Taxis, Tuk-Tuks, and Motorbike Taxis
Most taxi drivers are hard working, honest people who simply want to get you where you want to go in exchange for whatever the meter shows. There are however, unscrupulous drivers waiting to take advantage of the inexperienced or gullible. If you remember the following you have a much better chance of having a trouble-free ride to your destination.
In Thailand there are rarely queues for taxis. Walk out to the nearest street and when you spot a taxi with it's red light out, put your arm out.
Take taxis that are moving, not sitting. Moving taxis aren't generally waiting for a victim.
If a taxi outside your hotel refuses to use the meter, ask the hotel to hail a taxi for you. If they decline, find another hotel!
If you do have problems, photograph or write down the yellow identification plate on the inside of the taxi door, the driver's identification card on the front left of the dashboard, or the license plate number. Call the tourist police at 1155 or the regular police at 191. Do not argue with the driver or engage in a physical confrontation. Many drivers carry bats or machetes and they're willing to use them.
Take note of the color of the taxi.
Take note of the driver's name. Make sure the photo matches the driver.
Take a photo of the taxi ID number on the inside of the taxi door (discreetly).
If you have a problem with a driver, for example, if they refuse to take you via the route you told him you wanted to take, they driver erratically or too fast, become aggressive, call the Land Transportation Department Hotline at 1584 to complain. If a driver receives three complaints on his record he can be banned from driving a taxi, thus this threatens his livelihood.
As of September 1, 2012 it is illegal for a driver to refuse to pick up a passenger. Nevertheless, drivers regularly deny passengers. They'll use an assortment of reasons; my shift is almost finished and I don't have time, I don't have enough gas, there's too much traffic. Some may give no reason at all. This can be a huge source of frustration if you're standing in the rain or in a hurry — by all means call and complain — just do not tell the driver.
In the above section regarding taxis I stated that most taxi drivers are hard working and honest. The opposite can be said about Tuk-Tuk drivers when it comes to their interaction with foreigners. Tuk-Tuks are often seen by foreigners as romantic, cool methods of transport. While they can be, only experienced expats, Thais, and those who speak the language should attempt to deal with tuk-tuk drivers. New visitors, those who do not speak Thai, and inexperienced travelers should give them a pass!
Taxis and Tuk-Tuks
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