Allrite From Australia, joined Aug 2007, 2038 posts, RR: 4 Posted (5 years 11 months 1 week 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 2075 times:
Quote: The ads promoting "Malaysia: Truly Asia" aim to welcome visitors with a warm smile to a prosperous and modern nation, so the taxi fleet branded "the worst in the world" can come as a bit of a shock.
Even the locals are not spared the shabby service of unkempt and hostile drivers behind the wheels of decrepit vehicles who refuse to use the meter, overcharge and pick-and-choose which destinations they will travel to.
I have to admit that I found the taxis in China worse, except for Beijing. And like in Australia many taxi drivers in Malaysia could do with a bath and deodorant. When we visit Malaysia my Malaysian in-laws hide ol'whitey me away until they have haggled a suitable fare.
Had to laugh about one taxi ride from Kuala Lumpur's Chinatown area to Bukit Bintang. The taxi driver refused to use the meter so we haggled a fare. We then got stuck for a while thanks to a protest march and his price ended up lower than the meter reading!
Admittedly my experience of Malaysian taksis is limited, but IMHO they are far far outshone by at least a proportion of Indonesian taksis. Most of the old Corollas are off the road now, but there are still plenty of shockers. And the problems of being white are indeed severe.
Equally, the cost of hiring a taxi to go a couple of hundred kms can be astonishingly low, you just need to be careful in your choice.
I recall a Canberra mandarin, who was extremely proper (think Sir Humphrey) but missed the train from Bandung to Jakarta - a three and a half hour drive at the time. He hired a taxi in Bandung but the driver skittled a motor bike rider as they were negotiating the city traffic. The driver did stop as the road was crowded, put the wounded and bleeding driver in the front seat, shot off to the nearest hospital and then drove like a bat out of hell to Jakarta. But when he got to Jakarta, he hid in a back street on the outskirts because he thought the police would be looking for him, and the Canberra mandarin had to get out and hail another taxi to get to his hotel.
Allrite From Australia, joined Aug 2007, 2038 posts, RR: 4
Reply 2, posted (5 years 11 months 1 week 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 2056 times:
Quoting Baroque (Reply 1): Equally, the cost of hiring a taxi to go a couple of hundred kms can be astonishingly low, you just need to be careful in your choice.
I remember reading a bit in the Lonely Planet about Malaysian taxi drivers and how, if you want to go for a long distance, you should pick an older driver because they must be doing something right to have survived so long!
For all the complaints, at least taxis in places like Malaysia and Indonesia are relatively cheap for western visitors, especially in contrast with Sydney where a taxi ride to the airport may cost more than the flight!
Baroque From Australia, joined Apr 2006, 15380 posts, RR: 59
Reply 3, posted (5 years 11 months 1 week 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 2038 times:
Quoting Allrite (Reply 2): For all the complaints, at least taxis in places like Malaysia and Indonesia are relatively cheap for western visitors, especially in contrast with Sydney where a taxi ride to the airport may cost more than the flight!
Not wrong there. The funny thing is how quickly you readjust your cost structure and get offended by a cost that is high locally, but trivial in Australian terms. As Ross Gittins never tires of pointing out, the value of $50 you receive, is far less than the value of the $50 you have to pay.
N867DA From United States of America, joined May 2008, 1006 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (5 years 11 months 1 week 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 2031 times:
The time is 8 or 9 pm...
You: Auto! [kind of taxi]
Driver: Where are you going?
You: [name your destination]
Driver: ah, that is the direction away from where I'm heading. I'll take you to your destination for three times what the meter shows!
You: wtf? Forget it! [spend 20 minutes trying to get another auto. No one comes...and you notice the first guy is still just standing right there.]
You: FINE! I'll pay up. Just take me home.
Ah, the joys of getting a taxi in some parts of India! I'm surprised that India didn't claim the top spot in this list. Who paid the bribe?
Baroque From Australia, joined Apr 2006, 15380 posts, RR: 59
Reply 5, posted (5 years 11 months 1 week 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 2031 times:
Quoting N867DA (Reply 4): Ah, the joys of getting a taxi in some parts of India! I'm surprised that India didn't claim the top spot in this list. Who paid the bribe?
Must look out my Indian taxi Tshirt!
Worst was getting to Calcutta station and my Indian friend being very proud of his Bengali skills - "We will not get taken for a ride here" says he. So he negotiated with a taxi driver, bags were put in the boot (trunk to you guys) and he then explained that he would either wait until he had three more passengers, or we could pay him three times the amount agreed. Indian friend explained in very rapid Bengali what he thought of that and he wanted our bags back. Driver smiled and patted the tank-like Ambassador. Eventually we paid - of course. And equally, of course, Ambassadors had a certain je ne sais quoi in terms of car quality, but they are like Fort Knox as far as getting into the boot!
MillwallSean From Singapore, joined Apr 2008, 1241 posts, RR: 6
Reply 6, posted (5 years 11 months 1 week 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 1984 times:
Malaysian taxi drivers are fine if you ask me.
One of the easisest countries to hail a taxi in. And for Asia I think they are very honest and nice to deal with.
They do overcharge tourists but compare them to Thailand, Indonesia or even some of the European countries and I cant see much problems.
I have had more problems with cheating taxi drivers in Australia than in Malaysia.
Maybe I have just been uinlucky but in my previous four trips to Aussie, the taxi driver has twice double charged my creditcard...
Thats proper fraud.
In Malaysia its more price cheating that goes on, but when the price is RM 30 for a trip of 20 minutes even for me as a westerner I can live with being cheated.
Without playing any racecard, there is a so called truth that westerners should avoid taxidrivers of indian origin thats repeated among the local expats in KL. My experience from living in Malaysia is fully in line with this so called truth.