Taxis by the meter

Speed:     ♥♥♥
Tariff:      ♥♥♥♥
Comfort: ♥♥
Easy:        ♥♥

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.


Speed:     ♥♥
Tariff:      ♥
Comfort: ♥♥
Easy:        ♥♥♥♥

Tuk-Tuks, the infamous Thai rickshaw, are a symbol of the nation. So much so that in 2015 Miss Thailand wore a Tuk-Tuk dress (proof!). To the delight of her nation, it won her the best costume award at the Miss Universe competition.

BUT… Despite the international appeal, odds are you won’t see a Thai hauling a Tuk-tuk. And for good reason: Tuk-tuks are expensive, unsafe and most of the time very uncomfortable. Especially during the day when even the Tuk-Tuk is stuck in traffic and you’ll be in the searing heat from the sun combined with the surrounding exhaust gases.

Despite its obvious charm, the Tuk-Tuk is often associated with tourist traps. Sometimes a driver says he will take you for free, if you allow him to make one stop at a jewellery store. NEVER ACCEPT! It’s a scam that unfortunately many tourists have fallen for. In case of doubt: Don’t take a Tuk-Tuk. Already too late? Call the tourist police at 1155.

Any positives? Alright then… When it’s raining and there’s not a cab in sight, cut your loss and just hop in (expect to still get a little bit wet). We realise a Tuk-Tuk ride is on the bucket list of most Thailand goers. If you decide to take one, do it during the nighttime for a short-distance ride. Traffic will be quiet, so it should be a quick and comfortable ride. Enjoy the wind flow through the open cart. Always negotiate the fare before entering the Tuk-Tuk. Odds are you’ll get the initial rate down to 60%.


Perfect for: Crossing it off your bucket list. Do so during the night, when traffic is smooth. It’ll be refreshing.
Don’t use: If you’re easily scared by crazy driving. During the day, when you’ll be stuck in heat and exhaust gases.
How to book: You’ll have no trouble finding a Tuk-Tuk when you’re near any tourist hotspot (especially Kao San Road, Chatuchak Weekend Market and Patpong).