Bangkok taxi drivers will rip you off

A taxi in Bangkok
Taxis in Bangkok are an extremely popular way of getting around. The MRT and BRT will usually get you close to your destination without the hassle of traffic, but it won’t always get you the last mile or so. I recommend using Grab so there’s no question about your destination, but sometimes a taxi is the best and fastest option.

We found most taxi drivers spoke some English….at least enough to try to get you to pay more than you should. Stand firm and ALWAYS make them use the meter.

We had fewer problems during the day when drivers had plenty of fares and were willing to the meter with little hesitation.

At night we often had to go through several taxis to get an honest one.

One night we tried hailing a cab to go about 15 minutes away. The trip should have been about 25-40 Baht, but every driver we hailed refused to use the meter. Some wanted as much as 100 Baht. We finally flagged down a driver who had 25 years of experience driving the streets of Bangkok.

Unfortunately he didn’t know where our hotel was located and his English was limited.

I kicked myself for not having the address of the hotel written in Thai, but the driver used his experience to pull into a hotel nearby where the valet told him where we wanted to go in Thai. It added about 4 Baht to the meter, but it was cheaper than having him drive around aimlessly “trying to find it” or not use the meter.

When it was time to leave the city, it was 3am and few cabs drove down the street of our hotel. The front desk offered to call a taxi for us, which was convenient, but in hindsight full of tricks. In fact, this was the worst driver of the trip.

The driver was good about putting our luggage inside for us. I told him we wanted to go to the airport and demanded he use the meter. He claimed there was heavy traffic and wanted 500 Baht. I objected because we looked up the fare on Grab, which estimated it would cost between 280-340 Baht without tolls. He eventually relented and turned on the meter.

I felt he didn’t take the most direct route to the tollway, but it didn’t add much in distance because he made up for it in time because there was no traffic whatsoever.

The toll was 50 Baht and the meter came to 301 Baht….a far cry from 500.

Since we were leaving the country I only had enough Bahts for the taxi ride and didn’t have much change. I gave the driver 350 for the fare when he pulled the “I don’t have change” game.

The excuse was honestly ridiculous. He pulled out a single 100 Baht bill as proof even though he told us earlier he was driving all night. Tired and facing a long flight ahead I refused to give in to his games. I walked around to other taxi drivers looking for change while also looking for airport staff to provide assistance. Tara says he looked embarrassed, but I wasn’t really paying attention. All I know is he took 300 and drove off. I had actually planned on tipping him before the last game, but I can’t support drivers who like to rip off tourist.
Bangkok taxi drivers will rip you off Bangkok taxi drivers will rip you off Reviewed by Brandon on December 19, 2017 Rating: 5

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