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CMNightRider

Mentally Unstable Songtow Driver

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I should have asked the driver if it was going to be the normal 20 baht.

Dear OP, the tuk tuk fees around here have never (well, not in the last 15+ years) been 20 baht per head. You're confusing what the normal, non-negotiated, fee is with a songteaw.

Never get in a tuk tuk without discussing and agreeing on the price ahead of time as there is no "standard" fee for tuk tuks. For the baht busses, if the driver is going where you want to go and doesn't ask for a higher price, then it's 20 baht per head.

The 1000 baht fee he demanded was ridiculous but you left yourself open for a weird demand when you didn't negotiate and agree upon the price up front. And my guess is you really pissed the guy off when you offered to pay him 60 baht for hauling three guys from Nimman all the way to Dukes.

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I was under the impression that the red songthaew's were minimum 17 baht and most every one paid 20 baht. This of course is subject to common sense.

The point I would like to point out is that even though the price has been the same for at least 4 years the cost of operating and living has risen and I see nothing wrong with them asking for more money. If you are on a retirement plan like SS that gives you a raise every year do you say no the old rate is sufficient. It is the same with the drivers in all the methods of transport. It cost them more to feed there family. The cost of living is going up.

I am noticing more and more the drivers asking for more money. The same as all most all of us did when working every year.

Yet we come to Thailand and expect people to serve us for the same price year after year.

1,000 baht was unreasonable but a 25 baht charge per head to Dukes on the river would have been a fair price. If it had been dukes in the Night Bazaar 20 baht would have been acceptable as they would have a chance of picking up another fare there.

Of course the meal would have cost you 30 baht more.

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I've been riding these red-cars for years and 20 baht is the usual price. If the driver wants more he will almost always state how much before taking you although sometimes I have been asked for 30 baht when alighting. They will soon drive off if the amount you offer is too low. And don't forget that they know how many people are hiring at what times of the day and in what directions so they know the business. If they don't want to take me somewhere I just wave them off knowing that they will probably drive around empty for a while. On a 5 km trip in traffic they might use up fuel worth 5-8 baht so they are still making money if there is only one passenger. As for offering 100 baht from Thae Pae to Lang Mo at 8pm - that's far too much. I do that trip at 11pm sometimes for 40 baht. I find most of the drivers are decent honest people, particularly if you speak Thai.

So with diesel around 32 Baht per litre a red songtow can travel 5km for 5 to 8 Baht in traffic?

So they can get between 20 and 30 km per litre? maybe we should all change cars!

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I should have asked the driver if it was going to be the normal 20 baht.

Dear OP, the tuk tuk fees around here have never (well, not in the last 15+ years) been 20 baht per head. You're confusing what the normal, non-negotiated, fee is with a songteaw.

Never get in a tuk tuk without discussing and agreeing on the price ahead of time as there is no "standard" fee for tuk tuks. For the baht busses, if the driver is going where you want to go and doesn't ask for a higher price, then it's 20 baht per head.

The 1000 baht fee he demanded was ridiculous but you left yourself open for a weird demand when you didn't negotiate and agree upon the price up front. And my guess is you really pissed the guy off when you offered to pay him 60 baht for hauling three guys from Nimman all the way to Dukes.

No, read the OP's statement carefully.

"Last week three of us stopped a red songtow driving down Nimmanhemin. We asked the driver if he could take us to Dukes, on the river. He agreed, and we entered the back of the songtow".

The OP has acted 100% correctly, no need for negotiation, unless the driver indicates otherwise. They did not hire the songtheaw exclusively, as the OP states there was another person on board who was apparently going further.........the driver was lucky to pick up an extra 60 Baht going the same way.

Edited by uptheos
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I am surprised that more of this doesn't happen. In Thailand the police do nothing when criminals demand money, so why wouldn't every business in Thailand try to rip everyone off?

Why? Because you're logic is absurd generalities and assumptions.
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Sorry to be the Nth person so say this but: Did not first negotiate the price? rolleyes.gif In any case do not believe that 20baht does not still "cut it" as one forum member has asserted. For a few kilometres 20baht is no big deal. For example most times I can go from say Tha Pae Gate to Airport Plaza Central or Lotus Kad Suan Kaew for 20baht. Sometimes must settle for 40baht and rarely as much as 50baht during rush hour.

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I've been riding these red-cars for years and 20 baht is the usual price. If the driver wants more he will almost always state how much before taking you although sometimes I have been asked for 30 baht when alighting. They will soon drive off if the amount you offer is too low. And don't forget that they know how many people are hiring at what times of the day and in what directions so they know the business. If they don't want to take me somewhere I just wave them off knowing that they will probably drive around empty for a while. On a 5 km trip in traffic they might use up fuel worth 5-8 baht so they are still making money if there is only one passenger. As for offering 100 baht from Thae Pae to Lang Mo at 8pm - that's far too much. I do that trip at 11pm sometimes for 40 baht. I find most of the drivers are decent honest people, particularly if you speak Thai.

So with diesel around 32 Baht per litre a red songtow can travel 5km for 5 to 8 Baht in traffic?

So they can get between 20 and 30 km per litre? maybe we should all change cars!

And that has what to do with the payment for the vehicle and upkeep on it plus the cost of raising a family.

To give your self a better perspective on it.

Ask yourself if it cost you less to live in 2009 than it does today in 2014.

The driver is trying to support himself and his family not you.

When are people going to learn to keep their mouth shut other than stating where they want to go If the driver says yes get in it is an understood 20 baht.

If he wants more or thinks you will pay more he will say so. You may counter offer or just say no.

I find it best to say hello in Thai and if they make a ridicules price I simply counter with 20 baht in Thai or 30 baht in Thai depends where I am going.

Never never never say how much.

Occasionally I have got a crazy one who has tried to over charge me after I had got to my destination. 100 baht. I handed him the 20 baht and walked off. 1,000 baht was just plain ridicules the driver was probably on some thing or in bad need of a fix.

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If it's more than 2 km; I always verify price. There have been times when one wouldn't take 50, then a minute later there is one that will do it for 20 and not bat an eye. When the sun goes down, things get dodgy, and those who take long trips without verifying the price are clearly looking for pompom. The songtaews over at Nimman are looking for big fish to fry, especially the ones who are parked. Similar to MM soi 7....doing what we assume they do is the furthest thing from their minds. It's just not difficult to hold up two fingers and get a nod before getting in. If you are afraid to negotiate in front of your date; then get a new one. Red/yellows have taken good care of me over the years, and most are cleaner than the busses in the Browntowns of America. Sat by a med student, yesterday.

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There are some that are so un-confident of stating their exact destination because of language difficulty or little knowledge of the city, that they have a panic attack about the possible cost. so ask first to make certain. Even though to most the fare will only be 20 Baht, they feel somewhat reassured (but angry) that the max it's going to cost them is say, 100 Baht. They then project their anger over (knowingly) paying too much, on to other songtheaw riders who only pay the required 20 baht, by calling them cheap charlies and this helps them feel better.

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Why would people care about paying 100-200 bath per trip anyway? It is dirt cheap by most standard and would help those poor drivers improve their living condition. Besides, the current fleet of crappy red pickup truck is causing a lot of street level air pollution so I wouldn't mind paying more if it means getting a more quality service in better vehicles.

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The little Songtaews tend to be tour buses. Just by CM gate, opposite the gate just after the night market turn, there are always several off them parked up. The yellow songtaews stop there and farangs are always solicited by these jokers. I used them once several years ago when my car was in the shop and I was taking the girls to school. Same deal - the guy wanted 200 baht for 1 adult and 2 kids to Sacred Heart College and me coming back to the same spot (usually 60 baht all told - 20 X 2 + 2 kids at 10 baht) - I argued the toss, in Thai, and ended up giving him 80. Never used them again and advise people to stay clear. Heard many stories from Thais and farangs about that little cadre of people. They even go so far as they ask farangs on the back of the normal red songtaews parked there to move to the smaller ones on the pretence that it is leaving first - its simply so they can separate the Thais who cannot be so easily conned.

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20 baht from Nimm to [email protected]non standard route, holy cow...no wonder thailand is full of cheap charlies..bah.gif

How much do you think songtow drivers should charge to ride in the back of a pickup truck that tends to be hot and fifthly? I would prefer to have access to metered taxes like they have in Bangkok, where you ride in a comfortable air-conditioned vehicle or better yet public transportation. Paying 20 to 30 baht, depending how far your destination may be sounds reasonable to me. The fact a person may be a foreign tourist or retired foreigner should have no bearing on the fare that is charged. You can take your "cheap charlie" comment down the road. There is no one who is going to be influenced to visit or move to Thailand, so they can ride in the back of a pickup for 20 baht.

Read post #32....you took a ride without asking for the price...now you said the pick-up truck tends to be hot and filthy, why took it in the first place..if you want a ride in a comfortable air-con vehicle, there are taxis in CNX and they do accept booking..come on charlie, paying 1000 baht is not only expensive but $%&*# expensive..

but you can do more than the 20 baht on a non-standard route...

But rest assured you are not alone, there are those who complained about 5 baht when asked for extra ice....for there beer.

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and sometimes that extra 500 meters from a main intersection can mean the difference between 20 and 100. And so will staying out of big jams. Nimman is horrendous....not a good place to walk/bike/drive/ or taxi..so just walk to Suthep or Huey Kaew.

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I am surprised that more of this doesn't happen. In Thailand the police do nothing when criminals demand money, so why wouldn't every business in Thailand try to rip everyone off?

Why? Because you're logic is absurd generalities and assumptions.

I think you need to by a dictionary.

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