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Catching a taxi at BKK and general Thailand taxi discussion

Catching a taxi at BKK and general Thailand taxi discussion

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Old Mar 25, 18, 4:43 pm   -   Wikipost
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Step-by-Step Guide to Getting a Taxi at Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK)


BKK Terminal Map

Source: AOT

MAP KEY

Arrival Gates - Level Two
Immigration
Baggage Claim Carousels
Customs and Exits to Landside Terminal Area
Elevators/Escalators to Ground Floor Level One
Numbered Exits to Outside (taxi queues are near exits 4 & 7)

WHAT TO DO

Taxis accept cash only. There are ATMs and currency exchangers inside the terminal.
  • Take an elevator or escalator down to the ground level.
  • Follow the signs to one of the two taxi queues outside of the terminal on Level One.
  • The taxi queue attendant will ask your destination and write it on a taxi slip. UPDATE: There are no longer attendants to write your destination at BKK. You get a slip from a touchscreen kiosk which directs you to a parking stall number where you meet your car/driver.
  • The larger part of the taxi slip is yours to keep, the smaller part goes to your driver. Be sure to keep your taxi slip as it contains information you will need if a problem arises. Do not give your portion of the taxi slip to the driver, even if he asks for it. UPDATE: There is no portion of the new slip from the kiosk to give the driver.

BASE COST
  • Airport Fee - THB 50 per taxi levied from the airport (never to the airport)
  • THB 35 - flag drop through 1km
  • +THB 5.50/km for kilometers 1+ through 10
  • +THB 6.50/km for kilometers 10+ through 20
  • +THB 7.50/km for kilometers 20-40
  • +THB 2 per minute waiting or standing in traffic (less than 6kph)

TOLLS
  • THB 75 to city center (two toll booths)
  • THB 60 to DMK

SAMPLE FARES FROM BKK TO...
Amounts are approximate and will vary with traffic, specific drop point, etc.
  • City Center - THB 170-200
  • Grand Palace - THB 215
  • Don Mueang Airport (DMK) - THB 290
  • Hua Hin - THB ___ (typically a negotiated flat fee)
  • Pattaya - THB ___ (typically a negotiated flat fee)

FARE CALCULATOR TOOLS
Reasonably accurate fare estimates are available from a number of websites and apps. These services provide estimated base fares only. Calculations do not include traffic, tolls, airport fees, etc. Reliability varies - use at your own risk.
FAQs

Q: Should I use the hotel's airport transfer service instead of a taxi?
A: It depends on your comfort zone, budget, time of day, number of people/bags, etc. In general, the cost will probably be about two to three times the typical taxi fare, or more. If you are relatively new to Asia, it might be a bit overwhelming, and you might find it reassuring to see someone holding a sign with your name as you walk out of baggage claim.
Q: Is it best to take the expressway or surface streets?
A: Depending on your destination and time of day, surface streets might be quicker and/or shorter. However, expressway tolls will usually add less than THB 200 to the trip (see above), so you may wish to defer to your driver.
Q: What types of scams should I watch for?
A: The most common thing you'll encounter is taxi drivers who do not want to use the meter. They will often ask for a flat fee that is usually much higher than the meter would register. If a driver refuses to use the meter, it's best to exit the taxi and get another. Do not get angry or argue with the driver. If a driver demands more money on arrival at your hotel, wait until your bags have been offloaded from the vehicle, then seek out a porter or other hotel employee to assist you. Again, do not get angry or argue with the driver. A driver may say there is a THB 50 fee to go to the airport. There is no fee to go TO the airport. If the fee is mentioned at the outset, get out and flag down a new taxi. If it is mentioned upon arrival at the airport, remove all your belongings from the taxi and calmly state that there is no such fee while handing over the metered amount. If the driver is insistent, offering to call over a police officer to assist will usually put an end to the discussion.
Q: If the driver does scam me, how much money are we talking about?
A: Usually no more than THB 200-300, which is about USD 7-10
Q: I think I still have other questions...
A: Just hit the reply button and get feedback from other helpful FlyerTalkers who take Bangkok taxis regularly!
Q: This all sounds like hassle. Is there some way I can use a small amount of money to make that go away?
A: The AOT limo stands before and immediately after customs are trustworthy, although their initial quote will be for their most expensive vehicle. Ask for the Isuzu SUV. You'll be looking at 1,050THB / $33.50 to the center of town, inclusive of all fees and fares, and a small increment on that for a sedan. Credit cards are accepted. You will get a printed receipt before you get in the taxi. The vehicle will be well-driven, clean, and will have seatbelts.


Special thanks to FlyerTalker c_9 for building this wikipost.


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Old Jan 10, 14, 6:47 pm
  #16  
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Originally Posted by whackyjacky View Post
'Catching A Taxi At Bangkok Airport' Discussion Thread' Amazing no ? - 79 frigging pages. When it gets to 100, should we have a 'Catching A Taxi At Bangkok Airport' Do at Louis Tavern? <snip>
It's only 30 pages on my view.

Maybe go for a specific post count?

Still it's all part of the experience of Thailand, navigating the taxi system.
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Old Jan 10, 14, 7:48 pm
  #17  
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Originally Posted by Hvr View Post
It's only 30 pages on my view.
You must have a different number of posts per page

Yours is the first post on page 80
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Old Jan 11, 14, 2:22 am
  #18  
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Originally Posted by whackyjacky View Post
'Catching A Taxi At Bangkok Airport' Discussion Thread' Amazing no ? - 79 frigging pages. When it gets to 100, should we have a 'Catching A Taxi At Bangkok Airport' Do at Louis Tavern ? I think a single post by some traveller every 3 months would probably be sufficient, yet I've probably posted here 20X ! I guess I like to hear myself talk (silently in print fortunately). Considering it's popularity, you would think it was a 'Catching A Kardashian At Bangkok Airport Thread' !
The thread count must be a tad alarming for the first-time visitor looking for simple information

After all, catching a taxi at Bangkok airport isn't particularly difficult, fares are cheap and even the occasional scams are mostly in the (very)annoying-but-mild category.

The thread's a fun read, but I wonder if a leading Wiki would be a good idea, giving the bare-bones of a successful taxi transfer.
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Old Jan 11, 14, 12:57 pm
  #19  
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Originally Posted by IAN-UK View Post
The thread count must be a tad alarming for the first-time visitor looking for simple information

After all, catching a taxi at Bangkok airport isn't particularly difficult, fares are cheap and even the occasional scams are mostly in the (very)annoying-but-mild category.

The thread's a fun read, but I wonder if a leading Wiki would be a good idea, giving the bare-bones of a successful taxi transfer.
+1

I guess part of the issue is that taxi service in BKK is inconsistent.

You´ll usually get to your destination (eventually), but there´s a reasonable chance that:

(1) the driver will try to scam you (but usually not more than 50-100THB)
(2) there´s one seat belt max. (often only in the front seat)
(3) the driver doesn´t really know where the hotel is, but will eventually get there

If you don´t mind the chance to experiencing this "unique service" there´s really nothing to worry about.
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Old Jan 12, 14, 10:10 pm
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Originally Posted by Jasper2009 View Post
+1

I guess part of the issue is that taxi service in BKK is inconsistent.

You´ll usually get to your destination (eventually), but there´s a reasonable chance that:

(1) the driver will try to scam you (but usually not more than 50-100THB)
(2) there´s one seat belt max. (often only in the front seat)
(3) the driver doesn´t really know where the hotel is, but will eventually get there

If you don´t mind the chance to experiencing this "unique service" there´s really nothing to worry about.
+1
Since I have been a regular traveller to BKK, for some reason I have always got taxis which didnt try to scam me.. maybe it was my confidence while trying to catch a taxi since I knew where to go, whats the approx fare and also to pronounce my address in thai
But recently , I have seen newbies coming to BKK and coming to my address, having meters showing more than double what it should.. ofcourse i hv informed the pax what to do..

Basically, at max the scam may rob us of a few hundred bhat but like u said will mostly get us to our place and with our luggage ( atleast till now)
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Old Jan 13, 14, 1:55 am
  #21  
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Originally Posted by abhilife2001 View Post
+1
Since I have been a regular traveller to BKK, for some reason I have always got taxis which didnt try to scam me.. maybe it was my confidence while trying to catch a taxi since I knew where to go, whats the approx fare and also to pronounce my address in thai
But recently , I have seen newbies coming to BKK and coming to my address, having meters showing more than double what it should.. ofcourse i hv informed the pax what to do..

Basically, at max the scam may rob us of a few hundred bhat but like u said will mostly get us to our place and with our luggage ( atleast till now)
Never yet had a major problem from the airport. My frequency of visits no more than 6 times a year: I've yet to need to give a meter reminder, and fares have been in the ball-park arena.

I speak no taxi-useful words of Thai, so I accept that I am blessed

And in writing this I'm resigned to a mega-scam on my next arrival.

Getting back to the airport has often inolved arguments about meters and fixed rates. But if the fixed is around the figure I have in mind, I prefer to keep the atmosphere happy, and i'll take the fixed rate and relax.

Journeys in-town from hotels have ended in serious tears. My internal rule, learned the hard way and applied whenever convenient, is to move well away from hotels and wave down a taxi.
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Old Jan 14, 14, 8:02 am
  #22  
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Arrow Let's improve this thread for the newbies!

Love this thread, but it is ridiculous and unhelpful for those trying to just check the basics. On FlyerTalk it's possible to "pin" information so it appears at the top of every page in a thread, so a newbie may find their FAQ answered immediately.

Want to help write it? Answer these questions and I'll gather them together and ask a mod to pin the info. I included example answers - please correct them!

I land in Bangkok soon and I'm not sure how the taxi stuff works... what do I do? Help!

BKK Terminal Map:

Source: http://www.suvarnabhumiairport.com/e...rnation-flight

1. Arrival gates on level 2
2. Immigration
3. Bags
4. Customs
5. Head for the exit
6. On level 1 (ground), escape in a taxi


How do I get a cab? Follow the signs for Taxi, and register at the little info desk outside near the cabs. They speak English, will ask your destination hotel, and will write down instructions for the taxi driver. They can explain some costs ahead of time.

How much will it cost...
...to Sathorn?

...to Sukhumvit near Asoke? around 200Bt + tolls + the 50 Bt airport fee
...to the Palace?
...to DMK airport for a connection?

Should I get my hotel's airport transfer instead of a cab? Probably not - the cost is usually double what you'd pay a taxi driver. But it can be helpful if you know you have many people + bags, or want an extra measure of confidence in what's going on after your late arrival.

Should we take the toll roads? Late at night, don't bother with the expressway (toll road) from the airport as it's faster/shorter without it due to where the non-toll highway exit is. But if your driver takes that route, the cost is only an extra 170 baht at most.

What might the taxi driver do to rip me off? Not use the meter, or take a more-expensive route with tolls even though traffic is fine on the free roads. They might try to negotiate a flat fee, which is never in the passenger's interest. If the driver refuses to use the meter, you can just get out and take another taxi, but don't make a scene or raise your voice, it's not worth it, and that's not how things are done in Thailand. They won't kidnap and kill you or anything, so if it's your first visit you can safely relax and enjoy the sights after your long flight.

Even the driver does scam me, how much money are we talking about here? Worst case scenario is probably a couple hundred baht. 100 baht is about $3.05 USD.

I think I still have other questions. Then just hit the Reply button below and chat with frequent flyers who are in Bangkok regularly!

Last edited by c_9; Jan 17, 14 at 7:45 am Reason: added helpful responses from FTers!
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Old Jan 15, 14, 12:24 am
  #23  
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Originally Posted by c_9 View Post
Love this thread, but it is ridiculous and unhelpful for those trying to just check the basics. On FlyerTalk it's possible to "pin" information so it appears at the top of every page in a thread, so a newbie may find their FAQ answered immediately.

Want to help write it? Answer these questions and I'll gather them together and ask a mod to pin the info. I included example answers - please correct them!

I land in Bangkok soon and I'm not sure how the taxi stuff works... what do I do? Help!

BKK Terminal Map:


1. Land
2. Immigration
3. Bags
4. Customs
5. Head for exits
6. Escape in a taxi


How do I get a cab? Follow the signs for Taxi, and register at the little info desk outside near the cabs. They speak English, will ask your destination hotel, and will write down instructions for the taxi driver. They can explain some costs ahead of time.

How much will it cost...
...to Sathorn?
1 baht
...to Sukhumvit? 2 baht
...to the Palace? 3 baht
...to DMK airport for a connection? 4 baht

Should I get my hotel's airport transfer instead of a cab? Probably not - the cost is usually double what you'd pay a taxi driver. But it can be helpful if you know you have many people + bags, or want an extra measure of confidence in what's going on after your late arrival.

What might the taxi driver do to rip me off? Not use the meter, or take a more-expensive route with tolls even though traffic is fine on the free roads. They won't kidnap and kill you or anything, so if it's your first visit you can safely relax and enjoy the sights after your long flight.

Even if I just let the driver do whatever, how much money are we talking about here? Worst case scenario is probably a couple hundred baht. 100 baht is about $3.05 USD.

I think I still have other questions. Then just hit the Reply button below and chat with frequent flyers who are in Bangkok regularly!
GREAT IDEA... why don't you start a new thread, and we can close and archive this one.

This thread was started after the previous one got too long and muddled. These threads tend to evolve as this one has, and serve a good purpose, but I agree that it must be frustrating for the traveller looking for facts.

Or, just create that sticky and we continue on a usual in this thread.
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Old Jan 15, 14, 6:47 am
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Originally Posted by seanthepilot View Post
GREAT IDEA... why don't you start a new thread, and we can close and archive this one.
or they can just add a wiki post to this thread.

He's asking for help filling the taxi costs, 1 baht, 2 baht, etc are placeholders. And some other things in there you could probably answer.

Taxi to SGS or WGS (Sukhumvit near Asoke) I believe is around 200Bt + tolls + the 50 Bt airport fee. Late at night, don't bother with the expressway (toll road) from the airport as it's faster/shorter without it due to where the non-toll highway exit is.

No idea how much a taxi is from BKK to DMK but AOT operates a free bus between BKK and DMK.
http://www.suvarnabhumiairport.com/e...umi-don-muaeng

Under the "What might the taxi diver do" category, he might try to negotiate a flat fee, which is never in the passengers interest. If the driver refuses to use the meter, you can just get out and take another taxi, but don't make a scene or raise your voice, it's not worth it, and that's not how things are done in Thailand. The other common thing is that he might have a hot meter. A hot meter charges the increment amount more frequently than it should. I've never had the problem. Some drivers have asked if I wanted a flat fare and I just said no and asked them to use the meter and I generally round up the fare a bit. I"ve never had a real problem at the airport end, and I do tend to try to use the departures level when I'm traveling solo just because it's easier. I have had to get out of a taxi or two that didn't want to use the meter when going to the airport. Typically it's pretty rare and you can enlist the help of the bellman at your hotel before you get in if necessary.

-David

Last edited by LIH Prem; Jan 15, 14 at 7:06 am
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Old Jan 15, 14, 6:50 am
  #25  
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Originally Posted by seanthepilot View Post
GREAT IDEA... why don't you start a new thread, and we can close and archive this one.
Originally Posted by LIH Prem View Post
or they can just add a wiki post to this thread
I'll wait for more votes before doing anything, but will edit my post above to include new information as replies come in. Thanks both!
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Old Jan 15, 14, 9:25 am
  #26  
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Creating a wiki is definitely the best way to address the issue.
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Old Jan 15, 14, 2:18 pm
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Very busy at immigration tonight about 1am so I just took the AOT limo BMW still 2,200 baht into central BKK-Sathorn. But no lines for booking it, the dude actually came and pushed my cart through green customs, cars lined up and waiting, knew exactly where to go, tolls were included, stopped to grab a cold beer for the ride before going to the car, super easy. Just to say the AOT is expensive and there are less expensive choices, but if you just want easy and no lines and are able/willing to spend the extra baht without trying to get the deal of the week, it's pretty painless. A nice way to get into the city. (At least after a long international flight...I tend to take the taxi when coming in from Phuket with less luggage, etc.). But whether you choose that option or not, at least (tips not included) you know the max price for framing the costs!
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Old Jan 16, 14, 7:31 am
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Great idea for the "wiki" at the top of the page.

Suggest using the term "Arrival gates" instead of "land" for #1 on the map.
To me, "land" implies land-side...not the plane landing.
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Old Jan 16, 14, 7:27 pm
  #29  
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There are signs, in English, everywhere but...

Flying into BKK, Arrivals are on Level 2, so after clearing arriving Immigration, gathering up any checked bags, clearing Customs, one is on Level 2.

The official metered taxi queue is on Level 1, what some might call the "ground level", so you'll need to take an elevator/escalator/travelator down one level.

This may be the trickiest part of the process, at least for those who can't read the signs.

Tens of thousands of people successfully take a taxi from BKK daily, without incident.

There are gazillions of web-sites and mobile apps that can be used to approximate the cost of a taxi journey, but there is a lot of variability based on time of day, traffic-jam surcharge, weird routing required due to one-way streets, so maybe best to have a range of fares for the destinations, rather than an exact figure?
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Old Jan 17, 14, 7:44 am
  #30  
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Originally Posted by transpac View Post
There are signs, in English, everywhere but...

Flying into BKK, Arrivals are on Level 2, so after clearing arriving Immigration, gathering up any checked bags, clearing Customs, one is on Level 2.

The official metered taxi queue is on Level 1, what some might call the "ground level", so you'll need to take an elevator/escalator/travelator down one level.

This may be the trickiest part of the process, at least for those who can't read the signs.

Tens of thousands of people successfully take a taxi from BKK daily, without incident.

There are gazillions of web-sites and mobile apps that can be used to approximate the cost of a taxi journey, but there is a lot of variability based on time of day, traffic-jam surcharge, weird routing required due to one-way streets, so maybe best to have a range of fares for the destinations, rather than an exact figure?
Agreed on all points - if you suggest some of those sites we can include them of course.
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