Hugh Paxton’s Blog suggests this will make anybody’s visit to Bangkok much easier. Much safer. Much cheaper.
Grab a Grabtaxi.
Taxis in Bangkok are cheap, have never let me down, but just occasionally add a spritzer of adventure that suits me but if you are new to the city these occasional, and I must stress they are very occasional, cases of the driver falling asleep, suffering from Yah Ice meth DTs or getting lost, looking threatening and demanding eight times the going price and trying to intimidate might lead to panic attacks and misunderstandings if you are unfamiliar with travel options in the metropolitan region, have small children or are of a nervous disposition.
If you don’t mind paying an outrageous surcharge of 20 baht ( that’s not a lot! It would cover less than one third of a large coffee at Starbucks) the Grabtaxi driver turns up takes you where you want to go and there is no unexpected behaviour. You book the cab on line and the nearest vehicle responds. You get a quote and an e-receipt. HQ knows where the cab is so if you forget your camera you get it back.
I know my way around Bangkok. My daughter actually knows her way around better than I.
Grabtaxi! If uncertain, go for that!
This fleet of taxis looks just like the other taxis but some Thai whizzkids and with some help I suspect from our current military regime have got the lot online and under control. You locate the nearest taxis the price is quoted the driver turns up on time and whisks you away. His cab doesn’t do a taxi/pumpkin midnight conversion as you head for your 12 o’clock flight at the Suv Intl. The driver doesn’t turn into a werewolf on full moon nights.
You get what you want; safety; you get where you want to go; you get picked up where you are. You pay a fair price. And if you want to encourage this initiative you give the driver a tip. It is not obligatory.
Tourists especially in the vicinity of tourist attractions, backpacker haunts and expensive hotels attract the worst lowlifes in the taxi business. It’s criminal in every sense of the word. Thailand’s current govt has the nation’s interests at heart and criminality is no longer what it was. Taxi syndicates still operate and any honest man driving a cab still gets the heave ho.
Grabtaxis circumvent this by arriving and taking you away without arguments, intimidation, bullshine involving drivers asking where you are from and then saying “England! I love Chelsea! Your baby is so pretty!” and then turning their meters off assuming you don’t suddenly see the light go off and yakking away and taking the lengthiest route home imaginable.
You want to get where you want to go. Grabtaxi!
Cheers from Bangkok! Get home safely.