Recently, i have had the honor of attending several summits in Bangkok, Thailand. On the day of my travel just like what a prudent traveler would do, since i was going to travel alone, i did some research on what to expect when i arrive in Bangkok. From my research i have learned that i should beware of Bangkok taxi, i have seen so many negative information about taxi drivers taking advantage of tourists by charging them way more than what is just and right. This is why you see a lot of questions and articles online on how to survive if not avoid this ordeal when riding a taxi in Bangkok.
Lakbay Baguio Experience
After landing and getting through immigration and having my peso money changed to Baht i proceeded to the taxi stand. I noticed that there are three ways on how you can get a taxi in Bangkok from the airport. First, you can get a taxi from the airport limo which is way expensive you will be spending more than USD$60.00 but of course this is much more secure and comfortable. Since i didn’t have that much money on me i went to the lower level where there is a taxi stand. Upon exiting the airport i saw the taxi stand which is a familiar sight since the process of getting the airport taxi is by getting the ticket from a person behind a makeshift desk same as what you will see in the taxi stand at NAIA Terminal 3. I told the lady behind the desk my destination which is the Four Points Hotel, the lady asked me if i have the number of the hotel but i said i don’t have it. The lady called a taxi driver and they talked in Thai so i did not really understand. The taxi driver called me and he placed my bag at the taxi’s back compartment. When we pulled out of the parking area, i asked the driver where is the taxi meter, he did not reply and just told me “1000 baht ok”, i said “sir no i will not pay that amount, please show me the meter.” By that time we were already at the highway so i don’t think i would be able to get out of the taxi anymore. I asked the taxi driver again but he did not respond, so i tried to call up the hotel, thank God my roaming works, and asked the person from the hotel to tell the driver to show me the meter and bring me to Four Points hotel. After the conversation unfortunately the taxi driver did not show me the meter and that’s when i said repeatedly to show me the meter, finally he gave up and told me “meter? here meter”. We reached the first toll gate and he asked me for 25 baht so i gave him a hundred, after the toll payment was made and he got the change he kept fifty baht saying that its for the next toll payment, true enough there is another toll gate where the fee is at 50 Baht.
Finally we reached the hotel after around an hour which is fine with me. As I was about to pay i asked him how much and he said 400 baht since that’s the equivalent value on how far the taxi ran as reflected by the taxi meter.
Going Back To The Airport
Fast forward, the conference and summits were done, so i had to check out of the hotel. I was so confident of riding a taxi since the hotel front desk graciously hailed the cab for me. The concierge gave the instructions to the driver and i was happy to enter the cab. Halfway through our journey though the taxi driver told me that i should just pay him 400 baht and he will give me a receipt, i said fine it was cheaper than the first cab anyway since i still have to pay for the toll. When we reached the airport, we could not find the terminal for Philippine airlines so we had to go around the airport twice but still we could not find the terminal, so the driver gave up and said i should just ask the airport authorities. I got down from the cab and waited for the receipt, to my surprise the cab driver wrote 600 baht on the receipt! I argued, you said 400 baht but he said the additional was for the tip. I didn’t want to argue further and would want to get out of there quickly as possible so i paid him and went into the airport.
Lessons Learned In Riding Bangkok Taxi
1. Make sure you buy a SIM card at the Airport to allow you to call the hotel you are staying at just in case the cab you are in is trying to pull a fast one on you.
2. Check if the taxi has a meter, insist on the meter price rather than entering into an agreement with the cab driver.
3. If possible use Google Maps for you to check if you are being brought to the right place.
Although my cab experience was not really great! I cannot say that Bangkok entirely is bad, i had a friend who told me that Bangkok is just like Taft avenue in Manila, yes, it is kinda confusing and topsy-turvy but its beauty lies within, what i mean is, if you know what you are doing you won’t be running into scams being pulled by the unscrupulous few.