Taking taxis in Bangkok, Thailand is still incredibly cheap
Taking taxis in Bangkok, Thailand is cheap. In fact, almost as cheap as it was 14 years ago when I moved to Bangkok. Having been in Thailand so long, and now used to cheap Thai taxi fares, I admit I hadn’t realized how expensive taxis are in other countries until I watched a price comparison on the BBC recently and, wow, what a shock. So, if you’re coming to the Land of Smiles, how much are taxis in Bangkok, Thailand? What does ‘cheap’ really mean?
The cost of a typical taxi fare in Bangkok, Thailand
When you ask the question how much are taxis in Thailand, the answer of course is “it depends”. It depends where you’re going, how bad the sometimes horrendous traffic is and what time of day you’re traveling.
In just about every situation, however, you will find taking a taxi in Thailand is a fraction of the cost of the country you live in. Including taking a taxi from Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport when you first arrive.
Starting taxi fare in Thailand
The starting fare for any taxi in Thailand is 35 baht ($1.12), which means that is the minimum amount you will pay when the meter goes on and it will take you 1 kilometer.
That fare then slowly increases depending on how far you travel and how long you spend sitting in traffic, as the meter still ticks over even when you’re standing still. Currently the increase is 5.50 baht per kilometer if you are moving, so it certainly doesn’t increase much. The meter will also increase by 2 baht per meter moved if you get stuck in traffic.
Normal cost of a taxi in Thailand per kilometer
The normal cost of a taxi in Thailand mainly depends on how far you go. An approximate cost, however, is pretty easy to calculate.
Look at it this way — the base taxi fare is 35 baht and then each kilometer is charged at 5.50 baht up to 10 kilometers. That means a two kilometer ride would cost you 46 baht ($1.37), a 3 kilometer ride would be 51.50 baht ($1.53) and on and on.
A 10 kilometer taxi ride in Thailand, which is approximately six and a half miles, would cost you 84.50 baht or $2.52 in normal traffic. If there are traffic jams, which particularly happens in Bangkok, you may pay an extra 50 cents to $1 while you’re sitting. But, as you can see taxi fares in Thailand are cheap.
Taxis in Thailand compared to New York, London and Tokyo
According to a recent story on the BBC, a 10 kilometer ride in New York currently costs around $70. The same distance traveled in Tokyo is around $50 and, in London, you can expect to pay around the same.
Yes, taxis in Bangkok, Thailand are cheap, just as they are anywhere else in Thailand.You can also hail them on any street anywhere in any town or city, or even call one if you’re out in the rice fields somewhere.
Or, if you want to be able to order one whenever you need a reliable taxi, there is a new service starting in September called Line Taxi. It will be a fully Thai-owned company that will offer the same services as Uber, Grab Taxi and Easy Taxi but, with an eventual 70,000 taxi drivers registered to it, likely better.
And, for some tips on how to take taxis in Bangkok, watch the following short video. It will really help.