There are a few things in Bangkok that pose a challenge, perhaps one of the most common and often frustrating is trying to get around the city when in a hurry. The BTS during rush hour can be a dizzying experience, and while handy, is not going to get you somewhere as fast as you’d like. On the other hand driving or taking a taxi, more times than not, will leave you stuck in traffic. Then there is the truly annoying situation when you have to spend 20 minutes trying to flag down a taxi driver that is finally interested in taking you to your destination.
The saving grace for getting around this city in a hurry is the motorbike taxi men. These guys are fast, effect and won’t break the bank. Recently a member of Bangkok Expat Life team was put in a situation where she needed a motorbike driver to save. She had an appointment near On Nut station that she urgently needed to get to coming from Asok. Poor planning and the appointment being at a less than ideal time of day to get around the city, left her with no choice but to use a motorbike taxi. She was able to quickly flag one down and give the location of where she was heading to. She sorted a fair price and it was off to the races.
“I barreled past and cut around cars and taxis that hadn’t moved in ages. Riding up onto the curb and back down to the street, I was taken down roads and soi’s I never knew existed. We made it to the finish mark with plenty of time to spare. I was visibly thankful that the driver had taken me so quickly and he was obviously equally as excited that I was happy.”
These motorbike drivers are some of the cities biggest unsung heroes. They run a very crucial service working in the background of the cities network. The drivers work hard and for a fair wage to get the cities residents to their destinations. Often they will work regular jobs 9-5 during the week and then on nights and weekends will continue to work for the extra cash to provide for their families. A few of these one-man chauffeurs have no or very little schooling and some don’t even have drivers licences but learn how to drive a motorcycle so they can have an income.
Many people rely on motorbike taxi drivers guys to get them short distances under any circumstances. People take the motorbike taxi driver’s to the metro station when the heat is painful and walking there would give you the appearance you have just come out of a steam bath. In the rainy season these guys are waiting outside to get people where they need to be, they don’t let the rain stop them from doing their job.
They are just very hard working, honest people. And it’s easy to take these guys for granted, but if these drivers weren’t around to save us time and sometimes save our skin, we would all certainly feel the change.