This is a cautionary tale and request for advice: please tell me what I should have done to avoid this awkward situation...
I flew into Siem Reap today and got a taxi into town. I had gotten my ticket for the taxi at the counter in front of the airport ($7), and told the driver where I was going. He said he knew where it was and how to get there. On the way, he started telling me about all these "family owned guesthouses" I could stay at, and how cheap they were. I kindly told him no, that I preferred to stay where I had researched (Ivy II). He told me it no longer had guesthouses, and kept trying to get me to get out at these other places where I assume he gets a commission for bringing guests. He also avoided telling me what streets we were on, and refused to point out on the map I had where we were. I finally forced him to take me to my originally requested destination (they are open and had rooms) but I was irritated and definitely a little rattled.
Anyone else have an experience like this?
#1 StreetSpirit13 has been a member since 12/9/2010. Posts: 2
Unfortunatly it can happen anywhere in the world, people sometimes don't understand when things are told in a nice, most respectfull manner...
#2 Indoluso has been a member since 22/12/2009. Posts: 133
Welcome to SEA.. sigh! It's unfortunate that this happened, but dare I say it, get used to it. That's not to say ALL drivers are like that, but you will come across them.
My general strategy when arriving in a new place is to know where I want to stay, as you did. I use the TF guides to get a shortlist of ideal sounding places and tell the driver the name/address of my preferred choice. If I think about it ahead of time, I write it out on a piece of paper rather than show the guide. If the driver starts to suggest alternatives, I just tell them I already have a booking (whether I do or not). That usually puts an immediate end to those sort of discussion.
Depending on what kind of mood I when I finally arrived, I might be tempted (in your situation) to tell the driver that I need to get some change from the guesthouse and ask him to come in with me. I would then explain to the guesthouse people the sort of stunt that the driver pulled and then watch the driver get a good ticking off for trying to divert potential customers away from their business. That might give me some token amount of satisfaction.
What else could you have done? If you are in a place that is reasonably busy and you can see that there is plenty of alternative transport, I would ask the driver to just pull over and get out.