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Ko Samui taxi/songthaew drivers are very rude

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Ko Samui taxi/songthaew drivers are very rude

I love my travel within Thailand. I especially loved my stay in ChiangMai. Travel was very cheap there and 20BHT per ride in songthaew. Sometimes you have to bargain if you want to go far but the drivers had a smile on their face all the time.

Now that I am in Samui, I find the drivers asking for ridiculous prices, 100-200bht for a short ride. When you try to bargain they look away. I think this is due limited # of taxis and songthaews in Samui. They start charging ridiculous prices if the weather is bad or late at night, leaving tourist stranded. I might reconsider coming to Samui again due to this reason.

There are many places in Thailand where they appreciate tourist. Next time I might consider Bali as an alternative.

Copenhagen, Denmark
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1. Re: Ko Samui taxi/songthaew drivers are very rude

Hi there - absolutely agree!! We're here now and came from north. Loved chiang Mai and the general attitude there. Koh samui is crowded and People tend to be less friendly but more business minded. Chaweng stretch is a circus.

Gold Coast
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for Ko Pha Ngan, Ko Samui, Thailand
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2. Re: Ko Samui taxi/songthaew drivers are very rude

Didn't use to be this way 15 years ago, but then there weren't any taxis, just songthaews and everyone was friendly. Mass tourism does that to a place - such a shame. We were there last year and used the songthaews instead of taxis, although one night we did use a taxi in Bophut and he was a lovely man, told us he hated the way Koh Samui was going.

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for Ko Samui, Thailand
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3. Re: Ko Samui taxi/songthaew drivers are very rude

wait until you are encounter with bali's taxi !!

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4. Re: Ko Samui taxi/songthaew drivers are very rude

I am sorry but I can't believe that some people complain about such petty things. Everyone has a choice, if they don't like it don't go there or walk instead.. I hate it when some tourists try to screw the locals for as much as they can. Lets put in perpsective a saving of 100baht is equivalent to about $3 Australian ...WOW ! or even less in Canadian currency

I believe that petrol prices in Samui are on a fairly similar level to Australia and expecting to only pay 20baht (about 60 cents $A) for a trip is unrealistic and although some of the drivers may have a smile on their face suggest that at that level they would struggle to cover costs.

Longer term drivers will dissapear and with less drivers available costs will go up. Yes Thailand has a culture of bargaining but visitors need to underatand that the level of negotiation needs to be aligned to costs and be realistic.

We were in Samui in June and used songthaew's quite a bit and had no problem paying 200 baht to get home at night ( a whole $6A). Likewise when we were in Koh Tao before Samui we stayed in a fairly remote resort and accepted the fact that if we went out at night it would probably cost us more to get home. Which is no different to going out in Melbourne at night and paying surcharges to get home.

Apart from a few people in the street trying to push time share are other dodgy things I had no issue with anyone on Samui and thought that all our Songthaew drivers or cab drivers were polite.

We are not made of money but believe that service providers should be paid fair and reasonably and bargain to a fair and reasonable level and not screwed down to the last baht which after all in western currency is stuff all.

If people don't accept, this they have a few choices, don't go out at night, swap the thongs for a pair of Asics or head to Bali.

Just my view, but we love Samui and hate it when some people expect to screw the locals down all the time to the very last baht.

Newcastle N S W
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5. Re: Ko Samui taxi/songthaew drivers are very rude

What u don`t get rude or heaven forbid bus or taxi drivers who don`t smile in your part of the world.

On Samui I refuse to use Taxi`s & stick to Songtaews & if I don`t like what they offer I don`t get on.

I did have a bad experience many moons ago which looking back was as much my fault as the Green Mango songtaew mafia.FRIENDLY TIP if your leaving that area late at night read around 2am from my experience it`s best not to catch a songtaew from the top of Soi Green Mango just head in the direction of your accom & pick one up roadside

Late at night it`s supply & demand worldwide.I`ve had some interesting times trying to get a cab late at night in Kings Cross in Sydney

Well said Melb Traveller... I had a mate on a tour once (only once) who was trying to continually screw the locals wether it be stallholders or songtaew drivers etc for the equivelent of 20c AUD.To this day he still is dirty he never got invited on other tours..

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6. Re: Ko Samui taxi/songthaew drivers are very rude

Melb Traveller makes a fair point.

Do please appreciate that the cost of living for Thai people somewhere such as Koh Samui is much higher than places such as Chiang Mai. Those prices were cheaper than tuk tuk on Phuket, but Phuket cost of living for Thai people is the highest in the country !

Yes I think at a guess here fuel is about the same as Australia. Vehicle costs are in fact higher in Thailand, I know this when we have visited Australia my husband looks at car prices and they are much cheaper.

Cost of housing, land etc are going to be higher on Koh Samui and that applies to local people , and like anywhere in the world day to day living costs go up.

Most goods have to be shipped over to Samui, so costs are higher.

Plus, I often mention how a songthaew ride in Chiang Mai is B 20, in Jomtien, Hua Hin or Cha Am it is B 10, but these places have a large local market of customers and ply the streets constantly. They are not having to rely on foreign tourists for their inclome.

B 100-200 for a short ride, yes it is high compared with songthaew prices elsewhere but it is a different situation.

Although songthaews plying their regular route are cheap in other places, if you want even a songthaew in other place to take you just yourselves on a particular route to a particular location, then they would charge a flat fee.

People have to make a living. A balanced view is needed.

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7. Re: Ko Samui taxi/songthaew drivers are very rude

Once I got in a songthaew in north Lamai and a half naked foreigner was already in. He got out at Wat Lamai and gave the driver money. Sitting behind the driver I saw him looking at 10 Baht - shaking his head but he drove on.

Some 100 mtrs further he got stopped by a couple asking for the fare to Nathon and he gave the correct price. When I got out in Nathon I told the driver that I liked his reaction: He got cheated by a foreigner and did not cheat other foreigners. We broadly smiled at each other.

Anyhow it is always recommended to get to know the fares in advance and not from the driver. It is so easy to stop a songthaew to get in to ring the bell get out and pay the correct amount - and mostly you will even receive a thank you smile.

Perth, Australia
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8. Re: Ko Samui taxi/songthaew drivers are very rude

Can I ask in this thread as there seems to be some knowledge of taxis, whether it is possible to hire a taxi for the day in Koh samui? How much would the cost be do you think?

Edited: 10:53 pm, August 03, 2011
Bendigo, Australia
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9. Re: Ko Samui taxi/songthaew drivers are very rude

I have always found the songthews to be the most reliable form of transport in Samui. You may not get a smile from the driver but remember that they are actually the local form of bus public transport. Trust me, I wouLd much rather travel on this type of public transport than most others in my own country. Unfortunately, the taxi MAFIA seems to have taken over in Samui as it has in Phuket whIch is unfortunate.

My suggestion is if you don't want to use the local transport, hire your own car or bike. If you have a few people and are travelling around the island alot, they can actually work out alot cheaper. It also enables you to go where and when you want to

Tenerife, Spain
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10. Re: Ko Samui taxi/songthaew drivers are very rude

we went to bali last year and going again this year from phuket, the people or so nice and friendly not sure why sweetpea6468 put what they did? we are going to stay for 6 months in koh samui ( well base are self's there) and move around then fly to bali again as its cheaper to do from Thailand, but as it has been said if you do not want to pay the price find someone that will.maybe he was having a bad day and we all have them..but you are not the only one that has said that this place is more expensive than the rest of thailand not sure why mind,but they will lose a lot of tourists if they do not wake.

Edited: 2:58 am, August 05, 2011