While the Thai people might be considered some of the nicest and humblest people on the planet, some of them still like to get as much of the tourist dollar as possible out of their visitors while in the country as they can. Most of the occurrences of their scams can be quite harmless. On the top end though, strip club bouncers have been known to trap in the bar and being threatened to fork out hundreds of dollars to pay for 2 or 3 beers, before you can leave.
The most common scam is organised by the government. You might notice that every time you get transport, at the end of your trip you are taken to jewellery or silk shop before they take you home, and while there expected to buy something from the shop. In return the tuk tuk or bus driver is handed out a fuel ticket for to help reduce their running cost. The cheaper your transport the more stops are made to these souvenir shops. On my first trip after visiting 4 souvenir shops before lunch I decided it would be quicker if I walked from site to site.
On my last visit someone popped up near Hua Lamphong asking us questions where we are going. Any local knows that Hua Lamphong is the closest station to the public river transport and you have to walk a short distance to get there. He told us he knows a good way to get cheap transport up the river, then directed us to a tuk tuk to take us to their boat terminal. When we got to the terminal they were telling us it was Sunday and their were no public transport boats, and their cost for their tour which couldn’t be done any other way because it was Sunday was 12,000 Baht. This left us very little money in our pocket to eat or even get entry to all the temples and museums we could see in that time. They also told us the way out of that terminal was too dangerous to go on foot. When some Germans decided to leave the scam I decided to latch onto them, safety in numbers, until one of the stationary tuk tuks offered to take the 4 of us to the closest ferry terminal for 100 Baht. Needless to say the ferry ticket hop on hop off for 1 whole day was 400 Baht and we got to see what we could in that time.
Also one should beware of the some of the Thai girls. On my first visit a fellow tourist, part of our group found himself a Thai girlfriend. When he left 2 days later the same girl had another boyfriend lined up. Needless to say the more foreign boyfriends, the more foreign money they get sent to them.
We leave you with this good snippet of Thai language for your visit “peng muck muck” which means very expensive.
If you arrive in Thailand and have these scams sorted out then you’re sure to have the good holiday you were expecting. Enjoy!