Author Archives: SaKdIpAt

Taxis in Thailand

There are many kinds of taxis in Thailand. Two of the kinds I would like to talk about today are the motorcycle taxis and car taxis. Many people would probably have been on them but may not have noticed the identifications of these taxis. I use their services all the time but it took a while to figure out how they function and how I would know which is owned by whom.

First, I would like to talk about normal Bangkok taxis. A lot of people may notice the color of these taxis and not knowing why they’re different from other colors. Well, they are! Most taxis we see around Bangkok are Green-Yellow taxis. These taxis are privately owned. This means that every one of these Green-Yellow taxis are owned by an individual. These taxis run on a daily basis. In Thailand, only a few manufacturers allow their cars to be converted into a taxi. These manufacturers include Toyota, Nissan etc. Honda cars are not permitted to be converted into a taxi. However, there are huge numbers of taxis running around Bangkok and most of them are Toyota Collora. Toyota, Camry and Soluna are not permitted to be used as taxis.

These cars will have to be converted by a legalized garage. As we all know, taxis have to last much longer than normal cars. After this process, a taxi showroom is generated. In Bangkok, most taxis are Limo (Collora) and the standard price of these Limos are between 6,00000-7,00000 baht. These days petrol is extremely expensive so most taxis turn to use Gas which additional installation will have to be initiated.

I’ve been talking to taxis about how many hours they’ll have to work to cover the investment they put in. Some of them told me it could take up to 5 years on a 5 day working basis. Some said it takes them around 3-4 years. This difference depends mainly on luck and the amount of miles they travel. They also added that customers tend to choose the look of taxis. The newer the better! Some drivers use a 6-year old taxi and said nobody really gets into his car because the air is not chilling and the seats are not comfortable. I feel sorry for these drivers.

Another kind of taxi is the Red-Blue taxis. These taxis are owned by a particular taxi garage. Meaning that there is an owner who invested some money to buy maybe 20 taxis and open up a garage to fix these taxis. There are many of these investors around. These garages operate by a manager (called “Tao-Gae” meaning old man). He fixes the time schedule of a taxi. For example, a taxi runs 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. There might be 40 taxis in his control. Some are new and some are old. A driver comes in and requests for a new taxi. This kind of taxi could cost him 1200 baht a day. In 12 hours, he’ll have to make more than 1200 plus fuel to cover his rental cost. However, he can go for a cheaper and older taxi which might cost him 700 baht. This request would be booked in advance and the driver will have to be a regular driver in order to work for the owner.

Also these days there are also special licensed taxis. By saying this, I mean there might be an all green colored-taxi or all yellow colored-taxi etc. These taxis have a company of its own. For example, the green taxis are owned by a particular famous person who authorized 20 taxis and opened a garage. This person has the rights to use another color taxi. In addition, meter charge is 35 baht. First 2 kilometers will remain at 35 and it costs approximately 3 baht every kilo. Radio taxis (if called) are charged an additional 20 baht. If you call one from the airport, an additional 50 baht is charged. Only the authorized taxis are allowed to enter the BKK international airport.

Another kind of taxi in Thailand is the Motorcycle taxi. Motorcycle taxis are very common in Thailand. They are fast, convenient and cheap. As we all know, motorcycle are very convenient for short distance travel. So, almost every house would have one. In Phuket, a house would have an average of 2 taxis. In Bangkok, most people use these taxi services instead. Nearly every 200 meters there is a “station” (called “Vin” in Thai). These stations are unique. This means, they would have a name of their own. A station has around 20 or more motorcycles depending on how big the station is. Every driver would have a vest and it is the key identification of these stations. A vest could cost around 10,000 baht. After buying one, you can become one of the members of these stations. A vest would have a unique color and a name. A station should always have someone there to be ready for service. Also at the station, there would be a price list. The price of destinations would be written on the list to be fair. However, the prices are not very different between Vins. I guess it is like marketing and there are rivalries.

This is all I wish to talk about today. I hope you can become more understanding of the functions of taxis in Bangkok at least. I would have no knowledge of taxis in other provinces but Motorcycle taxis should all be the same. I know for a fact that there are no car taxis in Phuket. Only motorcycle taxis and tuk tuk like taxis. These tuk tuk are not metered taxi so you would have to negotiate prices on your own.

My first teaching experience

Last Friday (17th June, 2005) was the day I will never forget. I got to teach for the first time in my life! At the age of 19, I never thought that I would be able to actually pass on my knowledge to the young students.

It was Richard’s class where I took the lesson from one of the senior teacher. The kids were very patient with me as I strived through my nerves. If it wasn’t if they were the top class, my work would prove to be much harder. I did not realize that kids at the age of 12 knew how to use MSN messenger. I remember when I first used a computer was when I was about 10 years old. Back then, MSN wasn’t so popular, but it was the golden age of ICQ. Nowadays, most of the kids know how to play these programs. Most of them are keen on playing online games which I never experienced when I was their age. The technology has become very advanced and very influential. It was one aspect that I could keep up the attention. There was one period where I think I lost them. I remember when I was a student in one of these classrooms, me and my friends always chat when teachers teaches. Now, I know how hard it is to keep these students focus. I was quite fortunate because having to be a teenager myself, I can express myself as a friend more than a teacher. Though, they still have to respect me in a teacher’s sense but outside, I can be their friends. I also happen to know and played a lot of online games they’ve been playing. So, I use that knowledge to attract their attention.

After that day, I have been assisting teachers in order to teach grade 5 & grade 6 students writing diaries and things that they’re interested. These links can be found at . However, everything is in Thai language. Soon, the class I taught will be writing their own blogs in English. That is what I taught them about. I taught them how to brainstorm whenever they want to write an essay or anything they wish to write. It is one thing I learnt when I first studied abroad. My teachers always emphasize about brainstorming and how efficient it could be in influencing the outcome. So, I want these students to start before it is too late. Most of the English blogs I want them to focus on is their diaries. They’ve been doing well in Thai and I’m sure most of them can express it well in English. Next step would be to write something unique. It is very difficult to express special occasions or activities even in your mother language, let alone your second.

Yesterday, I also went to watch Thai boxing at Rachadumnern boxing arena. It was one of the biggest boxing nights in the decade. Gate receipt income was a little over 2 million baht. There were many great fights throughout the night. I experienced a boxer being knocked down by the opposition’s elbow. He went down to the ground and was sent to the hospital. It looked very serious. However, news this morning states that he is fine. He wasn’t moving at all at the time. The main event was very entertaining as the boxer who received the best Muay Thai award was in action. However, he lost because his opposition was much better. I usually go to the arena once a month. I will get some pictures on my next visits.

I’m Back in Thailand

Interesting use of English! – More Thai road signs can be found at

Thailand must be one of the hottest countries on earth! I’ve been here almost 3 weeks now and been so lazy producing blogs. However, I think it is time that I start from now. I’ve been dying to produce blogs since I arrived back in Thailand but there has been so much to catch on up after 10 months of my absence. So, I would like to start with my first day since arriving.

London to Bangkok was a 12 hour flight. It wasn’t very comfortable as there were many people on board. However, it is quite good to travel at night because you get to sleep most of the time. Once the plane arrived in Bangkok, my feelings were very awkward as the weather was so much different at the time. Even though it was extremely hot in London a couple of days before I departed, the humidity here was greatly differentiated.

First couple of days were quite different as I got to drive to wherever I wanted again. Also, everything here is very cheap compared to items in England. For the first time in 2 months, I got to eat wealthy food again. My last 2 months in London was terrible. I hardly ate because I needed to study for my exams. I also had to submit a bunch of work.

After a week, I figured out that I wanted to use my free time to the most effective way. So, I decided to invest in the stock market. I’ve been using my mother’s account for the investment. So far, I’ve been making a bit of money from investing in the stocks I buy. I decided to invest in the stock market because I wanted to use my knowledge of Finance to make decisions.

I’ve also been watching a lot of cable TV since arriving. I cannot believe how many western movies/series are imported. Thailand is a country populated by non-English speakers but have a huge amount of western TV programs. There are also 6 sports channel which show coverage of Western sports especially European football. What excited me the most was the famous reality TV show, “Big Brother Thailand”. I’ve heard about it since I was in London by some of my Thai friends. There is actually a 24 hour channel monitoring the housemates’ activities. I missed about 2 months of action but from what I heard, it sounds very ridiculous. I mean, Thailand is a country which preserves their own quiet polite traditions. I heard that a couple got voted off because they were holding hands and apparently, slept in the same bed. I mean, how can you judge people from such action. They might deserve the grand prize more than anyone else. Also, it reflects on how people in Thailand think about what teenagers should and should not do.

I’ve also been playing a lot of golf since my arrival. I’m planning to go to Phuket in a couple of weeks but I’m still not a hundred percent certain. However, there are still many comparisons to be made and I’m sure I will come back and tell you what I experienced.

My last year in England

There’s an old saying “everything that comes, it goes”. Looks like I’ll be leaving England soon as well. I would not like to stress out why but I would say it is “personal problem”.

I would say that England is a very warm place (not the weather). I meant warm hospitality. You get chances to meet loads of different kind of people. I would never regret being here, though it is one of the best thing that has ever happen to my life. My one year here is full of hospitality. People here are very nice as many of those have had the same experience as me before. I wish to stay here longer but it doesn’t look like happening. From next month on, I would probably be going back to Thailand and start my life all over again.

Writing blogs here is a benefit for everyone as I get to compare and contrast between the two countries. I found that many things are very similar to our culture and it is adaptable. Unlike many other countries where people have difficulties adapting into.

London is lovely. I would suggest anyone who are ambitious to come and study here, you’ll never be disappointed. It might be a expensive but if you get a job, the wages are good as well. I was kind of hoping next year I would be able to work but it doesn’t look like it anymore. I would also miss my friends who are very nice to me. I’ve never had close relations with western friends. Coming to England make me learn that. I shall never regret it.

Lastly, I will not be writing another blog until I get back to Thailand as my exams are coming up. So, I guess this is my last blog here. If I ever shall come back again, I would love to!

Songkran in London

It has been weeks since I posted my last blog. My university coursework and exams has been suspending me from writing it. However, it is only a month away from my final exams. So I guess during these months, I won’t be able to write much.

Today I would like to talk about my weekend. It was a very interesting weekend as we celebrated Songkran in London. This is my first experience of celebrating this event abroad. It took place at a Thai temple in Wimbledon. It is the largest and only Thai temple in Europe. I can tell you that it is massive. I’ve been there before to celebrate Loi Kratong festival. Thai new year was no different. It was packed with people. Most people there were Thai but a lot of locals showed some interest by attending the temple. There were many traditional activities such as Thai traditional performances, traditional Thai music, beauty contest (Nang Song Kran) etc. There were also many food shops selling Thai food. It was a very nice atmosphere.

I very much enjoyed the day as I get to spend time with my family and friends. It is getting very late now, I must depart.