Adventures in East Asia

Avoiding Rip Off Taxis in Bangkok

Avoiding rip-off taxi drivers in any country is a common tip in many a guide, but of course we have our own experience to share, which luckily didn't put us out of pocket. In fact, having now visited several countries in East Asia, we found that we begin to grasp the legitimacy of many transactions we make as visitors anyway.


With Bangkok, the crowds of adorable pink taxis really make you think that nothing can go wrong but as far as the drivers go, they still want your money.

When we left the Suan Lum Night Bazaar, we headed back towards the Lumphini Park MRT station but aimed for the main road right next to it, where we planned to get a taxi back to our hotel. Waiting there was a small fleet of taxis surrounded by young drivers and touts. The touts immediately approached us and tried to get our custom, but we were completely put off by their persistence - a contrast to the calm friendliness of the Thai people that we had so far come across.

The touts tried the following:
  • Offered a taxi (We said no thanks)
  • Asked where we were going (I told them Nana MRT which is close to our hotel)
  • They quoted 200 THB (We expressed shock and horror)
  • Price dropped to 150 THB (No comment)
  • Price dropped to 100 THB (I said no way, we're after a metered taxi)
  • The tout stated that taxis don't use meters at night.
Needless to say, in full view of the tout, we flagged a passing taxi down and double-checked that it was using a meter. Our taxi journey that night then cost 60 THB (£1.15).

Of course, some places elsewhere in Thailand may well offer legitimate taxi services that work around a quoted price and so its a case of knowing what the going rate is. For instance, when we visited Chiangmai (a week after Bangkok), all transport we took (tuk-tuks and songthaews) required agreeing a fixed price first, but we got an idea of the price ranges by talking to our hotel beforehand.

This entry posted in : Culture. Thailand.

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