“No meter. No meter,” The cab driver told me. I said, “Yes meter.” The cab driver then said “No.” I said next and walked away. Negotiating the fare is often an arduous task in Thailand. The next cabbie pulled up in a green and yellow compact. “Okay, yes meter.” So I got in out in front of the Grand Palace, one of Thailand’s best attractions. We drove ten feet before, “No meter.” I responded “Yes, meter, go hotel”

“Okay, yes meter. We go shopping.” I took a deep sigh and repeated the address to my hotel. “You like Thai girls f— f—? Boom boom? And handed me a greasy brochure of several young Thai women covered in suds and nothing else. Of course there was also a glazed looking farang (white guy in Thai literally meaning guava) sitting in bath tub with said Thai women. I took a longer sigh and rolled my eyes. I just wanted to go to my hotel. “No girls, no shopping, no f— f—, just hotel!”

“Okay, no meter,” the cabbie replied with a smile. About a hundred feet from where I was picked up, I jumped out of the taxi.

I eventually got to my hotel, but not without maintaining my grounds of not being ripped off, sold trinkets or women covered in suds. There is no trick here. Cab drivers in Bangkok get commissions for bringing unsuspecting tourists to souvenir stands, brothels or charging them more than the ride is worth.

There is no good advice here and Bangkok is too interesting to miss because of a bunch of annoying cabbies. However, it is good to have a game plan. Stick to your guns or plan to pay an extra 50-200bt (several extra dollars), for a good cab ride. If I learn to crack the cabbie code I will let you know. Of course, there is always the sky train or subway.