Taxis come in different colors in Bangkok, Thailand. This makes me wonder: does the taxi color matter in Thailand? E.g., does the color has an impact on the ride fare?

More details for context:

I found https://www.amusingplanet.com/2014/03/bangkoks-multi-colored-taxis.html authored by Kaushik Patowary (but a lot of the text is copied verbatim from other sources such as Wikipedia for the following quoted paragraph):

The single-color are company taxis, personal taxis in cooperation or alliance and rental company taxis. These color include bright green, bright sky blue, red, orange, yellow, blue, pink, purple, violet and tan. The bi-colored taxis are in 3 kinds including yellow-green, red-blue and yellow-orange. The yellow-green are the personal private taxi. The red-blue are the rental taxi. The yellow-orange are the company taxi. Taxis are abundant in Bangkok so you can pick any color you like, but the yellow-green taxis are generally reckoned to be better, being owned and driven by the owners themselves.

However, the author failed to explain why "the yellow-green taxis are generally reckoned to be better" ("being owned and driven by the owners themselves." doesn't explain it).

The same page does explain the impact of the bus color on bus prices:

Bangkok’s colored transportation isn’t limited to just taxis; the buses are colored too and each color signify a different fare, route, ownership and whether or not it has air-conditioning. The non-air conditioned regular buses are colored a combination of red and cream. These are operated by Bangkok Mass Transit Authority (BMTA) and are the cheapest bus service in the city. With the air pollution and heat in Bangkok, traveling on these buses can be a trying experience, especially during daytime and rush hours. The white-blue color buses are no better - non-air conditioned – and the fares are slightly higher.

The cream-blue color air-conditioned buses, also operated by the BMTA, are slightly more convenient than the regular buses. The yellow-orange color Euro II buses are also air-conditioned and relatively new. Purple or red colored are micro-buses that are privately owned and offers an alternative bus service to the population. They are air-conditioned, have a fixed fare regardless of the distance travelled and only stops if there are still vacant seats available, so every passenger is guaranteed a seat.

but nothing is said about taxi fares.

This picture shows some taxi color examples:

Photo from https://www.flickr.com/photos/qabluna/2485448398/ (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 DEED) Author: https://www.flickr.com/photos/qabluna/

Photo from https://www.flickr.com/photos/qabluna/2485448398/ (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 DEED) Author: https://www.flickr.com/photos/qabluna/

1 Answer 1


There are technically no differences when it comes to the fare – the meters are calibrated the same. It's not like in say Seoul, where black "de luxe" taxis are much more expensive than regular white or grey taxis.

Having said that, since Bangkok taxi drivers are famous for being crooks, refusing often to turn on the meter, while demanding prices they pull out of any orifice they feel like, or turning on a trick on their meter that blinks 9999, one could say that the fare might be different from taxi to taxi...

This is where the difference in colors might make a difference: taxi drivers who own their car, and license, will have (slightly) less financial pressure than the guys who rent it from a company, and need to make bank every day – and will see a farang as an easy prey. But that's about it.

Oh and if you're looking for a receipt – the receipt printer is hidden, right on the dashboard, under a towel. It might not have paper anyway, and if they write a receipt for you, they'll charge you for it.

TL;DR: take the train from/to the airport, and the rest of the time, take a Grab.


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