There are 9.1 millions people live here in Bangkok. They come in all colors and shapes. In short, they’re beautiful people.
The hotel that I am staying is in the middle of embassies’ enclaves and surrounded by dozens of big and small hotels. Every where you go, there are small boutique hotels which offer fair and reasonable rates.They are all well-connected with efficient public transportation.
You already know what modes of transportation that they have here, therefore I would like to relate my experience with a taxi service here in Bangkok.
I dreaded myself to take taxi service in Kuala Lumpur and cursed the driver right after stepped foot outside the cab. The experience always left a sour taste in the mouth and I have nothing sweet to talk about our taxis’. It is almost impossible to find a courteous and jovial taxi driver who would greet you and willingly activates the meter. I know that I am generalizing the entire community of taxi drivers as bad,greedy and had painted a very negative remark on them. The truth has to be told again and again for them to realize that, amongst these four major countries in South East Asia; Singapore, Indonesia and Thailand, Malaysia’s taxis are the worst, ugliest and the messiest. Now you have it, I said it out loud.
Here in Bangkok, I am so pleased with their taxi service. I have had only two occasions whereby the drivers were trying to haggle for the higher fares. That was also, myself to be blamed because I waved for a cab at the non designated area for pick up and those who stopped at this junction were mostly the unscrupulous and lacked of discipline drivers. The other was, asking for a slightly higher fare because it was very late at night, instead the usual fare of approximately 60 bahts and he asked for 100 baths, a mere 40 baths more. In both occasions, both drivers seemingly begged us to consider their offers with both palms clasping as if they were asking for my forgiveness. The hand gesture and slightly bowing of head is called Wai, it is a motion of gratitude and apologize. It is very sweet and comforting.
Back here in Kuala Lumpur, the taxi drivers are demanding as if they have been forced by the government to take the wheels and be on the road to collect passengers. They however went for legs, arms and teeth to get taxi’s permits then neglected their sought after license to carry people. When they haggle for the higher fares, they did it with full mastery of intimidation and forced us to pay exorbitant charges. If they willing to use the meter, the payment made would receive no change…sorry la encik, takda duit kecik ( Sorry mister, no change…no small nominations!) You felt cheated. To taxi drivers; You are the taxi driver, bastard! You should have your petty cash ready with change because it is nature of your business that people may give a larger nomination of cash. Let your customers decide whether or not you deserve for the extra change.
The interior condition of taxis in Kuala Lumpur also does not fare very well too. The cushions are mostly made of fabric which produce a stinging, pungent smell akin to the salted fish left in the boot. Most of the time, the driver’s own body odor that fills the cab. I would hold my breath most of the time while I had to take a cab and rushed out the moment fare has been made.
I am quite certain, not even a single KL’s taxi driver would read my blog. So, please do tell your friends and relatives who happen to drive a cab, to change their attitudes.It is an opened “sewage” system that our government fails to tackle. I would recommend the government or the taxis’ associations to send their drivers for crash course on trade with their counter parts here in Bangkok or Jakarta. Let them, first hand experience the excellent service from drivers in these two cities. Cocoon Malaysians have thought Bangkok as backwater or “left behind”.They are indeed have more beautiful buildings, scenic parks,exotic places and life styles befit those who live in Europe. Our superiority attitude would dwindle the minute you are here.
Malaysians should not travel far to Europe to experience an excellent taxi service…just hop onto the plane and come here to Bangkok, you will be amazed by the high standard of “in-cab service”.