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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 Feb 24, 14, 5:43 pm
  #91  
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Originally Posted by mario33 View Post
My latest is BHT255 from BKK which I suspected the meter has been tempered but too tired to dispute, however the return journey the following day is also BHT250. Both in clear traffic using highway.
Where was the destination?

Originally Posted by doctor15 View Post
Whoops... thanks for the clarification on train systems! Will most cabs be able to accommodate 2 suitcases + 2 people?
Unless very large bags they should be able to fit in the trunk.
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Old Feb 24, 14, 7:26 pm
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Originally Posted by dsquared37 View Post
Where was the destination .
Aloft Soi 11 which is actually closer than Asoke.
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Old Feb 24, 14, 7:30 pm
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Originally Posted by dsquared37 View Post
Unless very large bags they should be able to fit in the trunk.
Some taxis are SUV type, they also tend to put one bag in the front seat for the standard vehicle.
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Old Feb 24, 14, 11:16 pm
  #94  
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Originally Posted by mario33 View Post
Aloft Soi 11 which is actually closer than Asoke.
Depends upon how the driver goes. He could have simply chosen a less direct route which resulted in the higher fare. Knowing the distance on the meter is important.

Originally Posted by mario33 View Post
Some taxis are SUV type, they also tend to put one bag in the front seat for the standard vehicle.
If dealing with an Innova then there's definitely no problem. I've also put bags in the front but for a big bag that could interfere with the driver....
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Old Feb 24, 14, 11:34 pm
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...turned on the meter, and drove the other way (Asoke bypass) to avoid the first tollway...

...199 on the meter at BKK
Originally Posted by mario33 View Post
My latest is BHT255 from BKK...

...however the return journey the following day is also BHT250. Both in clear traffic using highway.
I think 225 is about correct using the Tollways. IMO the distance traveled is a bit longer. Mine was 199 because the surface streets take a more direct route.

As for 250, I have an opinion on these fares that are close but over. As dsquared37 mentioned recently, some meters count minutes and add 'waiting' time to the fare even though the entire journey is at highway speed. This can add 30THB to a 20 miinute ride (1.5THB/minute). Sound about right?
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Old Feb 24, 14, 11:40 pm
  #96  
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Originally Posted by dsquared37 View Post
Depends upon how the driver goes. He could have simply chosen a less direct route which resulted in the higher fare. Knowing the distance on the meter is important.
Direct route, highway (2 tolls) and down Sukhumvit Road with hardly any traffic.

The thing is that these guys know visitors won't argue over BHT50 discrepancy, and there is always the possibility of a rate increase since my last trip which I may not be aware of.
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Old Feb 25, 14, 12:37 am
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Originally Posted by mario33 View Post
Direct route, highway (2 tolls) and down Sukhumvit Road with hardly any traffic.

The thing is that these guys know visitors won't argue over BHT50 discrepancy, and there is always the possibility of a rate increase since my last trip which I may not be aware of.
No rate increases in several years.
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Old Feb 25, 14, 9:06 pm
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I was at Asoke yesterday. I don't normally go there. I noticed for the first time that they have created a path for traffic to get through the intersection westbound on Sukhumvit. (It may have been there a lot longer, but this is the first time I saw it.) Basically as you approach Asoke from the East, you turn Left but then they have a set of traffic cones allowing you to immediately u-turn around the obstructed intersection and continue westbound on Sukhumvit. Only 1 lane, but it shouldn't be too slow.
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Old Feb 25, 14, 11:20 pm
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Originally Posted by mario33 View Post
Direct route, highway (2 tolls) and down Sukhumvit Road with hardly any traffic.

The thing is that these guys know visitors won't argue over BHT50 discrepancy, and there is always the possibility of a rate increase since my last trip which I may not be aware of.
As seanthepilot mentioned, the highway adds distance onto the trip. Probably not 50 baht but possibly 10-15 and if the meter is ticking up for time then you'll easily hit 250.
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Old Feb 26, 14, 5:47 am
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Originally Posted by seanthepilot View Post
Leaving my hotel on Sukhumvit last week, I got the doormen to call me a taxi, agreed to the meter, jumped in and was off...

A hundred meters down the soi, he starts bargaining for 450THB. I told him to take me back to the hotel. "OK, OK, meter," he says and I agree. Not even another 50 meters and he's spewing some of this fixed price stuff again, so I made him turn around and send me back to the hotel.

Hotel staff was happy to call another cab. Again, agreed on the meter. We were barely out of the parking lot when he demands 500THB. It was an easy U-turn right back to the hotel entrance to try another cab.

This one, turned on the meter, and drove the other way (Asoke bypass) to avoid the first tollway. Because of the protest detours and the normal Rama IX traffic, the meter was 89THB when we reached the motorway entrance.

199 on the meter at BKK, plus 25THB for the one toll. I gave him 300THB. We were both happy. (total 325THB)

I'm a bit tired of these taxi games. But, if you have extra time, it's worth switching cabs.
Well my one and only experience going out of town to the airport. Just went to the street and tried a couple of cabs before one finally just switched on the meter without any argument. I just said meter - OK he said. The cabbies who hang around hotels are I think more likely to playing games. Luckily in Bangkok there are more than enough cabs so finding one is not hard.
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Old Feb 26, 14, 6:23 am
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Originally Posted by William S View Post
Well my one and only experience going out of town to the airport. Just went to the street and tried a couple of cabs before one finally just switched on the meter without any argument. I just said meter - OK he said. The cabbies who hang around hotels are I think more likely to playing games. Luckily in Bangkok there are more than enough cabs so finding one is not hard.
Winner winner chicken dinner.
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Old Feb 26, 14, 7:53 am
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Originally Posted by Tchiowa View Post
Actually I thought his original post was sarcasm. Even in terrible traffic, airport to downtown has never been anywhere near what he quoted.

Possible thought. Some posters have said they have encountered hot meters more than once. I've never had one and I estimate I've taken 3-5,000 taxi rides in Bangkok. But the descriptions of actual hot meter rides all seem to start at the airport, and I never take a taxi at the airport. So I'm wondering if that's the difference.

For those who have had the problem, did you pick up the cab at the airport? Or am I making too many assumption?
It was at the airport and traffic was very very bad, 1 1/2 hours from the airport to Conrad. 460 Baht was the airport surcharge included so more or less 410 Baht, I have no idea the fare for time in traffic jams, but this was really really bad Way back the traffic was way lighter so the meter stopped at less.

The taxidrivers playing games quoted a rate at around 600 THB.

Last edited by William S; Feb 26, 14 at 8:02 am
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Old Feb 26, 14, 2:48 pm
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Going to Soi 8 off Sukhumvit Rd, usually take a cab, but was considering using the airport link to avoid whatever traffic mess is caused by protests, Figuring Asok would be more of a bottle neck than usual, but it sounds like there's not a lot of complaints of traffic on Sukhumvit Road? (Land at 7pm)
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Old Feb 26, 14, 3:05 pm
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Originally Posted by Informpage View Post
Going to Soi 8 off Sukhumvit Rd, usually take a cab, but was considering using the airport link to avoid whatever traffic mess is caused by protests, Figuring Asok would be more of a bottle neck than usual, but it sounds like there's not a lot of complaints of traffic on Sukhumvit Road? (Land at 7pm)
That time of evening Sukhumvit can be anywhere from wide open to dead stop. Doesn't seem to have any logic. More than likely going to be packed.
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Old Feb 26, 14, 3:06 pm
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Originally Posted by William S View Post
Well my one and only experience going out of town to the airport. Just went to the street and tried a couple of cabs before one finally just switched on the meter without any argument. I just said meter - OK he said. The cabbies who hang around hotels are I think more likely to playing games. Luckily in Bangkok there are more than enough cabs so finding one is not hard.
If you let the hotel call a cab for you they'll usually make sure you get a cab that will use the meter. But you're right, the ones that park around the hotel and sit for an hour waiting for a fare are usually waiting for a mark.
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