Bangkok's Best Taxi Driver Plus Two More

After seeing review after review of how Thailand's taxi drivers (Bangkok in particular) can take you for a ride, I started reading up on tips and tricks on how not to get scammed.  The net is choc-a-block full of tourists getting ripped off and so this post is to help travellers to Thailand get in touch with reliable taxi drivers in Bangkok, Chiang Mai and Phuket.  

We had an approximate idea of how much it would be to travel to a few of the far-off places on our itinerary from other travellers who had posted online (possibly people who were scammed as well).  Here's where I should add that my bargaining skills are the pits and so being armed with all this information does absolutely nothing if you aren't prepared to put your foot down when you're being ridiculously overcharged, ha!

Having said all this however, we were extremely lucky when it came to taxi drivers and as soon as we came across a friendly and reasonable driver, we retained him/her for the rest of the leg in that city.  Also made things a lot easier to have a taxi on call when you're travelling with small children.


Bangkok's Best Taxi Driver

Though Bangkok was the last of our destinations, I have to mention Phaisarn Pinakase first.  We accidentally came across his taxi at a bus stop and couldn't have been happier.  His rates were pretty much HALF!!! of what we'd been quoted by other drivers and after finding an official looking rate by the km table behind his seat, realized that he was playing it fair and by the book instead of trying to make a quick buck.  In fact, he was always hesitant to charge us for any detours we suggested throughout the day.  Just a soft-spoken, friendly family guy working hard to support his wife and little son back home in Northern Thailand. 

Phaisarn always arrived on time, no matter how early a start we had each day.  He knew his way around Bangkok and took the most direct route to each place (Google Map is a tourist's best friend!).  He would advise us to keep an eye on our belongings in places known for pick-pocketing and also gave us suggestions about what to see when we had free time.  If you're ever in Bangkok, give Phaisarn a ring on 082-488-4143. He comes highly recommended.  

Chiang Mai

We were fortunate enough to get this taxi right at the airport and from the minute we hopped into his Fortuner, it was go, go, go!  Tom (that's his nickname, I failed to make a note of his actual Thai name unfortunately) had a ring binder full of information about various places of interest in Chiang Mai.  Flipping through this, we got an idea of what we wanted to do each day, even though we had our own itinerary.  We saw so much of Chiang Mai in the three days we were there, from National Parks and Wats to zoos and local markets.  The binder also had hand written reviews from happy travellers including one from Kuwait!

In addition to the typical touristy checklist we had, Tom took us to a few off the beaten track places that included an elephant ride (at an orphanage that owned and cared for elephants instead of the unethical elephant rides that we'd read about), enjoyed bowls of Khao Soi at a Thai restaurant that only locals frequented and even helped us find a laundry.  Tom is definitely one of the most animated and entertaining people I've met and his number is 080-126-8564.  


I think we were the most organized in Phuket.  We had a detailed itinerary planned and knew what we wanted to do each day.  Of course this all turned upside down when we ended up missing our connection flight [post here].  We'd already discussed rates with the airport taxi driver who had dropped us off at our hotel and taken down his contact details so when we accidentally stumbled on Mayura and found her to be drastically cheaper, we kept her for the days we were in Phuket.

We liked Mayura from the start, maybe it's because we found her to be an oddity as women taxi drivers are non-existent here in Kuwait.  She was a real pleasure and my girls adored her!  Her number is 084-839-9534.

Happy Travels!

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