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Riding a taxi motorcycle is an efficient
way to travel for short rides or when there are traffic jams.
When riding, it is safer to wear an helmet even if most
Thai people don't wear it. The taxi motorcyclists have always to wear a
jacket with a number.
Taxi Motorcyclists can be found a the end of
"SOI" (ซอย), perpendicular roads to major roads
("THANON" - ถนน). Price must be
negotiated before. Taxis motorcyclists only operate in small area,
so if a customer wants to go far away, price increases because
the taxi motorcyclist must go back to his area.
In Bangkokm "SOI" roads are
an incredible maze joining major roads.
Some "SOI" roads looks like upcountry roads
with green lanscape and palm trees. Taxi motorcycles are a cheap way
to go from "SOI" to the main closer "THANON".
People living in "SOI"
often ask a taxi motorcyclist to fetch a taxicab for them and give them a 20 Baht reward fee.
In year 2003, motorcyclists
have called for action on racketeers. Drivers must pay protection money to the mafia
guys that run motorcycle taxi queues. The jackets give drivers a right to be there.
In Bangkok, it is common sight to see young ladies
going to work and wearing skirt. Due to this outfit, they need
to sit like an amazone on the motorcycle!
Upcountry, it often happens to see 4 to 5 people (two parents and their three children)
riding a motorcycle. Ten years old children already know how to drive motorcycles.
In Thailand a brand new motorcycle costs around 30 000 Baht for
basic models. Wearing an helmet is mandatory even if most Thai motorcycle drivers don't wear
one due to the heat. During Songkran and New year's Eve holidays, many motorcyclists die
due to reckless driving and alcohol.
Before taking a taxi or a motorcycle to
remote places, a good idea is to ask their advice to the
surrounding shops. They are always willing to help you and suggest the
Taxi motorcycles are very
efficient in traffic jams because they can go between the cars but beware
for legs which are very close to the cars. Sometimes they don't
hesitate to go in one way street in the wrong way! Many Thai people
don't use Taxi motorcycles due to potential danger.