I have been lucky to visit a few capital cities of the world. And while all of them have their charm, they have one thing in common, traffic jams! It seems to be true all over the world. Delhi has it, so does Bangkok and London. I heard of motorcycle taxis right from my first trip to Thailand. It is a pity that it took me so long to go for a Bangkok motorcycle taxi experience though. This time as I was staying a few days extra, BTS, motorcycle taxis and the like were high on my agenda! They are famed to cut through the traffic!
There was a stand right next to my hotel in Nana. My plan was to ask one of them to give me an aimless ride around the block for 100 baht. However there was a hitch when I tried to execute it.
I approached the friendly looking man at the stand. I was not sure if he would understand my English but he was good! I told him about my plan. The first thing he did was to laugh! Then he said he would not know what to charge for such a trip! I mean here I was, willing to spend money on a joy ride and here he was, refusing money because he was not sure what to charge!
I tried persuading him, saying charge whatever you want, take me around the block and drop me back at the same place. But he would not budge, he would just laugh. I think he found the idea novel, that someone just wanted a ride and come back to the same place.
Rather than admitting defeat I shifted gears and modified my plans on the go. I knew I was close to Terminal 21 a popular mall in Sukhumvit. I had no plans to go there immediately but then since the man would not give me an aimless ride, I asked him if he would drop me to Terminal 21. He smiled again and agreed to take me there for 30 baht.
It was a short ride. I also feel he saved me any surprises and drove with caution. Still I got a flavor of the real thing, your knees really get close to cars, almost brushing them! And the guy was going slow for my sake.
I was at my destination within a few minutes. I am happy that I went ahead and did the motorcycle taxi ride. I am truly surprised that the guy refused to make money out of me for what he thought was unnecessary expenditure on my part!
The next time I am going to be more adventurous and go on a longer ride, but this time I will do my homework and quote an actual location. Otherwise who knows the next person would refuse an aimless ride too!
PS. I didn’t ask his name, and I could kick myself for that.
PPS. I was invited by Tourism Authority of Thailand on a FAM Trip but I extended the trip by a few days. This is an experience I had while roaming on my own.