Bangkok, meet Uber – the solution to all your taxi problems.
I’m going to try and not elaborate much upon how I feel about the Bangkok taxi industry. I don’t want this post to be rude or an angry rant. I am aware that there are a variety of factors at play which have resulted in the taxi service being the way it is. Anyone who has ever been here knows exactly what I’m talking about. With that being said, all I expect is a taxi to take me to where I want to go, not smell horrible, drive on a taxi meter and not be drunk or high. I don’t think that’s too much to ask. Luckily, I have found a service that provides all that. To top it off, they provide SO much more. Get excited.
Uber is a full on transportation innovation. It’s another one of those business things that make me drool. I’m such a loser. It isn’t even that new, but it recently arrived in Bangkok and I have quickly become obsessed.
Founded in 2010 in San Francisco, Uber is a mobile application service that connects passenger with driver and has virtually revolutionized how you get around a city. They have also successfully branded Uber with such marketing finesse that it’s literally cooler to show up with Uber than your own private driver. Competitors are screwed.
But in all seriousness, I was skeptical myself. I first tried Uber using a promo code that gave me 300 baht towards a ride. Why not? In the end, I was more than impressed. Not only was the app extremely easy; you just click “set up location” and “request driver”, but the wait wasn’t long either. Plus you can watch the car slowly get closer on the map, which I found entertaining in my own childish way.
Ever since that first ride I have become a serious Uber lover. The prices are reasonable and the app has a fare estimator so you get a heads up beforehand. Generally, you get around the city for a few hundred baht. The only downside is it makes a taxi seem that much more unbearable.
There are a variety of Ubers available in Bangkok such as top of the line Toyota Camry as well as Mercedes. All Ubers are clean and comfortable with window shades for that evil sun. The cars never smell, which is really important to me. The drivers are polite, professional and english speaking. Finally, what may be the most important aspect of all, they drive safely with no drugs involved.
My only wish is that Uber had arrived a little bit sooner. I’m picturing the time I fell on my face trying to step off a motorbike taxi in front of Paragon. Please note that I was arriving at the front entrance of Fashion Week. Yes, cameras. In my defense, it was a really hard maneuver while wearing a silk midi skirt and platform Jeffrey Campbell heels. It was bad enough I ended up on a motorbike because no taxi would take me. But falling too? Come on, Elise! I needed you Uber.
Still not convinced? Here’s a video: