Bangkok is the city of lights, it’s the capital of Thailand. And is one of the popular attractions for tourists around the world. You’ll find a lot to enjoy and explore in Bangkok, with that being said, you have to be careful while dealing in Bangkok. There are some known scams in Bangkok city which you might come across when you are in town. When I first arrived in Bangkok a few months ago, I heard about Taxi scams in Bangkok on different forums, but I thought I would not face this because I was now aware of this. But to be honest I also became a victim of Taxi scam while going from Suvarnabhumi Airport to Sukhumvit Soi 21 in Bangkok city.
How the Taxi Driver Try to Scam in Bangkok?
Outside the airport, everyone was waiting for a government registered taxi, and I was too. A girl was giving every passenger an instructional form which I also got, a few minutes later I was in a famous pink color taxi coming from Airport to the Sukhumvit area. It was night time around 10PM, I tried to read the instructional form, but it was in Thai language so I did not read it, but in fact half of the form was in English as well which I did not see at first impression. However, when the driver started the journey, he asked me to give him the form, I gave it to him and he hide it somewhere in the Taxi. And he also hide the meter and asked me where I wanted to go, I said Sukhumvit area soi 21, he said he would take 500 baht, I said no it’s too much, he said OK tell me how much you want to give, I said 300 baht is OK, he replied done. And we started the journey.
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Suddenly, I thought back about the instructional form which I was given by the girl at the airport, so I asked the Taxi driver to give me that back, he refused to give that form, but I insisted, and finally he handed over the form back to me which I read again and found the English part. I was shocked to see the instructions. Some of the important points written in the form were like following:
- This form is from the government for the safety of the passengers
- The meter in the Taxi should be running and on
- If the taxi driver don’t turned the meter on then don’t travel
- Pay 50 baht extra and the amount in shown in the meter
- If anything is wrong against the form then call on the mentioned number
So after reading the form, I asked the driver to show me the meter, he refused to show by saying we already have agreed on a fixed fare, I insisted that I’ll only travel according to the law and the meter, and finally he removed the cover from the meter and showed that to me which was running and there were around 35 bath so far since I sit in the taxi.
So at the end of the day, I reached Sukhumvit area soi 21 in about 35 minutes because the traffic was not JAM. The meter showed 150 baht and 50 baht extra for the driver, so total become 200 baht. But as I mentioned the driver initially demanded 500 baht and wanted to scam me, but during the journey I saved myself from scam.
How to Avoid Being Scammed in Bangkok?
So this is not a mystery to be safe from scams in Bangkok and particularly the Taxi scams. If you want to be on safe side and save a lot of money then try not to use Taxi at all. And if you use Taxi then first ask the driver for the meter, if the meter is OK then sit in the Taxi and go to the place. If the meter is not OK then don’t sit in that taxi. I mean never go on fixed fare, that might cost you double or triple.
Not all the taxi drivers in Thailand are scammers, there are many good and expat-friendly drivers as well, with who you’ll have a great journey, such as the below one I had a great journey with within the city of Bangkok:
Finally, it’s all about our own common sense, everyone is looking for money in Bangkok and especially the locals are looking for chances to earn extra money, so you should be wise and cleaver to them. And that’s what I think is a talent should be in you while you are in the Bangkok or in Thailand the Kingdom of Fake Smiles 🙂 .
Let me know your thoughts on this and your experience with Taxi drivers in Bangkok or all over in the Thailand.