Apart from the BTS and MRT, taxis remain the cheapest 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.
Rose of course, but also blue, yellow, orange, etc. Brightening up the streets of Bangkok.
Finding a taxi in Bangkok is easy as there are so many of them (about 100,000 or about 1 taxi for 100 inhabitants!).
You can be sure there will always be one near hotels, shopping malls, and other tourist places.
But are the taxis better than tuk tuks in Bangkok?
We would say yes.
Because taxis have a regulated price (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. Every taxi in Bangkok is equipped with a meter. It is MANDATORY! If a driver refuses to put the meter on and insists on getting a fixed price instead of turning on the meter, then close the door and let him go. Often, those who wait in front of hotels and popular tourist attractions (places like Khao San, the Grand Palace…) are the most scammy… In this case, the best option is to walk away and stop a taxi a few hundred meters down the road.
- Don’t be surprised if a taxi driver refuses to take you to your destination. Even if it is now possible to report taxis to the police because it is reprehensible to refuse a ride, the best solution is to wait for another cab. It may sometimes happen if your destination is too far away or in a place with a lot of traffic that a driver refuses to take you. You may even be refused several times before you find one that agrees to take you. Nothing against you. It’s common.
- Just like for tuk-tuks, beware of “friendly” drivers who want to take you to “good places.” That’s a common scam where drivers get commissions to drive people to certain places. And they usually don’t take you to the best spots.
- 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 use Google maps on your phone to keep an eye on where they’re going. Try to have a name with an address (if possible in Thai) on you.
- Be careful when getting out of the taxi that a motorcycle does not arrive between your taxi and the sidewalk! Unfortunately, this happens quite frequently.
- It is common to round the fare to 5 or 10 baht (like paying 100 when the taximeter displays 93 baht). As the driver’s working conditions are quite difficult, it’s a gesture that is always appreciated.
- Always check your belonging when you get out of the taxi. Even if we often see stories of honest taxis drivers struggling to find the owner of a lost item, you can’t be guaranteed to be that lucky if you forget something in a cab.
- Trust your instincts! If a taxi driver seems suspicious to you while you are talking to him before you get in, close the door and take another one.
- Practice your Thai with the driver. Any taxi ride is a good opportunity to learn 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 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 baht. This remains fixed for the 1st kilometer, after which the rate changes as follows:
- Between 1 km and 12 km: 5 bath/km
- Between 12 km and 20 km: 5.50 bath/km
- From 20 km to 40 km : 6 bath/km
You will rarely go beyond this distance within Bangkok.
Note that if the taxi is traveling at less than 6 km/h, then a rate of 1.50 baht/min applies.
Typically, a taxi ride of a few kilometers will be between 50 and 100 baht.
A trip to/from Suvarnabhumi International Airport will generally be between 300 and 500 baht, depending on the location of your hotel.
To this, you need to add the motorway tolls that you have to pay separately and the 50 baht airport tax fee when you take a taxi from the airport.
Alternative to Taxis
There are plenty of options to get around Bangkok.
The city has great public transportation (BTS, MRT and buses) and plenty of motorbike taxis.