How it works:
- Version 1: charging an exorbitant flat fare instead of using the meter. Note: taxis in Chiang Mai are un-metered.
- Version 2: offering a low rate only to increase it in the middle of the trip; or claiming the initially agreed upon fare is for each person.
- Version 3: claiming a place is closed and sending you to “recommended” shops/places (usually low quality places) where he gets a commission (e.g. Sombon Seafood copycats), to an expensive or fraudulent tour operator or to a Khlong tour.
- Version 4: adding a fee (e.g. luggage, booking) or shortchanging.
- Version 5: taking a detour or longer route to inflate the fare.
Places to beware:
- Anywhere (e.g. airports, tourist attractions, hotels, transportation hubs)
What to do:
- Avoid: taxis at tourist spots (e.g. Grand Palace).
- Photo: take a photo of the taxi number and driver’s license.
- Overcharging: ensure meter is turned on or research a fair price to negotiate with – check online fare estimators, your hotel/hostel staff or taxi booking apps (e.g. Grab, Easy Taxi).
- Longhauling: be very clear when communicating your destination. Check your phone’s GPS to see if you are headed in the correct direction, though detours may be taken to avoid jams.
- Alternative: Klook (best day tour platform in Asia) has 100+ other transport options.