London taxis have once again been ranked the world’s best in a poll of world travelers taken by Hotels.com.
With 28% of respondents giving the British capital’s taxis the thumbs up, the Capital of Cool – whose taxi drivers are required to pass a test – have proven to be popular with tourists despite their relatively high fares.
Their secret, apparently, is their knowledge about geography and their politeness.
New York City’s iconic Yellow Cabs, meanwhile, were once again ranked in second place, trailing with 9% of the vote. The Big Apple’s second place showing can be attributed to the ubiquitousness of taxis in the streets of Manhattan.
If London and New York taxis have been in the top two spots for four years running, both did, however, attract some negative comments. London taxis were rated as being the most expensive in the world. And New York taxi drivers – many of whom are recent immigrants from other countries – came in worst for their geographical knowledge, which was found to be lacking.
Hong Kong Makes Its Debut
In what was arguably the poll’s biggest surprise, Hong Kong’s taxis (see picture) made their first appearance in the Top 10 list, sharing third place with Tokyo. Both cities got 7% of the vote.
Bangkok and Singapore shared fifth place with 6% of the vote. Berlin, Helsinki, Dublin, and Madrid rounded out hotel.com’s Top 10 list, with 4% of the vote each.
I have personal knowledge of only two of the cities on the Top 10 list of the world’s best taxis, Hong Kong and Bangkok.
Regarding Hong Kong taxis, I would have to say that they are ubiquitous and cheap, but many of the taxi drivers have the very annoying habit of chatting on their mobile phones when they drive you to your destination.
And this sometimes drives me crazy!!!
Many of them also have intercoms, which make very irritating sounds when they go and off.
Bangkok? Surely You Jest!
Regarding Bangkok taxi drivers, I would have to say that it STUNS me that they could possibly make a Top 10 list of this type.
The geographical knowledge of Bangkokian taxi drivers – many of whom are country bumpkins from the sticks – sucks. They size you up and down, refusing to stop if they don’t like your looks. They refuse to take you to your destination if it doesn’t strike their fancy. And they will often try to bargain an excessively higher fare.
If you’re lucky!!!
Some of Bangkok’s taxi drivers will also drive you to “alternate” destinations, where they get a kickback from touts preying on unsuspecting tourists. My litany of gripes goes on …