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.
In Bangkok, there are tons and tons of taxis! Usually, taking a taxi from your hotel is fairly easy and cab drivers tend to always use their meter. But....once you're out and about, grabbing a taxi could cost you a lot of money. After you tell them your destination, they will blurt out a price to let you know what it costs to take you there. I guarentee that this is much more than what it would cost if they just use their meter to take you to the same destination. And if you asked them to use their meter instead, they usually refuse. Just wait for another taxi who will use their meter. One will come along, like I said there are tons of taxis. In any case, using a taxi is fairly inexpensive. Using the metro is even cheaper but the metro only makes certain stops.
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.
There are so many taxi's around Bangkok you shouldn't have any trouble getting one. All in bright colours you can't miss them either! Journeys from the riverside to Sukhumvit are generally around 50 bahts although this will greatly depend on the traffic, especially around rush hour.
You should make sure that they out the metre on when you get in, if they don't ask them to and if they refuse get out and use another taxi as they will charge you more for your journey. This will often occur around the tourist sights - Grand Palace, Wat Po etc but if you take a short stroll away from these sights and pick up a taxi elsewhere you should be ok.
At the night bazaar there is an area for taxis which are supposedly required to use their meters. This area is controlled by a staff member. However, I found once I had gotten in the taxi and it started to move the driver set a price of 200 baht and refused to use the meter. Therefore you need to make sure he will use the meter before getting into the taxi & while the staff member is there.
We just returned from our short trip to Bangkok, in November/December 2007. We have experienced poor taxi service of late as follows:
(a) the taxi-driver who fetched us from the Survarnabhumi Airport to Chinatown, appeared to skim off small amounts of money from us - first at the toll, he kept some change which should be returned to us and later at the end of the journey, he told us he did not have change and did not return us 30 Baht;
(b) taxi drivers refused to fetch us to Erawan Hotel vicinity, claiming they did not understand, they were changing shift, they were going home, etc;
(c) taxi drivers at the metered taxi stand at Suan Luam Night Market declined to go by meter. Instead, they gave a high ballpark figure and expect us to bargain to a price which could double the metered fare.
To avoid this unpleasantness, travel by BTS, MRT or the bus. For general information, Bus 73 travels from Chinatown to MBK and back at a very cheap price of less than 20 Baht!
Just to share with you, many taxis in Bangkok are in pink colour!! It's the best looking taxis I have ever seen. :) Taxi is one of the best ways to travel within Bangkok (except during rush hours!).
Insist that the driver go by the meter or else don't get on his taxi. There are plenty of other taxis anyway. Within downtown Bangkok, the fare usually doesn't go more than 50baht.
Scenario 1: I believe by now, you've heard of the notorious taxis of BKK who refuse to turn on their meters. They have the uncanny ability of spotting a tourist from a mile away and in an instance, you'll see taxis of all colours, slowing to a complete halt in both directions of traffic, windows wound down and heads popping out shouting "where you go ?!!"
Scenario 2: You're staying at a low end hotel somewhere in Pratunam, you're ready to leave your hotel in the morning for some sightseeing. The doorman asks if you require a taxi, you say yes, and he gestures to a taxi parked outside the hotel. The taximan refuses to switch on his meter and asks for B250 for the single trip to the Grand Palace, he also appears rude, and refuses to lower his asking price. You have just encountered BKK's infamous "hotel based taxi mafia". My friend who unfortunately went along with a taxi mafioso was rudely shortchanged B20 on the pretense of tips on paying the non-negotiable fare on reaching his destination. Such aggressive daylight robbery in my opinion is incredibly blatant.
Suggested tips to minimise grief when dealing with taximen:
- It pays to learn some rudimentary Thai before leaving for Thailand. You might pass off as a long term resident or even a Thai yourself. Learn words like - I want to go to..., preferably in the colloquial when talking to taxi drivers, so it might be shortened to "Go..."
- Should he refuse to turn on the meter, ask him why not?, if he still refuses, ask him to stop the cab, say you don't want him to take you, and walk the OPPOSITE direction as they have a habit of slowly tailing you (they're quite persistent). Flag down another cab.
- If you've just realised you're talking to a taxi mafioso at your hotel, just decline his service (politely), walk down the main road and flag down another cab. Note: If it's early in the morning, when taxi business is usually sparse, he just might tail you. I know it sounds ridiculous, but it is. Crossing the road to the other direction usually breaks their will.