Are a hit or miss. And when you miss, you miss big time.
In a rush to meet up with my boss and his family, I decided to try taking the cab.
What a miss. I was taken on an hour-long excursion before I finally got him to take me back to a major landmark that we both understood- which was further from my intended destination than I originally started off!! I said "Soi Lang Suan" and got "Soi La Salle." I knew something wasn't quite right when he took me on the tollway, although I was assured he knew where he was going. When I saw the street sign, I made it clear I was agitated. I started throwing out names of other major landmarks and Skytrain stations to get him to take me OUT of the burbs and back into the city center. Asok, Wireles Road, US Embassy, Lumphini Park. He finally offered "Emporium" Oh, yes, thank god.
That was a $6 lesson I took to heart. If you can't get someone to write the address down in Thai, have a map or book that has a nearby landmark written in Thai. Also, many people have told me the taxi drivers don't seem to understand maps. Boy are they right! Mine was reading the map I had sideways WHILE he was still driving. At which point I just gestured for him to hand it back because at least *I* can read it.
Better yet, just take the time and take the public transit. Which sometimes is faster anyway. Someone actually had a good strategy around his version of the taxi tour- he called one of the local Thai employees who work at the embassy and handed the phone to the driver. The embassy employee talked in Thai to the driver and directed them where passenger wanted to go!