How to Take a Taxi in Bangkok?

Getting Around

Taxi’s in Bangkok are everywhere and are mostly cheaper than in your home country. However, as a tourist new to Bangkok, it can be more of a hassle to pay the right price. In this article we would like to show you how to take a taxi in Bangkok.

There are more than 150.000 taxi’s in Bangkok and they come in many colours. Besides Bangkok’s public transport system the taxi can be  a very convenient way to get around. Taxi’s are often newer Toyota cars  and are spacious and airconditioned.

As there are so many taxi’s finding one would not be a problem. However, as a tourist new to Bangkok, it can be more of a hassle. These steps and tips help you to get a taxi in Bangkok, pay an honest price for your ride and reduce the chances of getting scammed.

1. Look for a taxi with a red vacant sign and flag him down

Taxi’s with a red sign are the ones that are available. Try to avoid taxi’s parked in front of hotels or other tourist areas. Look to flag a driving taxi from the side of the road. Taxi drivers approaching you and offering their services are usually suspect and should be avoided.

2. Open the (back)door and tell the taxi driver where you would like to go

I would like to go to the Rivercity shopping complex pai River CityCan you please use the meter? chai meter dai mai?Stop here jawt tee neeThank you khawp khun

Don’t forget to add the polite particle khrap (if you are a man) or  ka (if you are a women) to the end of each sentence. Some taxi drivers may refuse to turn on the meter (ask a fixed price) or go to your desired destination.

Don’t be surprised. Thank the driver, close the door and try your luck with another taxi. Please bring the address of your destination, save it on your smartphone’s maps application or bring along a map. Also try to find a nearby attraction on the map as the taxi drivers don’t use GPS nor know every street in Bangkok.

3. Remember your taxi-number

Bangkok taxi number

Each taxi has a specific number that can be found on plates on the inside of the door or window of the taxi. Taxi’ drivers are required to show their license on the dashboard of their taxi as well. That doesn’t always mean it is the licence of your particular driver as many taxi’s are shared with co-workers.

Please also remember the color of your taxi as every reference to your taxi or driver helps in case you have a bad experience or accidentally leave something behind.

4. On arrival: pay the driver, check your belongings and leave the taxi

The taxi meter will state how much your trip costs. Tipping is not required but you can round off to the nearest 5 or 10 baht. Sometimes taxi drivers pretend that they don’t have any change so bring small amounts of cash with you.

When exiting the taxi please look behind to see if no tuk-tuk, bicycle or motor-bike is approaching. before you open the door as they drive everywhere and can sneak up on you quickly.

Bangkok taxi apps

GrabTaxi is a taxi app in Bangkok. You can, for example, find and book a taxi, track your ride, pay by creditcard and find all details of the driver online.

Forgot something or had a bad experience?

Did you accidentally leave something behind please call 1644 or 1137. These are taxi radio stations who deal with lost items on taxi’s often. As you remembered your taxi number, the taxi driver’s ID, color of your taxi or any other reference they might be able to find your belongs back. Did the taxi driver scammed you or did you have any other bad experience? The tourist police in Thailand can help you with this. You can reach the tourist police in Bangkok at 1155. They are here special for tourists and have adequate to good English skills.

From busy areas or during rush hour (07:00 – 09:00 or 16:00 – 20:00) it might be faster to use different means of transport (BTS Skytrain or MRT subway, river taxi) as you can get stuck in traffic easily. Find out how to get to our office on our ‘how to find us-page’.

Want to explore Bangkok's hidden areas and local life?  Away from traffic and tourist areas .. let us take you off the beaten path on one of our Bangkok bicycle tours: