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Taxi Drivers in Bangkok

I lived in Chiang Mai for years and I never called a cab, not once! Mostly because if you called them it would be 200 baht minimum! It's a lot cheaper now and I actually think they have meter taxis now but still there's a calling charge and not really worth it. I can't remember how many times I've been blind drunk driving home and never once ever had an issue. (no, you shouldn't do that). Moving to Bangkok I no longer have any wheels and probably a good thing since the only time I go out is to a club or get some drinks so till now haven't really needed it. Instead I've been taking taxis, what an experience that has been.

I'd love to have video like "taxi cab confessions" in Bangkok, how funny and interesting that would be! I don't know if the front seat or the back seat would be more interesting, some of these taxi drivers are fucking Nuts! In the past few days I've sat with a driver who had so many Buddha statues on his front and rear window you could hardly see out, one dude so high on ya ba he ran through 5 red lights (during the day), one dude trying to sell me drugs, one taxi driver who wanted me to fuck his wife for 1000 baht and about a dozen drivers who simply refused to take me anywhere...grrrr. Actually that last one is the reason for this article.


Taxi drivers who won't pick you up! Apart from the heat the taxis are one of the most annoying things about living in Bangkok and not taking me on my 80 baht ride is enough to make me scream. Every time you sit in a cab in Bangkok you hear the guy going on about how little money he makes blah blah blah trying to get a good tip out of you. Well if they actually picked people up maybe they would make some money! My latest attempt of getting a cab ride in Bangkok is typical. 

bangkok taxi driver

I'm at Nana Plaza I cross the road and  hail a cab open the door and sit inside. I say BTS Phra Khanong. He says to me *NO!*, what? What's the problem dude? He then says "there's a lot of traffic". I'm like what are you talking about dude it's 1am. No! Have too much traffic he exclaims. So I get out leaving the passenger door open and walk away. I can hear him cursing at me as he undoes his belt and climbs into the passenger seat to close the door. Sorry for the inconvenience asshole!

I hate to haggle over prices so if the guy said to me 150 baht (twice the actual cost) I probably would have said OK but instead the only thing the guy has to say is that there is too much traffic. Think about this statement for a second. He's a taxi driver in Bangkok and doesn't want to take me down the road because there is too much traffic. Where in Bangkok are you not going to hit traffic? So I did end up getting a cab it was 60 baht and took 4 minutes, no there was no REAL traffic.

Not taking me on my trip isn't the only thing that annoys the shit out of me either, here's some other things that annoy me about catching a cab in this city.

- Most taxis run on LPG which leaves no room in the trunk for my bags
- Taxis that smell like Som Tam
- Not turning on the meter
- Clearly going the wrong route to get a higher fare
- Purposely driving into traffic then asking for a flat fare to go a shortcut
- Driving the toll when it's unnecessary

What things piss you off about Taxi's and Taxi drivers in Bangkok?

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About Chris

Chris founded LivingThai.org in 2011 and has received over 3 million visitors. He has lived here for over 10 years and speaks reads and writes very good Thai.

10 Responses to Taxi Drivers in Bangkok

  1. Xerxes January 24, 2015 at 3:34 pm #

    have you ever looked under the seats of a Taxi in BKK….you will be in shock and awe at the discoveries that you find there…try it

    • Chris January 24, 2015 at 4:33 pm #

      You mean like weapons? Bet they all carry one.

  2. Stefan January 24, 2015 at 3:38 pm #

    It’s very rare, but some taxis also have manipulated meters, now that’s nasty. Like last Saturday I took a cab back to my place from Khaosan (off the mainroad) and the fare was like 140 Baht instead of 60-70 Baht usually.

    You would just notice that if you lived here for a while and get a “feeling for the meter” and know when the intervals of fare increase are shorter than they should be. Glad that I got a bike now, but still when out partying you just have to rely on the taxis here and there’s always the risk to run into one of these scams.

  3. Chris January 24, 2015 at 4:35 pm #

    I forgot to add i hate how none of these taxis have seatbelts in the back! Whats the point of taking them out? Anyone know?

    • magnus March 16, 2015 at 3:13 am #

      Someone told me it’s for the taxi drivers protection. The driver wears their own seat belt and hit the brakes if the passenger makes any trouble.

      • Andi December 6, 2015 at 5:50 pm #

        I have always wondered why that is. Never thought of that! lol

  4. BKK January 27, 2015 at 9:53 am #

    Get a taxi at least a block or two away from major tourist areas (KhaoSan Rd, Nana, etc…) to lessen the chance of lame taxis.

    Annoying is actually when drivers don’t know the toll-routes and drive along congested roads below instead, taking another 20-40 minutes instead of paying another 20-40 Baht :\

  5. Scott January 27, 2015 at 6:47 pm #

    Mmm not sure on no seat belt clasps in the back, but one thing for sure is I haven’t plucked up the courage to stick my hand down the seat to feel for it, god knows what’s waiting to surprise you.

    I found if you walk up a short distance from Nanna and the Soi Cowboy where the fixed price taxi drivers park you will always pick up a Taxi driving passed that uses the meter.

    Certainly still no use to Taxi drivers saying NO !!!

  6. Skins January 28, 2015 at 11:25 am #

    Haha yeah man I’ve had that issue MANY times. They simply don’t want to drive you into traffic… Well, what did they think they were getting into being a cab driver in BKK?!

    I usually walk onto Sukhumvit and hail a can driving by. The guys just sitting around the Sois are looking for farang to rape on inflated fairs from Nana to Cowboy and back.

    I also find the motorbike taxis very convenient in BKK. Cut right around traffic. Just HOLD ON! 🙂

  7. Taven May 3, 2015 at 5:22 pm #

    Took a taxi home from Khao San once. He took me about 1 km towards Sukhumvit, and then decided he did not want to go there. Dropped me and 3 other people (2 thais) off in the middle of the street (no traffic, no taxis). Took about 20 minutes until we got a taxi to actually stop and take us. What an asshole.

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