May 03

Tuk-Tuk Taxi in Bangkok/ThailandDriving with a Taxi is still a very affordable version of transportation in most parts of Asia, even in Singapore or Hong Kong.

If you’ve ever been using a Taxi in Bangkok (which Asia Traveler hasn’t?) you probably can relate to Ali’s observations of the various types of Taxi Drivers. Ali over from Thai Tales is a happy Londoner Gal, living it up and teaching in Thailand’s capitol.

Much of the characters she met there might even be similar to Taxi Drivers in most of today’s Metropolis Cities on our planet; but Bangkok is truly a special kind. Besides flanking down a limousine, you can still have here the original Tuk-Tuk Taxis, even though those vehicles are slowly but steadily getting close to extinction.

Ali sorts her Taxi Drivers into

  • Talkers (both Thai and English!)

  • The Silent Types

  • Spitters

  • Speed Freaks

  • Slow Pokes

  • Flirts

  • Worshippers

I remember having the pleasure to meet one of those Worshipper Types in Singapore a few years back. He was Pakistani, but a surprisingly strong Catholic! The whole drive from Woodlands to the CBD area he tried to convince and convert me to Christianity, even though I didn’t ask for it and surely didn’t show any interest at all for quite a while. After 30 minutes of listening to his motor-mouth babblings, he got me started as well and we were arguing and struggling the next 10 minutes about religious questions, the Virgin Mary, the meaning of the Crucifix, cannibalism and the eating of bread and wine and suffering for whole mankind and those kinds of controverse things.

The end of the song was: he missed the 3 or so exits to Chinatown and we were doing the bigger round via Suntec. It doesn’t pay to argue with Worshipper Taxi Drivers, I can tell you!

Here is the full version of Ali’s story, go check it out, it’s a great read!

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written by Chris

9 Responses to “Do Bangkok Taxi Drivers Drive You Crazy?”

  1. NiaNo Gravatar UNITED STATES Says:

    You are a strong brother, Chris. Half an hour in silence while he plyed his evangelic wares and finally wore out your cool exterior? I hope next time you try another tactic, of course without being too impolite.

    “Oh, I’ve made a terrible mistake. I must get out immediately. Pull over, pull over. Please! I must get out!”

    Of course don’t act TOO crazy, the guy might be armed and try to subdue you with more than the word of the Lord.

    All the best, to you Chris. Nia ;)

  2. MattNo Gravatar THAILAND Says:

    I seem to only ever have conversations about football with taxi drivers. They sure love football.

  3. JOYNo Gravatar THAILAND Says:

    I am a tourist guide and sometime I need the driver guide for my client in BKK,may be you can joint business.Please contact me too.


  4. MerDuriaNNo Gravatar MALAYSIA Says:

    I went to Bangkok before. Most of the drivers don’t even know how to speak English. The only way to communicate with Driver is to use the non-verbal conversation. Quite hard to understand huh
    Probably next time you can introduce some multi-languages driver to me :D

  5. rubenNo Gravatar UNITED STATES Says:

    anybody know where to report a taxi driver in bangkok when they refuse to take you to your destination or try to overcharge you

  6. AnttiNo Gravatar THAILAND Says:

    the number to report a taxi driver in bangkok reads in the windshield in front of the front passenger seat with the needed information (driver name, taxi number)

  7. AnaNo Gravatar THAILAND Says:

    I had a very bad experience with a taxi driver in Bangkok. We came from Siam Paragon and was having a hard time finding a taxi that would use the meter, so we agreed to the flat rate of 150 baht that the driver charged us with.
    The taxi driver was irritable from the heavy traffic, and was driving very fast when he got the chance. Upon arriving at our hotel, he did not see the first door (probably because of his speed) where the hotel lobby was. Instead, he went straight ahead to the next wing where there was no bridge to the main lobby. My brother who was sitting beside him called his attention (nicely) and told him that we were supposed to get off at the first door. It was roughly only 20 to 30 steps away from where he stopped, and he was also going to pass it on his way out of the hotel premises. It was raining so we thought we would just get off at the lobby for us not to get wet. He angrily shouted “200 baht! 200 baht!” and stepped on the gas so hard to make a U turn. Startled with his outburst, I sternly told the driver that we would just get off right there, and that he should not treat tourists so rudely. My brother, after being shouted at, slammed the car door as he got off. The taxi driver did not stop there. He too, got off the car, and opened the trunk. He took his tire wrench and was supposed to attack my brother with it! The hotel guards stopped him just in time and asked him to leave. While driving out the hotel premises, he left a threat to us that he will be watching us and waiting for us outside. I was able to get the taxi’s plate number from the guard. It is a hot pink taxi and the plate numbers looks something like “NS4521” (the NS was written with curves? I guess it is in Thai? Sorry I’m really clueless, but I kept the paper with the plate number that the guard gave me).
    It is only our 3rd day here in Bangkok, and we have so far rode taxis around four times. The first time was from the airport where we were charged 500 bhat. We had no problem with that since the driver just went about his business and was professional. It was a blue taxi. The second, third, and fourth time were all pink taxis, wherein not once had it been a good experience for us. For the second taxi that we rode, the driver told us that the mall we wanted to go to had closed early, and that it would be better to just have dinner somewhere near the night markets. He then suggested a “cheap and good” seafood restaurant, so we agreed. When we arrived, we noticed that the prices were ridiculously high, and later on, upon reading the same stories on the web, realized that we were scammed.
    The same thing was offered to us by the next taxi driver (also of a pink taxi). Since we already knew better, we declined his offer and just made up an excuse.
    Now, the last taxi that we rode had the rudest and meanest taxi driver that I had ever encountered in my entire life! These 3 encounters all from pink taxis had made me wonder if this is a common practice among them.
    I really lost all the excitement I had for Thailand tonight. Shouldn’t they be doing something about these taxi drivers if they really want to promote tourism in their country?
    I am really looking forward to flying home next week. I believe this has by far been the worst vacation I have ever had. I have never been scammed and treated so rudely so many times in a row! My Bangkok vacation has turned out to be very frustrating, disappointing, and infuriating,
    If you have friends or relatives who are coming to Bangkok, please warn them about this particular taxi driver. Also, please ask them to read about the different scams that some locals trick the clueless tourists into. Please pass this email to your friends and family. It is best to come prepared and aware, so as to avoid these kinds of experiences. Thailand sure has plently of things to offer, but if this comes with visiting their country, I think I would rather not return unless needed, and would not recommend friends and family to come and visit too.

  8. ChrisNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    Wow Ana, that’s a serious story! Hope you don’t let yourself put off to visit Thailand again. Besides those Taxi Drivers it has a lot to offer. ;;)

  9. Julie DavisNo Gravatar UNITED STATES Says:

    Speed freaks are the worst. I often tell the driver I will pay extra if they will go the speed limit.

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