Tuk Tuks Designed So You Can’t See?
This is really annoying when you are taking one of the tuk tuks to get you around the city. You can’t see a damn thing!!! I think this design is intentional so you don’t know where they are taking you.
The Taxi Game
Let’s talk about what we call the taxi game. One day we took a taxi out to the Chatuchuck weekend market. It was no problem to get to the market. We simply had our hotel call a taxi for us and it was there within minutes.
Getting back from your destination especially at night can be an issue. We had to go stand in the middle of a busy street in between two lanes of traffic. None of the taxis could get into the lane along side the market because it was filled with the vendors vehicles. The vendors were waiting to get in to the market to pack up their wares for the day.
Walking down the tight fit between the moving cars we had to poke our heads into the taxis to see if one would take us back to the hotel. We had to go through about eight taxis before one would agree to take us. This game goes on all the time. Taxis here will only take you to your destination if they feel it is a big enough fare, or if the traffic in that direction is not so bad, or maybe they just don’t feel like it, who knows?
You have to make sure the taxi is going to use the meter. Before you get in you have to insist the taxi driver put the meter on, it is the law. Otherwise they may try to charge you some ridiculous fare. It is almost impossible to get a driver to use the meter at night. They know they have you because it is late and you have to get back, so the price goes up dramatically. Your other choice is to take a tuk tuk, but that can be taking your life in your hands, especially if you have to go onto major roads of traffic.
Now lets talk seat belts, oh wait, what seat belts? There are no taxis we have come across yet that have had seat belts in the back seat. A few have the shoulder strap part, but no belt on the seat to clip into, we can’t figure this out. The traffic is insane and the driving is that of a mentally disturbed person most of the time. We pray a lot while we go places that’s all I can say.
No One Wanted To Take Us From The Mall Back To Our Hotel
On another occasion we took a taxi to MBK Mall. Again it was no problem to get a taxi to take us there in the day. When we wanted to get a taxi back to our hotel it was around 9pm and dark outside. We exited the mall and saw there was a long queue of people already waiting for a taxi. There were two men in uniform (possibly employees of the mall) that were directing the situation. Non stop taxis were pulling up to the line of people. The uniformed men would ask the next person in line where they wanted to go and then lean over into the taxi window to tell the driver. Many times the driver would shake his head no and then they would be flagged off by the man to drive away. The taxi would then make a loop around the block to re-join the line, obviously in hopes of getting a better fare or destination next time around. When it was finally our turn at the front of the line we went taxi after taxi refusing our fare. The employee was getting mad at them and starting to yell and frustratingly wave them off. We finally realized that our chances of getting a ride were slim, we also felt bad that we were holding up the line.
We decided to walk away. We had no other option but to take a tuk tuk back to our hotel. Using these for short distances around the main tourist area of Bangkok was okay, but we were over twenty minutes away and had to go onto main roadways riddled with speeding traffic.
There were plenty of tuk tuks around to choose from. We chose one and negotiated a flat rate for our destination. We hung on for dear life as the driver worked his way through crazy traffic, intersections, beeping horns and chaos. The little motor on the tuk tuk was maxed to it’s fullest and making a whining noise like it was about to explode!