Over the last few months, several people who have not yet visited the Land of Smiles have asked me “Are taxis safe in Bangkok, Thailand?”
These people are planning on visiting Bangkok and other places in Thailand, and want to be sure they have an easy and safe vacation or business trip, without having to worry about being injured or killed in a taxi.
Having taken taxis in Bangkok, and in other places all over Thailand, daily for more than 15 years I can honestly answer the question “Are taxis safe in Bangkok, Thailand?” with a resounding “Yes. Of course!”
Is getting in a taxi in Thailand safe?
I remember reading a question on social media recently from two women who were planning a holiday in Bangkok.
The question went something like:
“We are two women traveling alone, and are worried about taking a taxi together while in Bangkok. Will we be safe? Will we have problems with the taxi driver? Will we arrive at our destination without a problem? Is taking a taxi in Bangkok dangerous?”
By the time most people who responded had picked themselves up off the floor after laughing so hard they couldn’t take it, one person had already replied.
His answer? Short, not so sweet and directly to the point.
“Where do you think you’re going? Afghanistan?”
My answer was a bit longer, but it went something like this —
“Yes, you will be completely safe taking a taxi in Bangkok.
Overall, Thai taxi drivers are lovely. Most may not speak much English, but they go out of their way to be friendly and helpful, They also do their best to not only get you safely to your destination, but to take the shortest route to avoid Bangkok’s horrendous traffic jams.
I’m female. I’ve lived in Thailand for 15 years, and I take taxis several times a day. All over Bangkok. Usually while alone. During all that time, I have not once had a problem with a Thai taxi driver. Not once”.
Because yes, while most Thai taxi drivers speak little or no English, as long as you have the address you want to go to either written down on a piece of paper (preferably in Thai), or can say it in Thai, you will have no problem getting there.
As for being in danger in a Thai taxi, that is highly unlikely.
Women taking taxis in Thailand
In fact, out of the 30 or so western women I know in Bangkok, and the probably 500 to 1,000 Thai women I am friendly with or have worked with over the years, not once has anyone told me they have had problems with a taxi driver.
Related reading: Is Thailand safe for women? Especially for women traveling alone?
Sure, a Thai taxi driver may occasionally get lost, or take ‘a short cut’ that turned out not to be but, overall, they are friendly, courteous and just wanting to get you to your destination quickly so they can pick up another fare.
Thai taxi drivers getting lost
A couple of times, I have taken taxis in Bangkok, told the driver where I wanted to go and how to get there (in Thai). Thai men, being no different than men in the rest of the world, still sometimes think they know better than the woman who lives in the neighborhood and takes that route every day.
So these particular Thai taxi drivers decided I was wrong, and they knew a better way to get there.
Fast forward 30 minutes to where we are now stuck in traffic, during a trip that should have taken no more than 10, and the taxi driver was mortified he had been wrong and was apologizing profusely.
The moral of this story?
In a decade and a half of living in Bangkok, I have had a couple of minor problems with taxi drivers where they have ignored my directions and taken their own.
Nothing worse than another 20 minutes or so in a taxi, during which time I just watched videos on my phone, and an extra 20 baht in the taxi fare. As 20 baht is around 70 cents (yes, taxis in Thailand are cheap!), I can’t say it bothered me that much.
Are taxis safe in Bangkok, Thailand?
Yes, very very safe.
The traffic jams are usually so bad, the driver can’t get much of a speed up over 30 miles an hour so, even if there was an accident, it would be minor. (And I have only ever seen two taxis in accidents in Bangkok, in all the time I’ve lived here).
For women taking taxis alone in Bangkok, they are probably one of the safest modes of transportation you will ever take. Anywhere.
In fact, the only time I have ever heard of anyone having a problem with a taxi driver in Thailand usually involved a westerner, and usually involved a westerner behaving badly.
Case in point, a few years ago an American guy in Bangkok was murdered by a Thai taxi driver after he treated the overworked man so terribly he eventually snapped. He then slashed him to death with a machete he had under his seat.
The moral of that story?
Treat taxi drivers in Thailand in a respectful and polite manner, pay the fare you owe and don’t be an idiot.
And yes, you will get to your destination and be completely safe when doing so.