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Bangkok Travel & Tourism Guide

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Common Scams in Bangkok

Common scams in Bangkok and guidelines for avoiding them:

  • Beware of all offers of gems and (supposedly) precious stones. These sophisticated and highly professional "special discount" scams, often involving promises of high resale value back home at a supposedly huge profit, sometimes even employ foreigners to act as satisfied customers.

  • Beware of tuk-tuk drivers offering all-day tours for prices as low as 10-20 baht. You may indeed be taken on a full-day tour, but you will only end up visiting one gem and souvenir shop after another. The driver gets a commission if you buy something and gas coupons even if you don't.

  • Insist on the meter for taxis, and agree on a price in advance for tuk-tuks (before you get in). If they refuse, or quote silly prices, just walk out and get a different one, they're rarely in short supply.

  • Be highly skeptical of anyone telling you that your intended destination is currently closed (including Skytrain and subway stations), or offering discount admissions. Temples are almost always free (the main exceptions are Wat Phra Kaew and Wat Pho) and open just about every day of the year. Anyone telling you otherwise is most likely out to scam you - and wants to take you someplace where they can collect a commission for delivering you.

  • There is no such thing as a Lucky Buddha or Lucky Buddha day! Touts are out to trick you into getting a tuk-tuk to visit several souvenir shops or a gem scam shop.

  • At popular tourist sites, if an English-speaking Thai approaches you out of the blue and strikes up a conversation, be wary: they are almost certainly selling something. If they ask you if it's your first time in Thailand, it's probably best to answer 'no' and walk away.  It is not a part of Thai culture to approach strangers and strike up conversations.

  • In the go-go bar zones, beware of touts who try to drag you into the upstairs bars with offers of ping-pong shows and 100-baht beer. The beer may well be 100 baht, but the "show" you'll be treated to will be 1000 baht or more. Rule of thumb is, if you can't see inside from street level, the establishment is best avoided.

  • Beware of private bus companies offering direct trips from Bangkok to other cities with VIP buses. There are a lot of scams performed by some private bus companies. The so-called direct VIP trips may end up changing three or four uncomfortable minibuses to the destination, the 10-11 hours trip may be 17-18 hours. Try to book public BKS buses from the main bus terminals.  Also, keep your valuables with you when on any bus.  Some scams involve rifling through your luggage while the bus is actually en-route.

 

 

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Bangkok Post -  Daily English Language Newspaper
The Nation - Bangkok English Language Newspaper
The Weather Channel for Bangkok
Weather Underground for Bangkok
Tourism Thailand - Government Tourism website

City of Bangkok Official Tourism website

 

 

 

 

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