You’ll have no trouble finding a meter taxi on any street. They’re everywhere! If the red light behind the front window is on, it means the taxi is available. After you haul a taxi, open the front door to ask the driver if he knows your destination and – more importantly – if he wants to go there.
Taxis are obligated by law to turn on the meter, which will always start at 35 baht. However, they know most tourists are willing to negotiate a fixed fee. The driver will tell you that he’ll only accept a fixed fee because the destination is either very far, very busy or that it’s difficult to find a passenger for the way back. Getting angry at the driver won’t help, he’ll just drive away. (We repeatedly use ‘he’ as we are unfortunately yet to encounter the first female taxi driver in Bangkok.)
Of course there are some good guys too, who will turn on the meter without having to ask for it. Then only the language barrier remains a problem. Even popular tourist destinations like the Grand Palace or the Lebua hotel (from the Hangover movie) are often misunderstood.
If you don’t have to be somewhere at a set time, taxis provide an affordable option. Just don’t forget that you have to pay for the highway tolls yourself.
Perfect for: Getting around at the night time when traffic is low and the drivers have less rides to choose from.
Don’t use: If you need to be somewhere are a certain time (i.e. the airport). In a rush? Prebook!
How to book: They’re everywhere, just haul them until you find one that will take you where you want to go. Get someone who speaks Thai to help to ensure a smooth journey.