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Catching a taxi at BKK and general Thailand taxi discussion

Old Jan 3, 2015, 2:56 am
FlyerTalk Forums Expert How-Tos and Guides
Last edit by: IluvSQ
Step-by-Step Guide to Getting a Taxi at Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK)

BKK Terminal Map

Source: AOT


Arrival Gates - Level Two
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)


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.

  • 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)

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

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)

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.

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: What is the most common meter scam?
A: Very often, when you enter the taxi, the meter is obscured with a rag or towel, so you do not see that it has been running prior to your entrance,
and is now well over 100 Baht. Always ensure that you observe the driver starting the meter.
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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Catching a taxi at BKK and general Thailand taxi discussion

Old May 7, 2017, 8:20 pm
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Originally Posted by Dr. HFH
IME it nearly always does. That's a scam which seems to bother me less, and they pretty much all do it.
In the past (I mostly try to avoid taxis if I can these days) I've found meters that run the time continuously don't differ from those that only run time under 6km/hr. As in, the time is running but not adding to the rate.

As always, literally, YMMV.
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Old May 10, 2017, 12:43 am
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Originally Posted by transpac
A 32 Km trip with zero traffic surcharge (2 THB/min when under 6 KPH) would be 238 - 240 THB, the same distance with 5 minutes of traffic surcharge would be 248 - 250 THB, under the new faring system.

Obviously you have to slow down/stop to pay tolls, turn right or left, at traffic lights, etc. AFAIK, there is no "per second" billing with the traffic surcharge?
Thanks transpac. I included the km so it would give perspective to the post. You seem to have shown that I wasn't extra charged. I appreciate it. The price was reasonable.

In the hundred++ domestic flights I've flown in the last couple years, only a handful are in taxis. I usually drive myself. This trip was different in 2 ways, flying in/out of different airports and arriving in BKK with significant checked luggage.

I see false/over estimates all the time about the taxi cost to the airport. So, wanted to give current quotes to fuel accurate information. Even I was surprised at the low fare to Don Muang... just over 150THB.

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Old May 20, 2017, 6:42 pm
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I've pretty much stopped using taxis to and from BKK or DMK. Uber is more convenient though only a little more expensive (usually, though some taxis with the "tourista" meter settings can be much more.) Plus the cars are clean, usually new and (car and driver) definitely safer. Plus, the seat belts always are visible and working. I've had too many taxi rides in cars that should never have gotten on the expressway and drivers who fantasize they are in some sort of collison derby or race. One time, my Thai GF started screaming at the taxi driver and she never raises her voice or gets angry or agressive. He was driving extremely poorly.

The wait can be a little long but not bad and no 50THB surcharge out of the airport. Last DMK (had about a 12 minute wait) to my apt (near On Nut BTS) was 315THB in moderately heavy traffic, though I did ask the driver to take the 304 to the expressway (Ram Inthra-Al Narong) that goes by my apt as the traffic was showing to be better except on 304 of course. Fewer tolls as well. Still about what the taxi would be with the surcharge, and the wait at the taxi area at DMK that time of day can be excruciating.

Last edited by rbAA; May 20, 2017 at 7:10 pm
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Old Aug 1, 2017, 8:01 pm
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BANGKOK A new taxi-booking service will compete against rivals Grab and Uber, this time with the blessing of the government and taxi drivers.

The local division of messaging juggernaut Line has joined forces with the Bangkok Taxi Cooperative Network and Land Transport Department to launch Line Taxi later this year, Line Thailand announced Monday.

Like Grab, the service will rely on regular taxi drivers, according to Ariya Banomyong of Line Thailand, who said the government-backed service will field nearly 60,000 taxis. She said that booking taxis using Line would raise standards and improve the bad reputation of Bangkoks taxi drivers by making them more responsive.

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Old Aug 1, 2017, 8:20 pm
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Originally Posted by transpac
She said that booking taxis using Line would raise standards and improve the bad reputation of Bangkoks taxi drivers by making them more responsive.

It's still early in the day but that's the best laugh I've had so far.
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Old Aug 2, 2017, 5:51 am
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D37, my thoughts exactly!

Then I had a vision of that 1 good driver that takes every fare. I thought, if they finally found a way to get the hungry drivers in touch with the consumer, we may be able to support the good ones and leave the mafia punks on the curbs outside the hotels to starve.

Then I came back to reality. It couldn't be that easy. 55555
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Old Aug 2, 2017, 11:20 am
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who says all taxi drivers are crooks

Chinese tourist He Wenting hugs driver Cheep Nirandon and thanks him for returning her purse with more than 30,000 baht in cash left in his taxi from a hotel to Suvarnabhumi airport.

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Old Aug 2, 2017, 5:38 pm
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And the reason these stories are propagated in the news is because the preponderance of drivers are annoying and corrupt little twits.
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Old Aug 2, 2017, 7:43 pm
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This happened to me a couple of months ago. I lost my wallet in a taxi at the airport. On the way in conversation with driver I told him I lived in Bangkok and was just going to Hanoi for a few days. Didn't realize wallet gone till on plane. About a week after I got back, knock on my door one day. Same taxi driver with wallet. Nothing missing. He remembered where he pick me up. I use a lot of taxis in Bangkok, there are some really good ones.
And then there are the rest.
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Old Aug 3, 2017, 12:24 am
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Slightly off topic, but this is somewhere Uber shines and another reason to take Uber... I left my phone in an Uber car in the US late one night. All you need to do is pull up your receipt, which I had to do on my computer. There is a feature that lets you call, email or text your driver. I was in contact with the driver quickly. As it was late, we made plans for me to get the phone in the morning. The driver met me at a Starbucks and I paid her for driving the phone there. Previously I left my jacket in a cab and never saw it again.
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Old Aug 3, 2017, 1:48 am
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There are "taxi driver returns money" stories here every few months, presumably to off-set the gazillions of complaints by Thais who universally loath taxi service.

The largest return I remember is 2.8 million baht in gold and cash, maybe a year ago. There may have been larger returns.

Just a few weeks ago someone left 1.1 million baht in cash in a bag on a bus. Somehow the attendant returned it and initially got some candy as a reward. I think she ended up getting 15,000 baht.

Doctor who left 1 million baht on bus apologizes for giving conductor candy as reward

The Thai doctor who forgot a backpack filled with THB1 million (more than USD29,000) in cash on a bus on Sunday has apologized to the bus conductor who returned his money for not giving her the reward she deserved.

This week, a story that was supposed to restore faith in humanity quickly turned into internet drama, when netizens found out that the forgetful passenger, who works as a gynecologist, rewarded the bus conductor with only two bags of candy.

Sumon Matidul, conductor of Bus No. 511 which runs on the Bangkok outskirts, said the doctor called her to apologize after the story earned media spotlight and people quickly called him a “cheapass.”

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Old Aug 4, 2017, 7:37 pm
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BANGKOK Transportation officials unveiled Thursday a taxi-hailing service that requires drivers install equipment to ensure passenger safety.

Launching in November, they will be the first app-based services operated by the government. The first, Taxi OK, can be used to call regular taxis which have met certain standards. The second, Taxi VIP, will summon higher-end cars with better facilities operated by an existing service.

While insisting that Uber and GrabCar remain illegal, the Land Transport Department said using app-based services is itself not illegal. Officials said their new apps will improve taxi service and ensure passengers have safe, convenient rides in legal taxis.

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Old Aug 4, 2017, 9:38 pm
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Originally Posted by transpac
Officials said their new apps...
And this is a succinct breakdown of the Thai gov in action: "Uber can't operate because we want that business."
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Old Aug 5, 2017, 5:53 am
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Originally Posted by dsquared37
And this is a succinct breakdown of the Thai gov in action: "Uber can't operate because we want that business."
Add to that: they don't quite grasp it's the service that matters, not having an app. There's another initiative underway in Chiang Mai to develop an app to call a red songthaew to pick you up. Pointless.
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Old Dec 8, 2017, 3:28 pm
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So i had an interesting experience a couple weeks back. used the taxi queue for a journey from Swampy to Sathorn Road. Driver offered flat rate of 500 baht but I declined. meter turned on without further ado.

We hadn't travelled more than 100 yards when the meter started ticking over (2 baht increments).

Gave the driver money for tolls, but a little way outside the airport the driver turned left and took a different road than normal (still toll way). The tolls this time were 60 + 10 rather than 50 + 25.

We came to Rama IV road a little differently given the change in route... total distance was 39.6KM by the time we got to Banyan Tree. Meter was reading 310 baht (traffic wasn't so heavy - about medium).

With the 50 airport surcharge that brought it to 360. I handed over 500 and got 100 change.

The different toll road was a new one for me, longer distance according to google maps.
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