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 The karaoke cure for Thailand's traffic woes

CNN News


One man's passion for music has been the driving force behind a four-year-old karaoke taxi service in traffic-clogged Bangkok.

Suwit Thongthim is providing much needed relief from stress for passengers while they wait stranded in Bangkok's notorious traffic jams.

"I like music very much and every time I drove past a karaoke bar I thought of it," says the Suwit. 

The upshot was that Suwit figured if karaoke could attract shoppers, it could also attract passengers. The karaoke set inside the taxi consists of a mini television near the front passenger seat, two microphones and a video player. In addition, there's a set of flashing lights to recreate that groovy disco atmosphere even in the heaviest of traffic.

The selection of 20 videos ranges from classics to pop billboard hits. 

Songs are mostly Thai, English or Japanese, with Thai love songs being the most popular. There is no extra charge for using the karaoke facilities and the only charge the passenger ends up paying is on the meter.

And the passengers are flocking to him. "I feel happy when using this taxi. The karaoke taxi gives me a chance to forget about heavy traffic and to relax while waiting," says passenger Uthai Petburapa.

On a good day Suwit can make up to $38, and since starting up four years ago, he has appeared on several local television shows and in newspaper articles.


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