We arrived in Bangkok to find the protest movement intend to close the whole of Bangkok for a week starting on the 13th January, the day we fly home. Were told the roads will be shut down and access to the airport may not be possible?
Having checked the insurance which assured us we were covered for every eventuality we find there is a clause which says ‘except for civil unrest’ so if we can’t fly or have to incur any additional expenses, it will be down to us.
We were far more confident this time around. We made our way through the airport like Pro’s and our bags were first two on the carousel so we were out in no time.
Following the signs to ‘Public Taxi’ we went down the escalator to ground floor and out of the building to the little taxi booths and got in a queue. We gave the name of the Hotel to the guy at the booth who wrote out a slip and gave us a copy and one to our taxi driver who took our bags and loaded them in the Taxi.
There are two options for getting into Bangkok the quickest and easiest is tongues the expressway but this is a Toll and the drivers will expect you the passenger to pay the Toll which is 70 Baht in total.
You should also insist on Metered journey, as some might try to negotiate a fixed fee which will of course be significantly higher.
We got to our Hotel in record time avoiding Bangkok traffic jams which are horrendous.nthe Meter read 253 so I confidently gave the driver 300 Baht which I thought was a good size tip.
I was surprised when he got funny about this and had a bit of a rant, trying to get the bell hop involved in something I didn’t understand but clearly he felt cheated. Jaki suggested I had to give him an extra 50 Baht as we had booked him from the Airport ( this is correct.mon the paperwork we were given it does say if you take a taxi from an official taxi rank, such as at the airport, there is an additional fee of 50) so I gave him an extra 59 Baht and he was my mate forever.
However, when I thought about it later I realised my initial payment was only 3 Baht short and had I handed over 303 Baht, he would have been happy. No wonder he was beaming when I gave him an extra 50!
But this served as a lesson. What we consider to be an insignificant sum of money (3 Baht is about 6.5 pence) is infact important to working people and makes a difference to their standard of living.
What sort of socialist am I?