Saturday, 9 December 2006 airport and taxi drivers

I am now sitting at Bangkok airport...after spending 2 days in the city delivering a project management exam preparation course.

Am sitting at black canyon coffee enjoying a decent black coffee while updating the blog :)

Good to see that with the new airport, they AOT decided to provide free WiFi for its travelers. The new airport looks clean, organized. There is a good number of shops for people that want to spend their last money.. However, I feel they are a little bit the same. What I miss a little is the variation of little shops there was at the previous airport.

The rest is a serious improvement. Today it took me around 10 minutes to check in, pay the 500TBT airport tax, and go through immigration. The last 2 steps took easily 20-30 minutes in the previous airport.

My from and to trips could not have been more different. Upon arrival I walked to the taxi ramp, which is a little hard to find. Apparently the authorities had the plan to ban the use of normal taxi's and enforce the use of limousines. That would be a little silly. In my case the taxi fare is around 300baht + another 60baht for toll fares. In case of a "limousine" (don't think about a big chevy, or extended humvee, its more like a litle bit above standard car) this would set me back between 700-1000 Baht. So a serious difference without added value.

Anyway, when I found the taxi place again on Wednesday evening I had to queue up. Immediately witnessing an interesting story. Normally for trips outside the Bangkok area the meter is not used but fixed fares are used. So going on a meter would be silly in this case. Anyway, leaving from the airport adds an extra 50baht to the bill for what? Am not sure yet :) My first surprise was that the car was like an MPV type and it looked very well maintained. Then the next surprise was that the driver was fluent in English. THai people in general are friendly and polite..yes even the cab drivers! So that didnt come as a surprise..

---> to be continued as i have to board my plane now....

Ok, back again!

Those days I stayed at again. I had a different room then before till my good surprise. THe aircon here was adjustable in more variation then either hurricane or off. ANd even more important it was not blowing on the bed.

Was in Bangkok for 2 days project management exam preparation training for a major news company. Good crew, very professional approach.

My trip back was more interesting. When leaving the hotel, there it so happened that there was a taxi waiting outside. So, me drops the stuff in. So, i sit in the back...and think VAMOS! Of to the airport. Then the driver was starting to negotiate. 600THB and I had to pay for toll as well. Now, in reality the total fee from the new airport to hotel is around 370THB. Anyway, after going a bit back and forward we settled on my terms. I don;t mind negotiation, however a price is a price and if there is no added value then why added price?

So after 10 minutes delay we get on the road! Through the city towards motorway. When turning onto the motorway, he kind of turns around and mumbles..... do you know the way? Hmm interesting,that explains his way out price during negotiations. He had not been at the airport before.

Now, I dont know my way around Bangkok in detail, however the international symbol for and airport is......a pictogram of a plane! At pretty much every corner, turn etc the driver asked me which way. So my thoughts were, hmmm maybe try to explain the meaning of the sign. After a while I gave it didnt seem to click in.

The interesting bit was that he didn't know how to get back either. I do hope he has been able to get a return ride!