Taxis are pretty regulated in Bangkok….supposedly. I walked outside to an overwhelming sea of drivers waiting for passenger. There were mainly green and yellow cars, and the a fleet of pink Camrys. I totally wanted a pink cab!
No such luck. Maybe next time. I approached the taxi stand, prepared with my address written on a post it note. It is always best to write things out here and if the taxi isn’t metered, you should agree on the price and write that down too to avoid misunderstanding.
The woman handed me a slip of paper with all the regulations of how the taxi was supposed to operate the meter, and only charge what was on the meter plus a 50 THB surcharge for the toll, etc. There were even numbers on who to call if the driver violated those rules.
The driver and I meandered over to his non-pink cab and no sooner than the door closed, he asked, “How much do you pay?” I laughed because I knew it was coming. “You’re supposed to run the meter, right? Then I pay whats on the meter. That is what this piece of paper says.” He laughs and tries to take the paper from me. No no, sir. I got this. I already knew what the approximate charge should have been so I threw it out there and he said no and went up 50 THB. I said no and went down 50 from previous offer. I felt like the Priceline Negotiator. The jingle actually played in my head. We settled on the my counter offer of 600THB and agreed that the price would also include the 50 THB surcharge. And then, we were on our way….but not before the driver asked several times for me to give him the paper from the lady at the taxi stand. I kept refusing. He gave up, lol.
Despite the driver almost t-boning a car, we made it pretty safely to the hotel. His English seemed to be regulated to price negotiations as he didnt say much during the ride except the occassional “Bangkok Bangkok” he would shout out to maybe break the silence.