After being royally ripped off in Bali airport by the taxi touts and searching in my bag for some sort of weapon in case I had to defend myself (all I had was a spork, but you can read more about that here), I was determined as hell to be more savvy when arriving in Thailand for the start of my backpacking trip and to know how to get a taxi from Suvarnabumhi airport in Bangkok without being taken for a ride by taxi drivers looking to prey on innocent unsuspecting tourists such as myself.
So, here is how to get a taxi from Suvarnabumhi airport in Bangkok
When you come out from the baggage area, go down the escalator or use the lift to the floor below (level 1 and also ground level) and follow the signs to the public taxi stand. Go to the short trips queue and when you get to the touch screen it will print you out a ticket which will give you a bay number, the driver’s name, the licence plate number and contact information for the Ministry for Transport.
Go to the bay and your driver will meet you there. He will want to see your ticket, but try and get the ticket back, otherwise take a photo of it before you give it to him. When he meets you, tell him where you want to go and say “meter please”. He should do this anyway as they are required to do so but just check that he actually does and you see the red 35 baht on the meter.
If you want to be extra cautious then keep the door open until he has turned it on and, again, if you want to be extra cautious then don’t put your bag in the trunk, just in case he refuses to put the meter on and then you are stuck with your bag in the trunk.
Make sure that you have cash for the taxi as they do not take card and it would be helpful to have your address printed out in Thai, as it is very unlikely that they will speak good English.
If your driver refuses to play ball then get out and either take your ticket to the desk to complain or get a new ticket from one of the members of staff there.
The airport toll is 50 baht so be prepared to give this to your driver for him to pay. Do not worry if you do not have exact change as they give the driver the change and he should give it straight to you. I then paid a further 25 baht for highway tolls. There was very bad traffic when I arrived so my journey took over an hour but in total the taxi only cost me 345 baht, which is about £9, so very reasonable! I also tipped him because he was honest, and I feel it may deter him from going rogue and trying to cash in on tourists by not switching the meter on.
I hope you find this guide useful and it saves you a bit of time/stress if you are arriving on your own at the airport!