How to understand taxis in Thailand ?
When we arrived in Thailand, it was already late, we were tired, so we were allowed to be carried by the crowd and we made the mistake of taking a taxi from the airport to the center. In the middle of the road, we have to pay the highway and in addition we pay too much. You can't say that the 1st impression with the taxis was good.
As the days pass, we see them circulating in all colors, and so we learn to know that they are the differences between all.
All this to say, that even if we were lost at the beginning, we finally tame these means of transport and we share here our experience and our advice so that you arrive well prepared during your trip.
What differences between taxis ?
Each taxi company has its own taxi color. Normally, the rate is the same for all.
How much does a taxi ride cost ? :
The price of a race remains cheap (especially in comparison with European countries). The starting price starts at 0.80€ (35 baht), the longer the trip, the higher the price per kilometer. Here's an idea:
Between 1 km and 12 km : 5 bahts/km
Between 12 km and 20 km : 5,50 bahts/km
From 20 km up to 40 km : 6 bahts/km
However, if you take a taxi to or from Bangkok airport, you will have to count in addition to the race (5 to 8€ / 200 and 300 baht), airport tax (1,3€: 50 baht) and the toll(s).
Where to find a taxi? :
Everywhere ! But especially on the main thoroughfares. If the taxi is free, there will be the red light on the front passenger side, which means "free" in Thai.
More than once a taxi honked us to offer its services (but we didn't ask), so you understand that it is relatively easy to find a taxi in Thailand.
How to avoid scams ?
- Insist that the driver turn on the meter. If he refuses get out of the taxi, or to take his photo ID. If you feel it wrong, or he shows aggressive, get off the car.
- Check that the ID card matches with your driver. If there are none (you will find it passenger side normally), it's better to avoid this taxi.
- Be firm on your address, don't hesitate to plan a map/GPS, to show him where you want to go. Don't let him suggest a place he knows or other (where he will receive a commission for bringing you there).
- Plan the address in Thai. Luckily we had our GPS on our mobile, because the driver doesn't always understand the address.
- Be firm. They will often try to make you take the highway to take you 50 baht or they will tell you because of traffic you have to take another route. One of them tried this on us, but I had the GPS in hand to watch for the fastest route. And I didn't let go of the case when he tried to propose us something else. Besides, at the end, he was quite happy to get rid of me.
- Plan for change to avoid the speech "I don't have change". It happened to some people we know so always have change on you.
- Ask for help, especially if it's a police officer. They will help you take a taxi and avoid scams.
- Avoid the airport-city route and vice versa by taxi. There are significant costs added.
- Here are some tips, hoping that this will help if you have to take the taxi in Thailand. In our opinion, this is not the best way to travel, especially if you are in Bangkok, the city is well served by other public transport such as metro and bus so prefer these modes of transport.