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Try to flag down a moving taxi, not one waiting by the hotel or tourist site. Lean in and tell the driver clearly your destination, if he nods, hop in and watch that the meter is started, and at 35฿. If not, politely indicate the meter, and say meter please. The average inner-city fare less than ฿100. Do not negotiate a fixed price, if the driver wants to negotiate, get another taxi. The meter tends to be cheaper.
If you get into a
taxi whose meter goes up 2 baht every 3 seconds or so (the taxi meter
should *not* be increasing that quickly), ask the driver to stop and let
you out. Otherwise, you'll end up paying 2 to 3 times what a
legitimate metered taxi would cost you.
Also, avoid the "friendly" tuk-tuk drivers who may present themselves as guides and speak pretty good English. They hang out near major tourist sites, hotels and shopping areas and they'll tell you the temples are closed (holiday, cleaning, the King relatives passed away, local Thai only etc). Instead of the temples, they offer to take you on a cheap day-long tour of the city, but in reality, you may find yourself involved in their "get rich quick" scheme:
These cheap tuk-tuk tours will end up taking you to a fake (or over-priced) gem stores, a crappy tailor, a massage parlour or worse. The tuk-tuk driver will tell you he gets a coupon for petrol from each shop if he brings you to even if you don't want to buy. If you pity him and agree to go into the shop, but you may regret it - even if all you lose is hours of your valuable holiday time.
So far, the Thai government has taken very little action against these people and schemes. Although in fairness, they do put up many warnings about this, the fact that this touts hang around popular tourists attractions in full view of the local police does still raise a question.
So in summary, when approached by these touts, tuk-tuk drivers and even "friendly & helpful" strangers, be they Thai or not, the best bet is to smile, wave them away like you would a fly, and keep walking.
This Tourist Information Centre provides a small booklet containing some handy advice, some of which is repeated here to forewarn travellers: