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BANGKOK 20 August 2019 03:15

VincentRJ

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About VincentRJ

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  1. I recently returned from a short trip to Bangkok, on my way to and from Siem Reap from Australia, during the month of July this year. I spent a few days in 3 different hotels in Bangkok, travelling by taxi from and to the airport and by taxi between each hotel, plus a couple of other sites I visited. Whenever the hotel called a taxi for me, I insisted on a metered taxi. On one occasion the taxi driver refused to use the meter and wanted 500 Baht to take me to my destination, on the basis that the way would be congested and would take a long time. I rejected his offer and waited for another taxi to arrive at the hotel. As I sat in the taxi, I watched the meter very gradually rise from the initial 35 Baht. I was amazed how slowly it rose. The traffic was fairly congested but not nearly as bad as 'rush hour'. When I arrived at my destination, well over an hour later, the total fare was 290 Baht, approximately A$14. I couldn't help thinking, 'what a bargain'. In Australia, such a trip would have cost me between $50 and $70 AUD. From visits to Thailand many years ago, I had received a rough impression that the general cost of living in Thailand was about one third of the cost of a similar lifestyle in Australia. On this trip, it became apparent that this was no longer the case. Hotels in Bangkok, even during the off-peak period of July, seemed just as expensive as similar quality hotels in Australia. The only item that still seemed to be 1/3rd of the cost, or even less, was metered taxi fares. I can understand why there's a move to increase taxi fares. Seems perfectly fair in view of the general increased cost of living in Thailand (or at least in Bangkok).
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