タイの乗り物の紹介 | I will introduce vehicles in Thailand.



I have only ridden in a taxi a few times in Japan, but when I lived in Thailand, I often took taxis for work.


There are various types of taxis in Thailand. There are normal taxis as well as bike taxis. There are also vans called “rotto” that many people ride in, although I’m not sure if they are considered as buses or taxis.


For ordinary people, taxis may be the most comfortable mode of transportation. However, I have had some strange experiences. For example, some drivers tried to force me to go on the highway, even though I told them not to.


In another case, a driver intentionally took a big detour, which resulted in a heated argument. I have changed taxis many times because of this.


Some drivers became confrontational, and I even felt that some of them had guns. At that time, I heard that some people in Thailand were shot during arguments with taxi drivers. Not all taxi drivers are professionals.


The driver who first accompanied me was a full-time driver for a company during weekdays, but he worked as a part-time taxi driver on weekends. It seems that anyone can become a taxi driver if they pay a contract fee.


The same goes for bike taxis. Bike taxis seem to be more casual. If you pay a fee to the taxi company, you can rent a jacket and an armband and work as a bike taxi driver.


For short distances, the price for normal taxis and bike taxis is almost the same. If it’s a really short distance, such as within 1 kilometer, I take a bike taxi, but if it’s a bit farther, a normal taxi is better. Bike taxis are convenient during morning rush hour, but I have witnessed many accidents during my year and a half in Thailand, so they are also dangerous.


I wrote earlier about a vehicle called “rotto”, which is commonly used when going to slightly remote areas. When I first lived in Ayutthaya, which is about an hour’s drive from Bangkok, I used to take the rotto to go to Bangkok privately.


It cost about 50 baht (about 150 yen) to go from Ayutthaya to Bangkok. However, since it is a normal van that has been modified, about 15 to 20 people can ride in it, so it is quite cramped. When I lived in Bangkok and the station was far from my condominium, I used the rotto to go from my condominium to the station.


There is a vehicle called “songtaew” in Thailand. It is like a bus and is a form of public transportation. It is occasionally empty, but usually very crowded, with people packed in tightly.


Because of this, I usually stood in the back, which looks like it could break at any moment. To inexperienced people, it seems quite thrilling. I have heard of people falling off it before, even when I lived there. I tried to take the rotto from my condominium to the station as much as possible, but usually took the songtaew from the station to my condominium.


By the way, I have never seen Japanese people riding the songtaew. Most of the passengers are locals, and I have never seen anyone like me, wearing a business suit and carrying a business bag, riding the songtaew. I must have looked quite strange. Well, there’s nothing I can do about it if I was poor at that time in Thailand.

ソンテオの写真 | The songtaew photo

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