Grab a Grab Taxi @ Korat

A lot of things changed in Korat when the city hosted the South East Asian Games in 2007, one of them was that proper taxis appeared in the city for the first time ever. Originally they were intended to run for the duration of the games only, but proved so popular that the service remained and is as popular today as it was when it started.

Back then, there were only 30 taxis in the whole of the city, but this has continued to expand and on last count there were over 200. And ten years after the SEA Games, 2017, sees the next progression, the city having private taxis known as Grab.

Grab is a technology company that offers a wide range of ride-hailing and logistics services through its App in Singapore and neighbouring Southeast Asian nations. It first went public in Malaysia in 2012 and has expanded through the region from then on. As of June 2017, the number of drivers registered in the network was over 1,000,000, and the Grab App was downloaded onto more than 45 million mobile devices across Southeast Asia.

It couldn't be easier to use, simply download the App onto your smart phone, do a search for Grab on whatever App Store you use, it's Free. Then open it, enter where you are (in English), where you want to go (also in English) then click 'Find driver'. The App will then show a map of your area showing how many drivers are working near your location, where they are and find you a driver. It will also show how long you will need to wait for the driver to arrive and how much the journey will cost. It then shows you a picture of the driver it has found, it then tells you that the booking has been made and the driver is on his way. If you change your mind, or your not happy with how long you have to wait, you can cancel the booking directly from the App.

But what's it like in practice? I hear you ask. Well in my opinion, superb. The main difference is the fact that it's all online, so you don't have to phone for a taxi, wait for them to contact drivers, wait for a driver to phone you back saying that they are on the wrong side of the city and will be there in 30 minutes. I have never waited longer than 10 minutes for a Grab, for some reason they are always 8 minutes to my house, which is on the edge of the city. The cars vary understandably, but are always newish, had Nissan Micro's a few times, usually when I'm with 3 tubby mates, but I've also had far larger cars, Fortuna's, Pajero's, Izuzu Mu-X, etc.

For some unknown reason the drivers also seem to have far better English than average Taxi drivers and are more talkative. Although I have had some who don't speak a word of English.

The price is a little less than taxi's, and I've never been pushed for a tip. And about half the price of tuk tuk's who seem to have completely lost the plot in terms of how much to charge in Korat at the moment.

The best thing about it, is that it's so easy to try, simply download the App and try it for a journey and see what you think. It's my first choice for all journeys now and I can't see that changing anytime soon.

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