Views #1519 | Intermediate (B2)

1519 Bangkok Transportation - Part 2

Jerri talks about motorcycle taxis, a common way to get around Bangkok.

Todd: Another famous thing about Bangkok is the motorcycle taxis, which really freak a lot of the tourists out.

Jerri: I'm sure, I'm sure.

Todd: Like, they're afraid to get on one. Can you explain the motorcycle taxis, which are incredibly common?

Jerri: Absolutely, so, it can get quite - it's quite scary but it's probably the fastest and most cost-effective way to get around Bangkok, especially during the rush hour. Motorbike - you know, there's like a lot of motorbike taxis in Bangkok and they're at different stations, so you can get them at the - at - right below the Sky Train station, mostly. And, yeah, they know the streets very well. They know the - the - the fastest routes to get to your destination. And once you get familiar with it, it's actually not too bad as long as you ask for a helmet. I always think that that's - that is - 'cause it does get quite scary on the main roads with, like, a lot of...

Todd: Yeah, women, a lot of times, sit in a very dangerous position...

Jerri: Yeah, yeah.

Todd: ...because of their skirt. They'll sit sideways...

Jerri: Yeah.

Todd: ...they don't sit with both legs on - with one leg on each side of the motorcycle, which I always find incredibly dangerous.

Jerri: Yeah.

Todd: Do you ever sit that way?

Jerri: I have to admit, yeah, most of the time I sit that way. And it's quite, like - you don't realize it yourself but when people see it they're quite fascinated by it...

Todd: Yeah.

Jerri:, how we can balance ourself...

Todd: Yeah.

Jerri: ...and then the motorbike is like swerving its way around.

Todd: Right, exactly.

Jerri: Yeah. Yeah.

Todd: Another thing about the - maybe just explaining about the motorcycle taxis - is, so, Bangkok has really long streets. It's not a grid system.

Jerri: No.

Todd: It's kind of like the roots of a tree. Like, the roads will just go forever...

Jerri: Right. Yes.

Todd: one direction. So, basically, people take the main lines, like the subway or overhead train, to their stop and then they take the motorcycle taxi to their home, correct?

Todd: Yes, yes, correct. That's the most common way, yeah, to do it.

Todd: Yeah. And in the mornings and in the evenings it's amazing 'cause it's, like, this fleet of motorcycle.

Jerri: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Todd: Like, the whole street is just humming with motorcycles.

Jerri: And then you realize how popular they are when you're standing at the station and there's no motorbikes left 'cause, you know, they're all being, yeah, being used.

Todd: Yeah. So, like, in your - where you live, do you see the same motorcycle taxis every day?

Jerri: Yes, yes.

Todd: Do you know them by name?

Jerri: Yes. So, like, even the one in front of where I work - they're, like, familiar face. They know where I live, and...

Todd: Yeah.

Jerri: ...they take me home every day. Yeah.

Todd: Oh my God, that's so awesome. So, what about new things like Uber and Grab?

Jerri: So, it's causing quite a bit of tension in Bangkok. As expected, you know the motorcycle taxis and the normal taxis are not so happy about the - this. But, yeah, I think with the election coming up, a lot of parties are trying to regulate it a little better because, currently, the main problem is that the Ubers and the Grab drivers are not legal to have passengers. They don't have the license. So, that's the main issue where - why the motorbike taxis are - and the - the normal taxi drivers are quite fed up about.

Todd: Wow. Well, one thing's for sure: it's very easy to get around this city.

Jerri: Yes, definitely.

Learn Vocabulary from the Lesson

freak out


Which really freak a lot of the tourists out.

To freak out means to be shocked. Notice the following:

  1. He freaked out when the cat jumped down.
  2. The magic show freaked the kids out.

to get around


It's probably the fastest and most cost-effective way to get around Bangkok.

To get around means to travel from one place to another. Notice the following:

  1. They always use my car to get around town.
  2. You can get around the neighborhood in five minutes.

as long as


As long as you ask for a helmet.

As long as means if. Notice the following:

  1. The duck will follow you as long as you feed it.
  2. He could go to the party as long as he got good grades.

rush hour


Especially during the rush hour.

Rush hours are the hours in the morning and evening when traffic is high. Notice the following:

  1. It took them twice as long during rush hours.
  2. The rush hour delayed the food delivery.

a grid system


It's not a grid system.

In a grid system, roads and streets are at right angles so they are easy to locate. Notice the following:

  1. The roads in New York are on a grid system.
  2. Creating a grid system needs a lot of planning.

fed up


The normal taxi drivers are quite fed up about it.

Fed up means upset or annoyed. Notice the following:

  1. She was fed up of his constant complaints.
  2. He was fed up of his boss's attitude.

Vocabulary Quiz

freak out • get around • as long as
rush hour • grid system • fed up
  1. Towns with a are easy to get around.
  2. I am getting with poor costumer service.
  3. She tends to when she is stressed.
  4. My town is easy to because it is small.
  5. You can borrow money you pay me back.
  6. Let's leave early to beat the traffic.
Answer the following questions about the interview.

Related Video - One Minute English

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1520 Bangkok Shopping
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1519 Bangkok Transport
1519 Bangkok Transportation - Part 2
More ways to get around in Bangkok.

1518 Bangkok Transport
1518 Bangkok Transportation - Part 1
Getting around in Bangkok.

1517 Island Stress
1517 Island Stress
Problems facing Thailand's islands.

1516 Thai Island Life
1516 Thai Island Life
The wonderful features of Thailand's islands.

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Hello, and welcome to elllo. My name is Todd Beuckens. I've been an ESL teacher for 25 years. I created elllo to provide teachers and students free audio lessons and learning materials not usually found in commercial textbooks.
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