Copyright 2022- Designed & Developed by JBA
In traffic-choked Bangkok, the BTS Skytrain is a godsend. Its two lines – there are more on the horizon – make zipping around the Thai capital a breeze. Here’s your guide to just that.
How to buy a BTS skytrain ticket
Tips on using the BTS skytrain
2. TUK TUK
These three-wheeled beauties are one of the enduring symbols ofBangkokand prove to be a handy way to zip through traffic and across town – so here’s how to ride one.
Find the right one
Depending on where you’re looking for a tuk tuk– and who’s driving it – some may be more suited to your needs than others. For example, if you’re new to the city and wouldn’t mind a city tour, then flagging one down around tourist hubs such as Khaosan Road should see many drivers more than happy to oblige. However, if you’re in a bit of a rush, it can be a pain to go through the rigmarole of explaining that no, you don’t want a city tour and no, you certainly don’t fancy stopping in a gem shop on your way. Like many things in Bangkok, perseverance is certainly the key, and after a while you should find a driver looking for a quick and easy fare
Be firm on the price – and destination
Once you’ve found the right taxi, it’s important that you’re firm when it comes to your destination and the price
Tell the driver that you don’t want any part in the charade firmly, and you should get your wish. Don’t be taken for a ride when it comes to the price; if you have a rough idea of how far your destination is, it can help with the negotiations. After all, as cool as tuk tuks are, they’re un-air conditioned, noisy and uncomfortable
Enjoy the trip – and keep these things in mind
Whilst tuk tuks are everywhere in Bangkok, they’re actually not all that popular in other Thai cities, so you should enjoy them whilst you can. Yes, they can be uncomfortable, but for short distances they’re more than up to the job. More of a novelty than a practical way to travel, their open nature provides ample opportunities to take photos of Bangkok as you’re flying through it and is a chance to enjoy one of the most enduring features of Bangkok.
Getting a taxi & getting out of the taxi
Hailing a taxi is usually very easy in Bangkok due to their abundance and they’re always willing to stop (unless it’s raining – see below for more on this). Their enthusiasm however often translates into dangerous road situations. Be mindful of where you decide to hail a cab and pay attention to the traffic conditions around it.
Remember your taxi. It is good practice to take a photo of the taxi ID plate on one of the rear doors or, if you are seated in front, take a photo of the driver’s ID card which should be displayed above the dashboard on the passenger’s side.
Check your personal belongings such as mobile phone and wallet before leaving the taxi. If you forget something in the cab, you can always call the center for lost items.
Watch out for motorcycles or motorbike taxis when you get out of your taxi. They are everywhere. Always use the door nearest to the Kreb.
Use the Taxi Meter
There is a law in Thailand that requires taxis to always run-on meters and not to decline any customer that hails them when they are available. Unfortunately, in tourist areas and night bars/club zones, not all taxi drivers follow this law. They sometimes turn off the meter and ask for extra cash. This can leave you with little choice as getting home becomes first priority. The best practice is to walk away and try hailing a passing cab that’s not part of the racket huddled outside the popular tourist spots or bars and clubs. That being said, although it’s off-putting to be charged off-the-meter, drivers do usually keep their part of the bargain by taking you to your destination after you have agreed to the albeit usually inflated fare.
During periods of rain, taxis are much harder to find, and many taxis don’t want to use the meter as they know they can get higher fixed fares. There is little that can be done about this beyond taking the BTS/MRT if available or waiting for the rain to pass, which usually happens fairly quickly in Thailand.
If you take the expressway, expect that the toll fee will be added to your bill or you will pay the toll fee directly at the toll booths. When going to or coming from the airport, you should factor in an additional 75 – 100 baht for tolls.
Speaking English or Thai
One common problem in getting a taxi is that many taxi drivers don’t speak any English. It is advantageous to learn a few phrases of Thai like:
-turn left – leow sai
-turn right – leow kwa
-go straight – trong pai
-stop here – jut tee nee
You can also use Google Translate on your mobile phone or various Thai language mobile apps for commonly used Thai phrases on transportation. You can play it and let the driver to listen to what you are trying to say to him.
Why some taxis don’t stop
Keep in mind, it could be due to a number of reasons:
-They might be on the way home after a long shift.
-They might be out of gas and headed to a pump.
-The taxi driver just didn’t see you in time and it’s too late to change lanes.
-They see that you are not Thai and their English is very bad.
If a taxi driver refuses to take you somewhere, it’s probably because they need to return the hired cab before a certain time, not because they don’t like how you look.
Whatever it may be, don’t take it personally. There will be literally hundreds of cabs behind it in no time.