The Bangkok Indy 500

It isn’t too often one finds themselves in the passenger seat of an Indy race car on the streets of Bangkok.  Like no Indy car you’ve ever seen, this one was a hot pink Toyota Camry with green racing stripes down the sides.  It came complete with a spoiler, enlarged muffler, and a neat little ‘Taxi’ sign on the top that lights up!

We were fortunate enough to find a taxi driver at all, as we were looking at getting to the Suvarnabhumi airport at 4 am to catch a 6 am flight to Bali.  After successfully hailing one down in a matter of seconds (shocking!), we loaded up the trunk, and hopped in the back.  A brief argument ensued as our driver refused to use the meter, but we were able to negotiate a price quickly.  Little did we know, we negotiated with a daredevil.

A normal trip to or from the airport in Bangkok will run about 30 minutes, a little longer if traffic is backed up.  At 150 km/h in an 80 zone, we were able to get to the airport in under 15 minutes!  After the first 10 minutes of ‘the race’, and 5 butterfly bumps later, we looked at each other with fear in our eyes and both reached for our seat belts only to be disappointed.  The entire ride there, we thought about how far we’d travel at 150 km/h after smashing through the window in a collision, and if there was a chance at all of surviving.  Then we thought about IF we survived, how we’d explain to our mothers that we weren’t wearing a seatbelt!

In the end we decided to do the next logical thing; if we couldn’t get our seat belts on because they were unavailable, then we might as well catch our predicament on film as evidence.  Fumbling with the point and shoot camera, we took a few blurry eyed, ridiculously ambiguous pictures of the fast moving scenery.  Out of about 25 shots, we managed to get 2 that were somewhat OK.  Similar to the pictures we took on our 18th birthdays, where out of 100 shots only a few of them didn’t have half a finger covering the lens.

Arriving at the airport in what we thought must’ve been First Place, we stepped out of the race car waiting for cheers and applause from the crowd of onlookers, only to be disappointed when realizing it was just another crazy taxi ride in Asia!

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Categories: Thailand, Travel Tales

Author:Thomas & Katherine

A love for travel, adventure, and photography. We just can't help but write about it!

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