From 6 pm till as late as 10 pm, Sukuhmvit Road, the road crossing the heart of Bangkok, can resemble a parking lot. It’s better in the daytime, but it is still packed with an endless stream of cars and colourful taxis.
But then, there’s always an alternative. That is to ride the motorbike taxis that, unlike most vehicles, don’t restrict themselves to the road. Motorbike taxis speed between the cars, sneering at the traffic. Their efficiency keeps Bangkok moving, at least.
The motorbikes’ small size is actually perfect for the tiny, crooked “sois” behind Bangkok’s main thoroughfares. In fact, it’s easy to get lost in the maze of tiny sois off the big streets, but this is where motorbike taxis come in handy again. Just hop on one and, after a few minutes of sweaty palms and white knuckles as you hurtle between narrow gaps in the traffic, you will be at your destination.
Be warned. Many motorbike taxis precariously overtake along sidewalks, zip down the wrong side of the roads and disregard red traffic lights just to arrive a few minutes quicker. You need to sit tight. Keep your knees in and watch your feet and hold on to the handrail.
All said, motorbike taxis are a true blessing – cheap and efficient, and not always as petrifying as a rollercoaster ride. Just make sure to watch yourself.