Someone recently asked me to add a map in Thai language for each shop and parlor in the Bangkok Massage Guide, complaining that the taxi drivers get lost and can’t read the English map. This is something I can consider for the next update of the guide, however I am not sure it will be very useful: Thai taxi drivers don’t read maps.
Have you ever seen a taxi driver using a map of Bangkok to find his way when lost? Me never. And it is not only taxi drivers. Thai people in general are not very familiar with the map orientation, North, South, East, West, etc. They find their way through large avenues and city landmarks.
The best thing to do when you’re lost (or before you are lost if you think ahead), is to reach for your phone, call the Massage Parlor and hand the phone over to the taxi driver so that the person you are talking to explain to the driver how to get to the Parlor. This will not work 100% but if you are not too far and the driver knows Bangkok a bit, that should help.
If you don’t have a local mobile phone, give the phone number of the shop to the driver and ask him to call it by himself with his own phone. Maybe you’ll have to give him 10 or 20 baht for the call, but it is still better than to drive around the city for hours to eventually give up!
Of course this is also true if you are looking for an hotel, a restaurant or any other place. The difference is that I don’t provide the guide for these places!