Saturday, October 17, 2009


The other day, someone asked me if I've ever been scammed by a Bangkok taxi driver. "Of course I have. This is Bangkok", was my answer. When I first arrived here, I fell victim to a few cabbies who drove me around the long way to jack up the fare, and a few times I had a driver who didn't turn on the meter and then tried to charge me an exorbitant rate at the end of the ride. Despite these bad experiences, the odds of getting scammed by Bangkok cabbies are pretty small (I've taken hundreds of taxis here and have had only a few problems), especially if you're aware of the potential scams and use some common sense.

Following are a few simple rules to follow to avoid getting burned by cabbies in the "City of Angels":

1. Do not take taxis that are sitting and waiting in tourist areas.
2. Make sure the driver turns on the meter.
3. Carry a map as a guide for yourself, but don't expect your driver to use it or look at it.
4. Bring a business card or get the address of your destination written in Thai.
5. Do not believe some recommendations or claims from your cabbie such as, "I know this great seafood restaurant" or "The Grand Palace is closed today".