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Accross Thailand and particularly in the city of Bangkok, the means of travel are cheap and endless. From scooters to skytrain, it won’t be hard for you to move through the capital. The team of About Thailand Living gives you 5 advices to grab a cab in Bangkok.

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1. Watch the meter.

Taxis in Bangkok work with a meter system which always starts at 35 THB. If the driver didn’t or forgot to turn it on, do not hesitate to remind him by saying “meter?”, you have to make sure it is on before getting into the cab. In case he says no, you have two options: try to negociate the final price or grab another one.

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2. Get away from touristic areas.

You will probably do some shopping, go out, or party at Khao San Road… Well, at the end of these kind of streets, taxi drivers will come in front of you and ask you if you need a taxi. Some of them will ask you twice the regular price, so avoid grabbing a cab in these touristic areas.

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3. Look for a way to go back to your condo/hotel before leaving it.

If you’re staying in a hotel, condo or in a hostel, go straight to the reception and ask the staff to give you a calling card that you can show to the taxi driver. The address is usually written in Thai, therefore it will be easier for him to read and understand it. You can also ask the receptionnist to teach you how to pronounce the address correctly. Plus, the card has a phone number on it, so in case you get lost, you can have a Thai speaking person talking to the taxi driver on the line.

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4. Respect the taxi drivers and their cabs.

Sometimes you will see some icons stuck on the vehicule’s windows that show what to do and not to do. For instance, in some, you’ll be able to sing (karaoke), eat, drink or even get free wifi access (in this case, ask the driver for the password). On the contrary, in some cabs, it will be forbidden to smoke, travel with pets, show signs of affection or bring durian due to its strong smell.

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5. Learn some Thai words.

In Thailand, secondary streets are called “soi”. Locals don’t speak English very well, so learn to count in Thai in order to say the numbers and the names of the streets properly. For example, if you say “soi sip ed” which means “soi 11” in Thai, the driver will understand you much better. Click here to learn some Thai words.

Here are the most useful words to say when taking a taxi:

• Left / Right : Sai / Khoa
• Turn left / Turn right : Lieow sai / Lieow khoa
• Drive a car / Drive a taxi : Krab lot / Krab taxi
• Straight forward : Trong pai
• In front : Dan na
• Behind : Khang lang
• Stop here : Jot tee nee
• Next to : Klai
• Street : Thanon
• Secondary street : Soi
• Where is (place, object…) located? : (…) yoo tee nai?

Last but not least, don’t forget to add some polite forms such as “krap” for a man or “kha” for a woman, at the end of every sentence as Thai people do. The taxi driver will appreciate if you do so, and it will only make him nicer. He will treat you with a lot of respect as well.

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And don’t forget that…

• Taxis in Thailand are known to be colorful (pink, yellow, green, orange, blue…) but in reality, these colors only represent the companies they work for.

• Available taxis are recognizable by the red light on their windshield.

• One do not give tips. However if the ride costs you 88 THB, you can give the driver 90 THB.

• Before leaving the cab, always make sure you didn’t forget anything (personal belonging, groceries…)

Amélie Euasine

Amélie Euasine

Diplômée en école de commerce, Amélie a décidé de parcourir le monde afin de découvrir de nouvelles cultures, d'explorer les paysages les plus époustouflants et de partager avec vous ses expériences ! Cette fois-ci, c'est en Thaïlande que l'aventure de notre jeune globe-trotteuse continue !