Apart from the BTS and MRT, taxis remains the easiest and most convenient way to travel in and around Bangkok.
Taxis are for the most part recent cars and come in a multitude of colors among the most visible, roses but also blue, yellow, orange, etc.. Brightening up the streets of Bangkok.
Finding a taxi is easy as there are so many of them (about 100,000 or about 1 taxi for 100 inhabitants!) and you can be sure there will always be one near hotels, shopping mall and other tourist places.
Are the taxis better than Tuk Tuk in Bangkok ? We would say yes, because taxis have a regulated price guarantee (with the meter), they have air conditioning and you are less exposed to pollution.
What you need to know about taxis in Bangkok :
- A taxi is vacant if the red light is on
- It is not necessary to negotiate the price of a taxi ride, all Bangkok taxis are equipped with meters, which is normally MANDATORY! If a driver refuses to put the meter on and insists on getting a fixed price instead of the meter then close the door and let him go. Generally, those who wait in front of hotels and very touristic places (Khao San, around the main temples) are often suspicious… The best in this case is to move away a little from any touristic place.
- Don’t be surprised if a taxi driver refuses to take you to your destination, if it is now possible to report taxis to the police because it is now reprehensible, the easiest way as a tourist is to ask the next taxi. It may happen sometimes, if your destination is particularly far away or in a place with a lot of traffic jams. You may be refused several times before you find one that agree to take you.
- Just like for tuk tuk, beware of “friendly” drivers who want to take you to “good places”. That’s a common scam where drivers get commission to get people. And they usually don’t take you to the best spots in this case.
- Don’t expect the taxi to know the city like the back of his hand. And because they rarely use GPS, it is always better to have a map or to use google maps on your phone. Try to have a name with an address (if possible in Thai) on you. This is particularly true for hotels.
- Be careful when getting out of the taxi to make sure that a motorcycle does not arrive between the taxi and the sidewalk ! This is a “classic” case that unfortunately happens frequently.
- It is common to round the fare to 5 or 10 baht (like paying 95 when the taxi meter displays 93 baht). As the driver’s working conditions are not always easy because it is rather easy to imagine how driving in Bangkok all day can be tiring. It is not mandatory of course but the gesture is always appreciated.
- Always check that you didn’t forget anything when you get out of the taxi. Even if we often see stories about honest taxis often struggling to find the owner of a lost item, you can’t be guaranteed to be that lucky.
- Trust your instincts ! If a taxi driver seems suspicious to you in a way while you are talking to him before you get in, close the door and pick another one.
- Practice your Thai with the driver. What a better occasion to learn some new Thai words ?
Of course, to avoid the hassle of negotiating with taxis and explaining where you’re going you can always use apps like Grab Taxi.
We hope with these few tips that it will avoid you inconveniences and other unpleasant surprises.
How much cost taxis in Bangkok ?
Good question. But first there’s a few things to know about the cost of taxis in Bangkok :
- The initial price of a trip is 35 Bahts. This remains fixed for the 1st kilometer, after which the rate changes as follows:
- Between 1 km and 12 km: 5 Bahts/km
- Between 12 km and 20 km: 5.50 Bahts/km
- From 20 km to 40 km : 6 Bahts/km
You will rarely go beyond this distance within Bangkok.
Note that if the taxi is travelling at less than 6 km/h, then an hourly rate of 1.50 bahts/min applies.
Typically, a taxi ride of a few kilometres will be between 50 and 100 Bahts.
A trip to / from Suvarnabhumi International Airport will generally be between 300 and 500 baht depending on the location of your hotel, not to mention the motorway tolls that you have to pay separately and the 50 baht airport tax if you take the taxi from the airport.
Thanks for reading til the end.
Got a question we didn’t answer? An experience with taxis you want to share?
Drop a comment below.