Thailand is like a hotspot for asian tourists. It’s not too far away, and it’s loaded with cool stuff that can make your vacation awesome. But here’s the thing, you’ve got to be on your guard against some sneaky scams that target tourists in Thailand. Check out these seven scam moves and how to dodge ’em.
Tuk-Tuk and Taxi Tricks
In some parts of Thailand, you’ve got tuk-tuks, taxis, and buses that might take you on a wild ride. Instead of taking you straight to your destination, they could detour you to certain shops, restaurants, or malls for some shopping detour. This can be stressful for tourists because, honestly, who knows where you are? And getting back to your pad afterward? Good luck!
To dodge this, pick tuk-tuks and taxis that keep moving, not the ones chilling at one spot like hotels or big tourist traps. Make sure you ask about the fare and give clear directions about where you want to go.
Say no to drivers who want to make multiple pit stops. If you’re hailing a taxi, make sure they’re using the meter.
Also, check out the driver’s ID, like the name and pic usually stuck on the dashboard. If the driver switches off the meter or asks for weird stuff during the ride, grab your phone and snap a pic of that ID. Let them know you can report them to the local tourist cops.
Renting Motorbikes and Cars
In places like Phuket, Krabi, Koh Samui, and Pattaya, taxi rates can get pretty steep. So, folks often lean towards renting cars or motorbikes.
But hold up, this can be risky business. Thailand has one of the world’s highest traffic accident rates, especially with motorbikes.
If you have an accident while renting wheels, you’re prime for getting scammed. Others involved in the accident can take advantage when they report it to the cops. Plus, these cops might not be too hot on English.
If you’re going to rent a car or bike, pop a camera device on the dashboard, like a phone, action cam, or dashcam. This move doesn’t just save you from scams if there’s an accident; it also makes claiming insurance easier.
Don’t let rental places hang on to your passport. Let ’em take photocopies instead to avoid sticky situations. Before you hit the road, snap pics of the vehicle from every angle to steer clear of accusations of damage that was already there.
Jet Ski or Scooter Rentals
This trick goes down at famous beach spots like Phuket and Pattaya. It’s got the same vibe as the motorbike and car rental scams. You could get blamed for wrecking the ride even if the ride was already messed up.
Some rental peeps might have spare keys, so they can swipe the ride when you’re out and about. Then they’ll make you cough up a big chunk of change. Make sure you roll with the legit rental spots that heaps of tourists use. And check and document the ride you’re renting.
Tourist Trap Tricks
These scams are all about offering up tourist attractions and are pretty common at temples and other top tourist spots. You’ll usually get approached by friendly locals who ask where you’re from, how long you’re in town, what you wanna see, and all that.
Once they’ve got you hooked, they’ll take you to a spot and say that the attraction you’re into is closed for some reason. Then, they’ll offer to have their buddy, usually a tuk-tuk driver, take you to an even better attraction.
But, guess what? You’ll end up being forced to check out some regular thing or buy something at an insane price. It’s way better to roll with an official tour guide.
Pickpocketing or Swipe-and-Dash
This one’s a classic move in all touristy spots around the world. Let’s say a bunch of kids offer you snacks, smokes, or souvenirs. Keep a tight grip on your pockets and bags to keep your valuable stuff from vanishing.
And be real careful when you’re on an open ride like a motorbike or tuk-tuk. Some thieves roll up on motorbikes and can snatch your stuff in a snap.
Feeding the Birds
Even though this scam is pretty common at tourist spots in different countries, you still gotta keep an eye out for it. If you’re around the Grand Palace in Bangkok, someone might hand you a little bag of corn – for free – and invite you to feed the pigeons there. But if that happens, it’s best to turn it down. The person will hit you up for a crazy price for that bag of corn later.
Fake Tourism Big Shots
When you’re looking for a train, bus, or public transport, someone could come up to you, saying they’re an officer or big shot from Thailand’s tourism authority. They’ll usually drop some fake info on you, like saying the transport you wanna use is booked up. They’ll offer you another ride at a discount.
Folks who fall for this could end up with a busted or dangerous ride and have to cough up extra cash. Just so you know, Thailand’s tourism officials never run stores or hit the streets selling stuff to tourists.
So, those are the seven scams to watch out for when you’re chilling in Thailand. This info’s here to help you stay sharp while you’re kicking back in this country.
But remember, Thailand’s got loads of cool places you should check out. You can hit up Lumphini Park for a chill break while soaking in the view of a lake surrounded by tall buildings in Bangkok. There’s also the Bangkok Art and Culture Centre, a massive modern spot for contemporary art exhibitions and performances. It’s got cafes, bookstores, and a library.
And if you’re looking for other awesome destinations, there’s the Wat Phra Kaew Buddha Temple, Phu Khao Thong, Chatuchak Weekend Market, Bangkok’s Chinatown, MOCA Bangkok, Safari World, Artist’s House, Bang Tao Beach, and Wat Rong Khun. So go explore and have a blast!