Getting a motorbike taxi in Bangkok, or anywhere in Thailand

We’ll begin off by stating that there is nothing quicker and more environment friendly than getting a motorcycle taxi around Bangkok, in comparability with nearly some other form of transport.
We’ll also admit that there are risks involved with riding on a bike or motorcycle round Thailand, particularly if you’re not carrying a helmet (which you can ask the rider for). In practice, the riders always wear a helmet – passengers, hardly ever.
And we’ll admit that there might be a difference between what’s practical, common-practice and ’normal’ relating to getting a motorcycle taxi in Thailand when in comparability with rules and legal guidelines in other nations. For instance, you wouldn’t want to have any type of critical accident on a motorcycle taxi – your insurance coverage is unlikely to cowl you in that circumstance.
If you wished to use the providers of a motorcycle taxi, to the letter of the actual legal guidelines in Thailand, no one would. But millions do, daily.
Finally, all these tips and tips are the identical for the same service with Grab or another ride-hailing app. Except the way your ride is charged, which is an internet utility that does all that for you, so you understand before your rider arrives.
All the pre-amble aside, it stays the best way to get level to point for type distances across the capital. The same applies for wherever else in Thailand however we predict that 99% of Thailand’s motorbike taxis are in Bangkok.
Now, in some elements of Thailand, the bike taxi isn’t as familiar as other parts. In Phuket, for example, the local taxi mafia have restricted the utilization of bike taxis to the extent they’re very troublesome to search out, besides perhaps round Phuket Town.
You can barely walk 50 – one hundred metres without seeing a clump (we’re unsure of the collective noun for motorbike taxi drivers) of drivers, clad within the orange safety vest, parked by the side of the road, ready to take you wherever you need to go. And, while on the street, you’ll see even more of them, in amongst the pink and green-clad delivery service bikes and all the other visitors.
They are, by far, the most popular type of public transport in Thailand.
The drivers are known as ‘win’. Or win drivers.
Considering these (usually) guys do this all day, every single day, they’re very skilled at driving a motorcycle in and round traffic, with an individual, most likely heavier than them, perched behind them.
The variety of accidents involving motorcycle taxis may be very low.
Now, if you suspect your driver isn’t up to the duty, or appears drunk or excessive, just politely decline the experience and hold strolling. The next group of drivers isn’t distant. Caveat emptor!

Regarding security, kudos to Thai women who hop on to the back of the seat side-saddle, usually without gripping onto the handle behind the seat whilst ordering one thing from Lazada on their cellphone or doing their make-up, all in a brief skirt and normally with excessive heels. Skills!
We don’t ever seem to hear about them falling off. How they actually keep on the seat, especially doing a left turn (they at all times seem to hang their legs to the left) is one of Thailand’s mysterious magic tips that no westerner will ever, every understand, or grasp.
Then there are the ‘modern’ Thai women who do it like the guys, with their legs straddled either side of the seat. They either weren’t born with the ‘special’ magic abilities or their costume makes that unimaginable, or unseemly.

Locally, they’re called ‘motorcy’ and they are normally smaller Honda or Yamaha motorcycles between one hundred and 150 cc. In greater than 10 years I have by no means ridden on anything larger though a couple of, only a few, motorbike taxi riders do use larger motorbikes. But, 99% of the time you’re going to be perched, gripping the handle on the back of the seat, on a inventory, normal factory motorbike, made in Thailand.

There aren’t any meters on a bike taxi. The drivers are all a part of various gangs across the city and have a “turf” that they dare not stray from. They know the realm, within a 2 kilometre radius, intimately – each soi, every constructing, each bar, each weird pronunciation of all of them.
They additionally know, with medical precision, exactly how a lot it’ll value to take you the place you need to go. They’ve taken people to your vacation spot tons of of instances (probably). Don’t hassle attempting to cut price your fare, except they suppose you’re a newbie and they quote one thing outrageous.

Again, after 10 years, I’ve never been cheated, or over-charged, for a motorcycle taxi fare. And that features tons of and hundreds of rides.
Typically the fares are around 20 baht for 200 metres – 1 kilometre, then perhaps forty baht for 1 – 2 kilometres. You get the idea… Carry some small change – 10 baht coins, 20, 50 and a hundred baht notes with you. Giving them a 1000 baht observe on your 20 baht experience is going to turn out to be YOUR problem.
Know the place you’re going and have your Google maps open with the vacation spot, or get somebody to put in writing the title down for you (in Thai if possible) earlier than you chat to your rider. If you’re barrelling down a street and also you think you’re going the mistaken means, just gently faucet your rider on the shoulder and point in direction of the kerb. They’ll stop and let you off.
Keeping things easy will make for a straightforward journey. Complex navigation or bartering for a few baht discount will just confuse and slow down the process. These bike taxi riders generate income when they’re taking someone to their vacation spot. They haven’t obtained the time to faff around with a foreigner who they in all probability don’t perceive.
Motorcycles in Thailand are well able to carrying two people. I’ve seen as much as five. But the law truly restricts riders to just two. Now, just making some gross assumptions right here, most adult foreigners are, on common, going to be heavier than the rider on the entrance. That’s positively not the safest approach to travel with the centre of steadiness closely skewed in the direction of the rear of the machine.

So, simply use your frequent sense. If you’re over 100 kilograms, take a normal taxi and simply don’t push the engineering limits of the bike or the abilities of the person steering it.
Equally, if โซล่าเซลล์ราคาถูก wobble your weight side to facet you’ll make the driver’s job more difficult. And going around corners, just maintain behind the driving force and don’t attempt to compensate by leaning in the different way. To put it plainly, just shut up and don’t transfer around too much.
You legs will allow you to grip onto the seat for your aspect to facet movement. But when that bike hits a bump, so will you, propped up there on the rear, instantly over the rear wheel. Some of the bikes probably haven’t seen a proper mechanical service for years (although I’ve by no means skilled a single mechanical or engine failure in a decade), so the shockers on the back could either be a bit worn out, or pushed to the limit with the fats guy on the again.

So count on a quantity of bumps and management your ‘altitude’ with a firm grip on the handle at the rear of the seat. Don’t try to put your hands across the waist of the motive force, he’s not going to appreciate it. Or a minimal of take him out on a date first.
As already talked about, there probably won’t be a motorcycle helmet for the passenger. Thai police utterly ignore this when you are on the back of a motorcycle taxi. If you ask for one before you permit the taxi rank (ummm, the aspect of the highway with a grotty old umbrella and some equally grotty plastic seats) they may often discover one. But, actually, it’s simply not common apply for the passenger to wear one on a motorbike taxi, though police will gladly fine two foreigners sharing a motorcycle if they don’t both have a motorcycle helmet.
Second notice about helmets, they’re hard, in fact. But when you’re using along your face might be immediately behind their helmet. In the case of a sudden stop or decelerate you may find your face smashing into the rider’s helmet.

Your teeth, whist made from long-wearing calcium and coated in exhausting enamel, aren’t any match for the onerous plastic. Nature didn’t anticipate you’d be riding on the again of a bike taxi in Thailand and your enamel may come off second greatest if you’re not conscious of the potential for a sudden stop.
This is the place another miracle of Thai genetics comes into play the place the heads of Thai individuals appear completely locked from the neck up, and incapable of slamming into the again of the rider’s helmet, whereas international necks wobble around like the trinket animal toys sitting on the dashboard of Thai automobile taxis.
And level to level. If you lined up all of the alternate options to getting around nearly wherever in Thailand, the motorcycle taxi will win, each time. When you add the dynamics of site visitors in Bangkok, the margin turns into increasingly wider.
The riders will casually make their means by way of the visitors, becoming via gaps you thought were unimaginable. Your occasional gasp at their expertise in steering between the automobiles will normally not be appreciated. Just shut up, keep your legs in and marvel at their talent.
Red lights? Well, generally you’re just going to have to shut your eyes at site visitors lights as a result of the complete understanding of the purpose of traffic lights may have been lost on some motorcycle taxi riders. Again, your lecture about the way visitors lights work will not be both well understood or appreciated.
There are inherent risks of travelling on the back of a motorcycle in Thailand, and The Thaiger doesn’t suggest you achieve this except you’ve weighed the risks against the attainable advantages.
But the bike taxi is utilized by tons of of hundreds of passengers every single day, and normally with none misadventure within the overwhelming majority of circumstances. If you wish to experience living in Thailand, as a local, you’re simply going to have to use motorbike taxis at a while.

Leave a Comment