the driver to stop for photos whenever and for how long you like when going around the safari or open zoo area.
I booked the hotel transport service which was 1,500 baht for round trip. The driver drove us around the safari and waited the whole day while we watched the various shows (dolphin, stunt, elephant, orangutang, spy war). I later asked a metered taxi, and he quoted 800 baht for the exact same service.
We just returned from Bangkok and we love it so very much! My family goest to Bangkok quite often because of a bit of business...anyway, February is a very low season, so, have no fear that you need to book your trip. As far as hotel, best to book through internet, as rooms have great offers, we would suggest for you to book at the Sukhumvit Road, we stayed at the Dusit Hotel which costs us U.S.$27.00 per night, breakfast not included, but location could not be any better. Sky train is only 3 minutes walk. However, after 4 nights at Dusit Hotel, we then came across some English couple in there late 50's who were staying at a "Inn" located right infront of my hotel, it's called "SAM'S INN", which costs only 1/3 of what we were paying and they have a computer with free internet connection. Since we paid our stay ahead at Dusit Hotel, then next time we go back to Bangkok which we love so much, we definitely will stay at that Sam's Inn. The only good and great service with Dusit Hotel, is they picked us up at the airport and being so tired from the many traveling hours, having someone pick you at the airport was worth it, otherwise if you take a taxi, it would be more or less around U.S.$5.00 (that's if you are not taken for a long free ride by the driver). Best to do if you need to take a taxis as you arrive from overseas, que in next to a sort of police lady who will assign you a taxi with legal taxi meter. Now as I said, legally it only cost U.S.$5.00 from the airport to Sukhumvit, oh! yes, plus .50 balt for the toll fee which you will be asked to pay. Since we are still traveling Asia we have not yet had the time to do our Bangkok travel, so we are just doing it bits and pcs. while we are on our travel. Have a great time and happy shopping in Bangkok...Cheers!
Yeah in the "good ole days" you could just negotiate, you still can but just demand the meter. Sometimes they wont and you'll just have to find another taxi but that's not a big problem either. Also, have you hotel flag one down for you. Use one from the street, not a hotel one or it'll cost double or triple usually.
Also, once you get there, there are maps everywhere free, and MRT maps. You may have to walk a bit but you can do it by MRT and walk a few blocks and still get there. Depends on how fast and how hot it is!
Good luck and have fun!
Easiest way is to take a taxi! No, not being sarcastic but that is the easiest way.
Take Rachaprarop rd to Ratchadamri rd, same road to Silom Rd, you should see the Dusit Thani Hotel on the corner of that intersection. Down Silon Rd until it ends, take a right past the Shangri La hotel, the Oriental Hotel and another block or two to the Royal Orchid Hotel. Royal Orchid sit right at the end of Si Phraya rd.
In traffic it should take you about 20-30 minutes, maybe a bit more if traffic is bad.
God luck, hope that helped.
Getting around in Bangkok city, BTS is the best transportation for tourists who do not know Thai language or the way to your destinations.
Though travelling by taxis is sometimes cheaper then taking the BTS, just the jam is enough to take you stuck for at least 20 mins!
I was staying in Holiday Inn Bangkok, Ploenchit, just infront of Intercontinental Hotel. Or should say right next to Chitlom BTS station. But those taxi drivers don't seems to know where I'm going after explain in detail to them. There was one driver drive me to Silom Holiday Inn after I kept telling him 'Chitlom' NOT 'Silom'. I asked him to put us down immediately and will not pay him a cent. (As we took the taxi from Pratunam (just 10-15mins walk from our hotel) back to our hotel, but he took us a big round to Silom)!! From there, we took another taxi whose driver is more honest to bring us back, and paid 60 baht! I told the hotel staff and she said some drivers pretend and act blurr, and said I had done the right thing by not paying him :)
1. The basic rule in Bangkok is that there are fake everything and buyers beware.
2. Never ever trust your taxi driver to bring you to the place you want to go for FOOD, SHOPPING, or ANYTHING RELATED TO AN EXPENDITURE (MASSAGE, RESTAURANTS, etc). This is inspite of giving them specific directions written in Thai.
3. The problem is, for every famous place, there is an imitation (eg the famous Somboon Restaurant versus the fake Somboondee Restuarant). All taxi drivers will automatically bring you to the fake places period (regardless of instructions in Thai / English, etc).
4. All fake places charge at least 5x - 10x the price of the original places.
5. I had a simple seafood dinner consisting of 800grams crab, 900gram Fish/Seabass, a fried rice and a plate of vegetables (Kangkong / Morning Glory). The cost came out to a shocking 7,000 bahts. The correct price should probably be only about 1,000 bahts in Bangkok.
6. Even the restaurant owners will lie to you upon being confronted. They will lie about the road / location they are on, the name of the restaurant, etc.
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At Least Do This: Use a credit card to pay if you suspect of being scam. Then deliberately sign under a different name or initials. Upon receiving the bill, tell your credit card company that you didnt sign for that bill. One scam deserves another scam!! The only people who loose out are the original scammers as the credit card company will back charge the restaurant or shopping place.
Alternative: Always take the sky train or MRT if you intend to go to any restaurant or shopping places. Make sure you have a photo of the place you want to go to.......otherwise be prepared to be brought to a fake location where prices are easily 5X to 10x of the origional.
There are plenty of taxis in Bangkok and while they are alot safer than tuktuks (and air conditioned) you still need to be wary. We caught 3 taxis during our stay in Bangkok and only one of them put the meter on. Always agree a price beforehand!
One taxi driver asked us how much we wanted to pay and tried to get more money from us because the traffic was alot busier but we negotiated a fare that everyone was happy with (we were probably ripped off still but the fare we paid was alot cheaper than we are used to back home).
Another taxi driver showed us a card and wanted to take us to a silk shop. We politely refused and he took us to where we wanted to go. We only thought it was tuktuks that tried taking you to shops, so make sure you're alert (it took us a few minutes to understand what the taxi driver was saying).
With the busy traffic in Bangkok and the speed that is being used, please make sure your taxi has a safety belt. We were caught out the moment you wanted to put one on....tell your hotel doorman before he gets you a taxi!
Taxis are best way for wondering around city..But you should ask the taxi driver to turn on the taximeter..Most of the taxi drivers prefer to bargain with tourists..It's cheap but taximeter is cheaper..Also it's practical to ask for a hotel card ( ''take me home'' ) from your hotel..Those cards have the hotel's name and map both in English and in Thai language.So the taxi driver can easily understand you and transfer you to your hotel..
Another safer and hassle-free alternative to travel around Bangkok is by taxi. Always ask them for 'meter' before getting in (if you don't wanna get ripped off or bargain). Hassle-free because you are not exposed to the smoke and dust from the bad traffic, plus it is air-conditioned (good if you want comfort after a long day of shopping).
It amazes me how the taxi companies make any money by charging less money for going several miles than it costs to go 2 blocks in Manhattan. Unless you ride during rush hour this is the best and quickest way to get around town. Skytrain is awesome for Sukhumvit and during rush hour and traffic jams. Tuktuks are okay for a few short blocks, but otherwise you will be inhaling nasty fumes.