Nightmare on song taew street

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Dear Hillary,

Can nothing be done about the song taew drivers?  For a tourist city they give the place a bad name with their stand-over tactics and demands for fares much greater than should be the case.  No wonder the foreign tourists look for taxis, but unless they have their wits about them they will again be quoted exorbitant fares, rather than using the meters.  From what we thought was going to be a good idea, this has turned it into a nightmare.  For a real fun time, try a tuk-tuk which will attempt to take you straight to the nearest jewelry shop that pays for their fuel.  Until our city fathers meet the song taew monopoly head on and produce a real public transport system, this will always be a third world tourist destination.

“Where you go?”

Dear “Where you go?”

Unfortunately you are quite correct, my Petal.  The song taews which do not have any fixed or marked destination will always be a turn-off for tourists, as the majority of the drivers do not speak another language.  Why would you expect them to get on transport with unmarked destinations?  Perhaps it is time for the TAT to get involved and issue ‘tourist bus’ licenses for drivers who meet a minimum standard in communication.  Hillary has given up with the song taews, taxis and tuk-tuks, and uses motorcycle taxis when possible.  They appear to be a friendlier bunch but will heed the “cha-cha” (slowly) instructions.  You do have to barter first, but that’s part of the fun of living in the ‘third world’.

  • Ronald from Rayong

    Motorcycle taxis is the cheapest thrill at all. Forget expensive Adventure Holidays, Bungee-Jumping and Roller Coasters. The target of the real friendly drivers is to bring the passenger from A to B without any stop whatsoever. They are professionals with this in Rayong City. If you need a higher kick, just let them know that you are in an hurry

  • sitanonchai

    You gave your own answer in your intro “Can nothing be done..”

  • Don Aleman

    Some Thai communities have Baht Busses of different colors designating their route and Pattaya could very esily do this with a simple colored card in the windshield area indicating where they are going.
    Negotiation skills will get you where you’re going at the lowest fare. First ask a driver ” how much to ?,” let him go, put 1/2 that amount in your hand, await another bus, tell him you want to go to…. for and hold up your hand.- rarely refused.