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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
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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: 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.


This is a member-maintained wiki. FlyerTalkers are invited to update, add missing information and make corrections as needed. Thanks for helping out!
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Catching a taxi at BKK and general Thailand taxi discussion

Old Dec 8, 2017, 4:58 pm
  #976  
 
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I've been on that route once, from BKK to the Marriott Executive Apts Sathorn, which isn't far from the Banyan Tree, if you were on Highway 9. When it seemed my driver was in the wrong lane on the usual route I was ready to explode until I looked down at and saw my GPS was agreeing. The driver also had his GPS up. Apparently there was a red warning on the usual route, so we likely saved time. If you scroll up you will see I'm not someone who often likes cabbie detours, but this one can be legit. It's not that far out of the way and keeps you away from the Sukhumvit area traffic.

This is why I always program my GPS when I get in a taxi.
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Old Dec 8, 2017, 6:25 pm
  #977  
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Originally Posted by CJKatl
I've been on that route once, from BKK to the Marriott Executive Apts Sathorn, which isn't far from the Banyan Tree, if you were on Highway 9. When it seemed my driver was in the wrong lane on the usual route I was ready to explode until I looked down at and saw my GPS was agreeing. The driver also had his GPS up. Apparently there was a red warning on the usual route, so we likely saved time. If you scroll up you will see I'm not someone who often likes cabbie detours, but this one can be legit. It's not that far out of the way and keeps you away from the Sukhumvit area traffic.

This is why I always program my GPS when I get in a taxi.

It did come up on google maps when i checked once I got to the hotel, and the usual route had a couple of red sections, so I guess maybe he was trying to save time. Just with the meter ticking over very early + the offer to go off meter I was a bit suspect at the time.
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Old Dec 10, 2017, 6:31 pm
  #978  
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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).


It looks like you went towards Bang Na on Motorway 9 (ring road), then into town on the Bang Na Trat Expressway, exiting at Rama 4. Based on traffic/time of day this routing may have saved a fair bit on both time and fare? 310 baht seems reasonable, maybe even on the light side, for this routing. Most weekdays, and nearly all times of day, Rama 4 is jammed in-bound, but you only need to go ~ 1 Km to get to Sathon Tai.
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Old Dec 11, 2017, 1:26 am
  #979  
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Originally Posted by transpac
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).


It looks like you went towards Bang Na on Motorway 9 (ring road), then into town on the Bang Na Trat Expressway, exiting at Rama 4. Based on traffic/time of day this routing may have saved a fair bit on both time and fare? 310 baht seems reasonable, maybe even on the light side, for this routing. Most weekdays, and nearly all times of day, Rama 4 is jammed in-bound, but you only need to go ~ 1 Km to get to Sathon Tai.
I guess in the grand scheme of things it was fine. I'm used to a fare of around 250 give or take (same as the return out to the airport). But the traffic may have bumped that up whichever route. First time taking a new route made me a bit suspicious.
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Old Dec 11, 2017, 5:39 am
  #980  
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Originally Posted by LHR/MEL/Europe FF
I guess in the grand scheme of things it was fine. I'm used to a fare of around 250 give or take (same as the return out to the airport). But the traffic may have bumped that up whichever route. First time taking a new route made me a bit suspicious.
I'm sufficiently distrustful of taxis in Bangkok that I sometimes take the hotel car at greater cost just to avoid having to watch the meter and dreading the confrontation at the end of the ride.
estnet likes this.

Last edited by Dr. HFH; Dec 12, 2017 at 5:54 am
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Old Dec 11, 2017, 4:34 pm
  #981  
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But the traffic may have bumped that up whichever route.

I get traffic alerts throughout the day, and delays of up 1h45m are not unusual on the motor-, express-, tollways, and surface roads in/around Bangkok. Personally, I would drive quite a bit out of my way, and do, to avoid sitting in traffic for more than an hour.

Plus 70 baht equals ~ 35 min traffic surcharge.
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Old Dec 11, 2017, 9:23 pm
  #982  
 
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An interesting and puzzling observation - comparing grab and uber (same location,etc) sometimes one is more expensive (up to double the fare) sometimes the other. Used to be grab was cheaper - but I guess it pays to check.
I know that grab seems to have more drivers in Bangkok but ..............
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Old Dec 11, 2017, 11:08 pm
  #983  
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Comparing Uber to GrabCar seems reasonable - they are similar services. GrabTaxi is, of course, a completely different service. Of course, Grab THL does now offer a "JustGrab" option, which gets you the closest vehicle (car or taxi) with one click.I think it's 60 THB + 5 baht/KM, you pay tolls, and there may be a 100 THB charge for going to the airport.

https://www.grab.com/th/en/justgrab/

Personally, it depends on where I am, but I usually try GrabTaxi first, then GrabCar, then Uber.

For me, right now (Bangkok/Langsuan) to Suvarnabhumi:

JustGrab 446
GrabTaxi 283
Uber (Flash or X) 425

https://www.uber.com/en-TH/blog/bang...rflash-launch/
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Old Dec 12, 2017, 2:18 am
  #984  
 
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Yes the new (to me) grab offerings are a bit confusing but every time I've checked the just and car options are the same exact price. Sometimes taxi doesn't even appear and when it does it's WAY down so I have to scroll to even see it.
When I check grabtaxi to BKK (from ROS) it gives me a range (but have no way of knowing how accurate it is ) -

interesting the last time I took grab (taxi) from Lat Krabang to SGS the driver asked for 20 baht extra - but it hadn't shown the surcharge on the app - no big deal, but sometimes the app show NO extra charge and sometimes 25 or 45. Guess it's all about being an educated consumer.
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Old Dec 12, 2017, 12:39 pm
  #985  
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A bit confused

Im arriving late Jan on a Weds [MENTION=117155]noo[/MENTION]n from HKG on CX. Im staying the 1st night at Holiday Inn Silom , will be traveling with a wheeled garmet bag and my carryon rollerboard, does it make sense to train into the city then cab it to the hotel,or simply take a cab from the rack and any idea what it should cost all in. I dont know why I see some rates in the Wiki yet folks are posting they paid alot more when they got to their destination

does anyone know if theres a station near the HI Silom that is walkable with my 2 bags in tow? 1st time to BKK, and years ago I found out the hard way that even if a train is nearby that doesnt mean the streets can handle a wheeled bag

thx
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Old Dec 12, 2017, 4:40 pm
  #986  
 
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Originally Posted by craz
Im arriving late Jan on a Weds [MENTION=117155]noo[/MENTION]n from HKG on CX. Im staying the 1st night at Holiday Inn Silom , will be traveling with a wheeled garmet bag and my carryon rollerboard, does it make sense to train into the city then cab it to the hotel,or simply take a cab from the rack and any idea what it should cost all in. I dont know why I see some rates in the Wiki yet folks are posting they paid alot more when they got to their destination

does anyone know if theres a station near the HI Silom that is walkable with my 2 bags in tow? 1st time to BKK, and years ago I found out the hard way that even if a train is nearby that doesnt mean the streets can handle a wheeled bag

thx
I suggest just taking a taxi. The "all in" fare should cost you somewhere between 275-375 THB; of that, 50 THB is an airport surcharge that will not show on the meter (so don't be surprised if the meter reads 200 and the driver tells you 250) plus whatever tolls you encounter enroute (generally 50-75 THB, depending upon the route.) Most drivers will want you to pay the tolls in cash as they occur, not when the ride is over. If traffic is heavy, the fare will be on the higher end of the estimate; if traffic is light, on the lower end of the estimate. Make sure the driver uses the meter - state that when you get in.

If you take the train you'll be going up/down at least one relatively steep flight of steps, probably two. I'm not positive but I think your hotel is about 1km from the nearest BTS station. Not a long walk but not one I'd want to make after spending the better part of a day in airports/flying, especially when taxis are relatively inexpensive and with two bags in tow.
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Old Dec 12, 2017, 5:55 pm
  #987  
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Originally Posted by Diplomatico
I suggest just taking a taxi. The "all in" fare should cost you somewhere between 275-375 THB; of that, 50 THB is an airport surcharge that will not show on the meter (so don't be surprised if the meter reads 200 and the driver tells you 250) plus whatever tolls you encounter enroute (generally 50-75 THB, depending upon the route.) Most drivers will want you to pay the tolls in cash as they occur, not when the ride is over. If traffic is heavy, the fare will be on the higher end of the estimate; if traffic is light, on the lower end of the estimate. Make sure the driver uses the meter - state that when you get in.

If you take the train you'll be going up/down at least one relatively steep flight of steps, probably two. I'm not positive but I think your hotel is about 1km from the nearest BTS station. Not a long walk but not one I'd want to make after spending the better part of a day in airports/flying, especially when taxis are relatively inexpensive and with two bags in tow.
b

Thx, yea for that amount cab it will be, had I only had a carry-on I might have been tempted to try the train. Was just in Hanoi and my 1st time cabbing it everywhere I went, the best was even for the < $2 fares I was able to use a CC, so I ended up with 0 VND in my pocket when I left. Guess I will be ATMing it when in BKK, my bank here doesnt charge me for withdrawls and refunds me any fee that the ATM charges on that side, but hopefully I will be able to do like HAN and leave BKK with 0 THB
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Old Dec 12, 2017, 7:35 pm
  #988  
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had I only had a carry-on I might have been tempted to try the train.

To get to Silom you'd have to take SARL from the airport to Phaya Thai, then the Skytrain (Sukhumvit Line in-bound towards Bearing/Samrong) to Siam, then change to another Skytrain line (Silom Line outbound towards Bang Wa). I guess Surasak is the closest BTS station to the Holiday Inn/Silom, so you've still got a pretty long schlep (close to 1 Km) on uneven footpaths.

While there are escalators (up mostly, stairs down), and elevators (newer, hard to locate sometimes), you'll be doing some heavy lifting. Add to that very crowded trains, and queuing for change and tickets (2x) and generally navigating, a taxi might be the better option (260 on the meter, 50 surcharge, ~100 tolls, so ~ 400 all in)?

Last edited by transpac; Dec 12, 2017 at 7:43 pm
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Old Dec 12, 2017, 9:15 pm
  #989  
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Originally Posted by transpac
had I only had a carry-on I might have been tempted to try the train.

To get to Silom you'd have to take SARL from the airport to Phaya Thai, then the Skytrain (Sukhumvit Line in-bound towards Bearing/Samrong) to Siam, then change to another Skytrain line (Silom Line outbound towards Bang Wa). I guess Surasak is the closest BTS station to the Holiday Inn/Silom, so you've still got a pretty long schlep (close to 1 Km) on uneven footpaths.

While there are escalators (up mostly, stairs down), and elevators (newer, hard to locate sometimes), you'll be doing some heavy lifting. Add to that very crowded trains, and queuing for change and tickets (2x) and generally navigating, a taxi might be the better option (260 on the meter, 50 surcharge, ~100 tolls, so ~ 400 all in)?
Ouch! Ive trained it in many a country and it wasnt nearly as bad, from what you posted BKK would be a royal pita, I just enjoy public transport when ever its doable especially when its very expensive to go by cab
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Old Dec 12, 2017, 11:56 pm
  #990  
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Originally Posted by Diplomatico
I suggest just taking a taxi. The "all in" fare should cost you somewhere between 275-375 THB
As per my earlier post - it can be a bit higher with traffic and depending on the route. The alternative ring road can put the total cost closer to 450 all in (including airport surcharge, tolls and the actual fare). A marginal difference in terms of USD, but worth stating so people don't think they have necessarily been 'ripped off' if it goes over 400.

I agree however taking a taxi is so much easier. Especially with day time heat and humidity.
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