Readers' Submissions

Payback Or A Waste Of Time?

Many of the reader's submissions refer to the taxi drivers and their annoying habit of playing dumb, ripping you off, taking you the long way and so on. I've had good ones. If you're in Chiang Mai and you want to tour the sites, avoid the
organised tours. Most taxi drivers can be hired for 100Bt an hour (less if your Thai friend haggles but I can afford not to be too worried about that amount), and if you add the cost of the places/things you are doing, the extra few hundred baht
saves you being hustled around like sheep, and who wants that on holiday?

I've done the Elephants, Rafting, Chiang Dao, Orchids, shopping and all sorts and my physical energy has waned before the bill has gone past 1000bt. In my home country that's a bargain, and I take it as that. I could get it cheaper if I argued
(UP FRONT) but I get what I'm paying for.

billboard bangkok

But there was one occasion when I just got really pissed off, and it was stopping in BKK for a night on the way back from Phuket. In a proper airport taxi, with supposedly all the tolls chipped in, this dork kept stopping at the tolls (as of now I know
a lot more than he should have done) and asking me for the odd 50bt here and there.

Being fairly hung over from a leaving party the night before, I was really in no state to argue or even get angry, I just wanted the sanctity of bed to recover for a pleasant and long overdue night on the Bangkok tiles.

So when we finally arrived at my hotel, I DID make a note of his number and sent him on his way. I think he was looking for a tip, but he didn't get one. Reason being, as I found out when I asked in the hotel, was that he'd basically stiffed
me about 250Bt over the top. Now, you've all seen those forms in the hotels, right? The one to make Taxi complaints? Well just to make myself feel better, I filled the bastard out and asked the receptionist to post it for me (postage is free).

butterflies bangkok

My recovery, and the friendly taxi to the airport, made me forget all about it.

Imagine my surprise a few months later to get a letter from the Ministry of transport or tourism or whatever! A pre-printed form identify the taxi number, driver's taxi license number and name, and a description of the boxes I'd ticked on the

And one line item. "Driver brought in for questioning and admitted offence. He <sic> fined Bt700 and warned not to repeat in future".

Now I don't know if this actually means it's true, or if they send out this bollocks to make you feel better (I feel good enough about most of Thailand that inaction over the matter would hardly have stopped me coming back).


But what I would say is DON'T be afraid to fill out those forms and post them. It costs you nothing, and I'm going to believe for the sake of argument that there are three possible scenarios:

(1) It's true, and the bastard got caught out and lost Bt700 and several hours wages for it.

(2) It's not true, but the powers that be get the forms anyway and see enough of a trend to set up a committee to discuss it, and (yeah well, who knows?).

(3) It keeps some happy Thai in a job at the ministry typing up forms with imaginary punishments to send to gullible farangs, whilst feeding his family and paying for his kids' school uniforms.

Maybe I am a glass-half-full kind of guy, put if in doubt FILL OUT THE FORM AND SEND IT IN.

Stickman’s thoughts:

Great to see that some action was taken.