Using Bangkok taxis


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You will see taxis all over Bangkok, and it's not too difficult getting a taxi to any of our runs. If you are staying near the subway or skytrain though it might be best to start your journey by train and get a taxi when you are away from downtown.

Taxis are available for hire when the red light on the passenger side of the windscreen is turned on. Just to make things complicated, some newer taxis have a green light when they are free and a red light hen occupied. If the light isn't on they already have a passenger.

In theory every taxi should take you exactly where you want to go in greater Bangkok, but sometimes taxi drivers turn down certain destinations. This might be because they fear heavy traffic congestion, they don't want to go to that side of town (Bangkok is a big place), or they aren't sure how to get to your destination.

Taxi drivers don't speak much English, so it's a good idea to either get your hotel to write down your destination in Thai or print off the directions from the web and show them to the driver. If one taxi won't go where you want there will be another along in a few seconds.

Virtually all taxis have a meter. If a taxi driver quotes you a price for the journey I would recommend you wave him on his way and stop the next one that comes along. This happens most often in tourist districts. When you get in the fare starts at B35, and after 1km you start paying an extra B6 to B10 per km. If your taxi is stuck in traffic you pay about B2 per minute.

The meter shows the fare in large numerals, and above that to the right is the distance travelled. This can be useful when following the directions. Above the fare to the left is a time in minutes. On some taxis this is the total time the taxi has been stationary, and in other taxis this is the total time since the flag-fall.

You should be able to get to all run sites for less than B300 on the meter (and often a lot less).

If you go on an expressway you have to pay the toll fee, and you should give the money to the driver as you approach the toll booth. He can get change for you. When you pay the fare at the end of the journey don't rely on your taxi driver having change for large notes (B500, B1000). If you only have large notes, before you set off go to a 7-Eleven and buy a B10 packet of peanuts, or change a large note at the expressway toll booth.

Essential Thai Words for the Taxi

Turn leftLeo sigh
Turn rightLeo kwah
Go straight onTrong pie
ExpresswayTang duan
Go on the expresswayKun tang duan
Traffic lightsFai deng
Traffic jamRote tit
Hash BridgeSapan Nang Klao
How much (i.e. cost)?Tao righ

This page last updated: 10 Nov 2021