Firstly, we booked this because of all the wonderful recommendations on this forum. Booking was super easy - we walked along to their stand in town and booked with a girl who understood our request in English & we completed paperwork. We were leaving on Queens Birthday so were concerned that if taxi didn't show, we would be left with few options.
Taxi arrived 10 minutes early - great service. Driver didn't appear to speak English but this wasn't an issue. Car was clean & easy to identify with signage.
Then it turned to custard - we have traveled all around the world and this was the worst taxi experience ever. We truly didn't know if we would make it in one piece. In 60k areas we were doing 90k, but worse was the tail gating. At 90 - 100k we were about 2 metres behind the vehicle in front. We overtook on double yellow lines, on corners with little visibility and heaven forbid if an animal had run in front of us or a motor cycle pulled out - there would have been no avoiding.There were children enjoying their holiday, playing ball on the roadside - we just closed our eyes and hoped for the best for everyone.
We did ask driver to slow down and gestured with hands - to no avail. The only time he displayed any sense of safety was when we followed a police vehicle - distances opened up, speed limits adhered to. We were hoping the police we heading to the airport so we got safe passage, but no. As soon as they turned off, the foot went down, the impatience returned and we returned to the "Khao Lak Grand Prix".
I am wondering if this is because of new rules at the airport whereby we had to be transferred to a van to enter the airport. From reading I understand that only licensed operators are allowed on airport property now. If we were speeding/taking risks to meet the van that was waiting with other passengers, then timing needs to be adjusted so drivers don't have to break the law & endanger passengers.
We sincerely wished we had paid the 2000bht our hotel charged (yes double what we paid) as our young driver took his job very seriously. We actually commented on what a great driver he was a the end of the journey and gave him a small tip. No such gratitude to this one. We also felt guilty as we had put 2 other couples on to this company at our resort - we just hope they make it home safely.
If I had read something along these lines before our trip I never would have booked - hence my post. We all love to save money - but sometimes in life you get what you pay for - buyer beware!