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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.


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Old Jan 29, 14, 8:12 pm
  #46  
 
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Originally Posted by IAN-UK View Post
I can't understand why anyone would take a cheap airport car. The cheap version might cost THB1000, but you could get a hotel-branded BMW for only THB3000. 3 times as much ? Yeah, but (etc etc etc)

Originally Posted by Always Flyin View Post
Meh squared.
+1
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Old Jan 29, 14, 11:00 pm
  #47  
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Originally Posted by RTW1 View Post
Exactly... why pay more for basically the same product. And a lot of the car options are priced substantially higher than THB 1000.
And, even though you might get an other impression reading this thread, most taxi's are perfectly fine.
I've lived on and off in Bangkok for 20 years. Let me assure that many taxis are absolute death traps and the drivers are the worst on the roads. Nearly all of the taxis are small. Most taxi drivers don't speak English.

If an airport car isn't in your budget, fine. But don't think "taxi" and "airport car" are the same product. Not even close.
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Old Jan 29, 14, 11:02 pm
  #48  
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Originally Posted by IAN-UK View Post
I can't understand why anyone would take a cheap airport car. The cheap version might cost THB1000, but you could get a hotel-branded BMW for only THB3000. 3 times as much ? Yeah, but (etc etc etc)
I often take a hotel car to the airport. Hotel cars are more convenient hotel to airport while airport cars are more convenient airport to hotel.
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Old Jan 29, 14, 11:27 pm
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Originally Posted by Tchiowa View Post
I've lived on and off in Bangkok for 20 years. Let me assure that many taxis are absolute death traps and the drivers are the worst on the roads. Nearly all of the taxis are small. Most taxi drivers don't speak English.
though i have lived here for a much shorter time, calling bkks taxis a death trap is something i agree to.. yes, they sometimes try to charge u more by a few hundred bhat at max..

Taxis small .. other than boot space which is smaller bcoz of gas storage is it very small even for a 2-3 members travelling together ?
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Old Jan 30, 14, 12:42 am
  #50  
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I would say that the taxis are just a representation of the average Thai driver..... and I don't really see the problem with most drivers only having a very basic understanding of English. As long as they know where I need to go it's fine, otherwise I would visit the US.

And it has nothing to do with budget, I simply don't see the need to spend 3-8x as much to get me to my destination. Something I have so far been doing without any accidents or major problems.

But the options are there to suit everyone....
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Old Jan 30, 14, 12:11 pm
  #51  
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Originally Posted by Tchiowa View Post
I often take a hotel car to the airport. Hotel cars are more convenient hotel to airport while airport cars are more convenient airport to hotel.
Taxis and hotel cars offer the same exact convenience to the airport. But one is significantly more expensive than the other.... unnecessarily.

In fact I might even go further and say taxis are more convenient since you don't need to schedule or order one.
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Old Jan 30, 14, 7:56 pm
  #52  
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Originally Posted by dsquared37 View Post
Taxis and hotel cars offer the same exact convenience to the airport. But one is significantly more expensive than the other.... unnecessarily.

In fact I might even go further and say taxis are more convenient since you don't need to schedule or order one.
I use taxis regularly for around town. But never back and forth to the airport. Too many bad experiences.
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Old Jan 30, 14, 9:07 pm
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Tchiowa, don't I know you from an other (Thai) website? (my nickname there was Thalenoi)

Anyway, Suvarnabhumi taxis are regulated, can't be older than 4 years?
Never had a problem except fast driving. Just make sure when leaving that he turns on the meter and keep the card from the desk with driver's name and number.
You will see the same number attached to both doors inside the cab.
You can complain using that number, I never had to.
But yes, most if not all are Toyota Corrola's riding on gas, thus not leaving room for more than one bag. I do see bigger 5 doors taxis sometimes in the waiting line, you can ask for one and wait extra to get one.

A ride from the airport to downtown will cost you 105 tollway + 50 for airport fee + around 250 on the meter depending how far away and traffic congestion.
From Sukhumvit area to Suvarnabhumi airport I usually have around 210THB on the meter.

The Sofitel I stayed at last week asks 2200THB for a ride to the airport, but I used Blacklane limousine in stead, paid 25usd for a Toyota Camry.

Downtown Bangkok taxis can be more of an adventure, driver refusing to take you where you want in the first place, crappy old cars secondly and dangerous driving third.
Just take the next taxi when you are on a main road: 100 pass by/minute, can be difficult on small streets: no taxis passing by.

Last edited by tartempion; Jan 30, 14 at 9:32 pm
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Old Jan 31, 14, 5:37 am
  #54  
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Originally Posted by Tchiowa View Post
I use taxis regularly for around town. But never back and forth to the airport. Too many bad experiences.
I've heard stories from others about bad experiences and I'll not delve into the 140 KPH drives I had... I'd probably drive similarly.

The one uneasy experience I encountered was earlier this year at 3AM and the driver was dozing off. I was constantly coughing (quite loudly) to jolt him awake.

Other than that my (many many) back and forths have been relatively painless save a few meter, ahem, problems.
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Old Jan 31, 14, 2:35 pm
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Originally Posted by dsquared37 View Post
...
The one uneasy experience I encountered was earlier this year at 3AM and the driver was dozing off. I was constantly coughing (quite loudly) to jolt him awake
...

Been there....I don't mind the 140 km/hr...just stay awake. LOL
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Old Feb 2, 14, 7:29 pm
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Originally Posted by tartempion View Post
Tchiowa, don't I know you from an other (Thai) website? (my nickname there was Thalenoi)
Anything is possible. ;-) I don't hang around many Thai websites these days, but I have in the past. What site are you thinking about?
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Old Feb 5, 14, 3:28 pm
  #57  
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I tried the taxi queue at Suvarnabhumi on Monday.

No waiting in line. I spoke English. Nice taxi, polite driver.

Once in the car he asked me something and I just replied my hotel name in English. He then asked me a question twice in Thai. I pretended not to know what he was saying.

I noticed the meter was on. The price was zero. I asked about the meter and asked him to turn it on. All of this in English. We were driving, about to leave the curbside area of the terminal. I asked again, no response.

I opened my door and told him to stop the car. Grabbed my luggage out of the car, when he suddenly changed. "Ok , ok, meter!" But I had enough of this cowboy. I walked back to the queue, waited for a supervisor, filled out the white form and got a new car.

Bloody waste of time.

On my return, the hotel confirmed Meter with the driver. But as soon as we pulled out, he asked how much I was going to pay him. He demanded 500THB. I told him to take me back to the hotel. We settled on 400, including the tollway.
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Old Feb 5, 14, 10:00 pm
  #58  
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Originally Posted by seanthepilot View Post
I tried the taxi queue at Suvarnabhumi on Monday.

No waiting in line. I spoke English. Nice taxi, polite driver.

Once in the car he asked me something and I just replied my hotel name in English. He then asked me a question twice in Thai. I pretended not to know what he was saying.

I noticed the meter was on. The price was zero. I asked about the meter and asked him to turn it on. All of this in English. We were driving, about to leave the curbside area of the terminal. I asked again, no response.

I opened my door and told him to stop the car. Grabbed my luggage out of the car, when he suddenly changed. "Ok , ok, meter!" But I had enough of this cowboy. I walked back to the queue, waited for a supervisor, filled out the white form and got a new car.

Bloody waste of time.

On my return, the hotel confirmed Meter with the driver. But as soon as we pulled out, he asked how much I was going to pay him. He demanded 500THB. I told him to take me back to the hotel. We settled on 400, including the tollway.
Unfortunately not that uncommon to and from the airport. It's illegal, of course, but not exactly on the police's priority list.
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Old Feb 5, 14, 11:46 pm
  #59  
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Originally Posted by seanthepilot View Post
I tried the taxi queue at Suvarnabhumi on Monday.

No waiting in line. I spoke English. Nice taxi, polite driver.

Once in the car he asked me something and I just replied my hotel name in English. He then asked me a question twice in Thai. I pretended not to know what he was saying.

I noticed the meter was on. The price was zero. I asked about the meter and asked him to turn it on. All of this in English. We were driving, about to leave the curbside area of the terminal. I asked again, no response.

I opened my door and told him to stop the car. Grabbed my luggage out of the car, when he suddenly changed. "Ok , ok, meter!" But I had enough of this cowboy. I walked back to the queue, waited for a supervisor, filled out the white form and got a new car.

Bloody waste of time.
But I wonder, did he lose his place in line and all that waiting for no fare in the end? It would appear that you did screw him at least somewhat even though it was annoying at the very least for you.

And my POV is that losing nothing will not deter these cowboys from pulling the same crap over and over again.
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Old Feb 8, 14, 11:56 pm
  #60  
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Originally Posted by dsquared37 View Post
And my POV is that losing nothing will not deter these cowboys from pulling the same crap over and over again.
I completely agree with you, DS, having changed my feelings on this over time. Asok to DMK last week, the meter said 497 on arrival at the airport. Right. I offered him 100. He started gesticulating at the meter and saying something (I neither speak nor understand Thai, as you know). I told him again 100. He said no. I then gestured that he should come with me inside the terminal and said that we would ask the police to sort it out. On hearing "police" (same in Thai?) he turned and walked back to his taxi, obviously disgusted with me.
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