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Bangkok Taxis

Bangkok Taxis

I just spent about a week in Bangkok and thought I’d pass along a few tips in the world of taxis in Bangkok. I want to preface this by noting that while I did take a lot of taxis over the last few days, I’m in no way an expert and this info is purely from my own perspective. I’d also like to point out that most of the advice I got about taking taxis was useless in practice.

Upon arrival in Bangkok we walked out to the taxi stand and were handed a printed flyer noting that meters are required by law in all taxis in Bangkok and to insist on the driver using the meter. Advice I read online also said to only ride in taxis that are using their meters. I don’t know if this is a new law or just one that is heavily resisted because through the entire trip, the one and only taxi who would use a meter was that first taxi from the airport. In all other cases the driver would just quote a price, and if we asked about the meter they would completely ignore the request. We passed on a few taxis because of this but realized quickly that if we actually wanted to get a ride in one we’d have to compromise.

Also, accepting an offer from a guy standing on the corner to get you a taxi is about the worst thing you can possibly do. We found in every case the broker taxis quoted much higher prices and always wanted to take us somewhere else. This includes the taxi guys who stand out in front of hotels. The solution that seemed to work best for us was to know where we wanted to go and offer the price we wanted to pay with the destination request. In almost all cases when talking directly to a driver this worked out flawlessly.

An example of this was this morning when we needed to get a ride to the airport. Since we had a meter taxi on the way in we know roughly what that ride should cost, the inbound ride cost us 300B. As we walked out of the hotel the street taxi brokers started yelling to us they would get us a taxi to the airport for only 600B. We replied that was way too much and we would only pay 300B. They scoffed, then came back with 500B. We continued to decline insisting that the ride should cost 300B and that was all we were willing to pay. They finally said fine and waved a taxi towards us. Luckily we thought to ask the driver about the cost and he said 450B. Bait and switch in effect. At the same time another taxi pulled up to drop some guests off at the hotel and we went to him directly “how much to go to the airport” “300B” “done!” we got in and paid him 400B when we got to the airport.

I think that unless you have much better luck than I do hoping to only ride in taxis with meters working is going to be problematic, and you’ll be much better off just knowing what you want to spend and offering that.

[Review] The Grill Tokyo

Those were not, as far as we could tell, actual marijuana leaves. But there is actual raw horse on that plate.

I adore Bangkok’s diverse and devoted eating culture. I like the unpretentious 20 baht noodles I can get down the street from my apartment, and I like that on the same block I can get something entirely pretentious that costs two order of magnitude more, and both will be delicious. I like the fresh fruit, I like the congenial atmosphere of the mid-range Thai restaurants, I like the local versions of Chinese and Japanese and Indian foods that I can get the same-but-different in the US. I like that exotic and morally problematic foods like shark’s fin inspire entire rows of restaurants devoted to their consumption.

The first time I ever set food in the food court at Siam Paragon, I wandered around and read the menu at every single food stall and restaurant, engaging in an odd sort of food voyeurism and strategizing future eating excursions. Afterwards, I compiled a list of ten things that really caught my attention:

  1. Shark’s fin
  2. Bird’s nest
  3. Steak and kidney pie
  4. Beard papa’s cream puffs
  5. Marbled horse (raw)
  6. Moussaka
  7. Squid ink tagliatelli
  8. Fois gras
  9. Kentucky fried chicken
  10. Whale

When my friend Steve visited for a couple days, I finally had a partner in crime to help me tackle some of the things on that list. Cream puffs fueled a couple hours of shopping (ok browsing), but once it was time for dinner, we decided to aim for the horse and the whale. This brought us to The Grill Tokyo, just a little bit down the hall from the huge food court, for a little “Japanese urban dining” or something like that.

It’s pricey (we spent about 2000 baht, with drinks), the sort of thing I would only do on a special occasion, but honestly, well worth it. The style is modern, but warm, and quiet, and freakin’ luxurious. We stuck to sushi and sashimi, and every thing we ordered was beautifully presented, perfectly fresh, simple, and like, the Platonic ideal of what that thing should be.

[Review] Indus Indian Restaurant

Look I’m a Londoner so any restaurant pretending to serve a good “Ruby Murray (Curry in cockney rhyming slang) gets me alert and wanting to check it out. Indus Bangkok (Sukhumvit Soi 26) has been around for a while and tonight was the best chance to check it out.

Mos Burger makes Thailand excited…

So the talk of the town is Mos Burger opening up branches in Thailand (yup things are slow here in BKK at the moment, be patient with us!)
Having been a chef in a previous life, I thought it was my duty to cut through the hype and head on down to the Central World branch and see what all the fuss was about.


Weekend Getaways: Koh Phi Phi

Out of all the Islands off Thailand, Koh Phi Phi was one of the hardest hit when the Tsunami of 2004 hit. Despite the millions of foreign donations raised, it seems that little has actually made it to the places that need it the most. Never less, Phi Phi is being reconstructed but in a mould that is unlike any other of Thailand’s beautiful islands.
Copyright DC 2007

Pandanus Bar/Bistro Review

Even though BKK’s nightlife is going through a serious slump at the moment, the same couldn’t be said for restaurants and Pandanus (50 Soi Nunta, Sathorn 1) has proved that all is healthy in the restaurant market.

Bar Review: V9 at the Sofitel Hotel

yah yah yah, you want views, you goto Vertigo, right?
pfft, overpriced and full of tourists and no chance of getting a well priced cocktail and still getting to sit at the window overlooking bkk.

If you like wine, love views of this city and want a well priced drink, then V9 in the Sofitel hotel (188 Silom Rd) is perfect

Benjasiri Park

Long for a touch with nature? No need for a long tiring journey to the countryside. Simply get on the BTS to Phrom Pong station. Less than a minute walk you will find yourself in a little green world that is right between the Emporium and the Imperial Queen’s Park Hotel.


Benjasiri Park (Queen’s Park) is a refuge from the daily chaos of Bangkok. When you walk in, the green atmosphere refreshes you, and the mild scent of wet grass gently touches your nose. Because everything seems to slow down and moves more at its natural pace, you feel the calmness and enjoy your life a little bit more.

Cinemas in Bangkok

Although there are a million things you could do to past your time in Bangkok, going to a movie is still everyone’s all time favorite. To prove how much Thais appreciate movies, we have what is called “Bangkok International Film Festival” every year. Coming back to the main topic today, Bangkok houses a large number of cinemas, ranging from small artsy to huge commercialized ones, scattered around Bangkok. The well known ones are Major Cineplex, EGV (Major Cineplex subsidiary) and SF Cinema. To guarantee the chance of receiving constant revenue, the major cinemas mainly offer foreign blockbusters and local mainstream films. If you’re more into something different, try the smaller cinemas like Lido and House as they have interesting alternative and art films showing. For the 3D fans, you try the IMAX theatres on the very top floor of Siam Paragon, but if you’re looking for a little bit more adventure, you could try a 4D theatre called “Sanyo 4D Xventure” by the Siam Ocean World.

Although the normal ticket prices in Bangkok range around 100 to 140 baht, they depend on the types and the quality of seating that you choose. The prices premium seating such as EGV’s “Gold Class” and Major’s “Emperor” range around 300 to 500 baht. Why? Because you’re paying for the comfortable reclining seats in a smaller theatre. If you’re spoiling yourself at a lower price, you could try the sofa-style seats that some of the cinemas offer.

Because the temperature of the theatres in Bangkok could freeze you to death, do bring light sweaters and avoid wearing short skirts or shorts at all costs. After a series of previews, each theatre will play the Royal Anthum and the audience is expected to stand up to show respect and courtesy to the King Bhumibol Adulyadej. Choosing not to do so, you could immediately become a social outcast, and so the best policy is still the “when in Thailand, do as the Thais do”.

Feeling like going out for a movie? Check movieseer for movies and showtimes.


Reflections is a little pinkish ‘Art Hotel’ with only 30 rooms located in Soi Ari. What’s so interesting about it? Well, each of the 30 rooms has been individually and uniquely designed, from Post-Industrial to Art Deco, by well known Thai and international artists to accommodate and satisfy art lovers.


Hungry? Don’t have to look very far. The Reflections restaurant is just a couple of steps away from the hotel. It serves absolutely delicious Thai and Japanese dishes at rather low prices ranging between 60 to 250 bahts. The hotel also has an outdoor pool and a funky bar for you to chill after the sunset. If you fancy a little tour somewhere, you can check out the tour desk.

To get there, it’s pretty easy. Just hop on the next BTS, get off at the Ari Station, and walk toward the Sapan Kwai Station. You should turn left into Soi Ari (Phaholyothin 7) and walk down a little further. Once you see the extremely bright pink building, just turn left and you’re there! If you’re not quite sure of how to get there or have any question, just call (66) 2-270-3344.

Having visited the place myself last Wednesday, I would just have to say that it’s a place that you should visit at least once. You’ll just fall completely in love with this cute and charming hotel.

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