Top 5 Scams In Thailand And How To Avoid Them
Thailand is one of the most visited countries in the world with approximately 20 million visitors per year. The country is home to beautiful beaches, royal palaces and some most unique and amazing street food scenes in south-east Asia.The natives are friendly and welcoming to tourists, but at the same time there are certain scams which you should look for while visiting this holiday destination. Here is the list of top 5 places where you could get scammed in Thailand:
TAXIS & TUK-TUKS
The very first thing a tourist does after reaching the country would be to look for a way to reach their place of stay, which is usually a Taxi or a Tuk-Tuk. Taxi drivers in Thailand don't prefer to run their meters and may try to charge even four times higher than the original fare. As soon as you reach the airport, take a sim card and activate your data plan. Data plans are very cheap in the country and once you board the Taxi, share the GPS location of your destination to the driver and let him know that you clearly know where you are going. If the cab driver offers a flat rate and refuses to use the meter, kindly decline his offer or try to negotiate for a better price.
Tuk-Tuk is like one of the most commonly used transportation in main cities of the country. It is fun to ride in these small vehicles, but they carry a lot of scam traps with them. Usually what happens is that, when you board a tuk-tuk and tell the driver the name of any famous tourist spot you wanna go to, the response you are more likely to get is that the place is closed or is under renovation, which obviously isn't true. Then he would suggest you a bunch of other places like restaurants or gift shops where he gets a cut for bringing you there. Tuk-tuks don't have a meter, so it is always better to negotiate the fare before boarding them and make sure that you never take your over-friendly tuk-tuk driver's suggestions.
CLOTH SELLERS OUTSIDE THE GRAND PALACE
The Grand Palace is one of the most beautiful and ancient buildings in Bangkok. The palace was built in 1782 - for 150 years the home of the Thai kind, the royal court and the administrative seat of the government. Presently the place is considered very sacred and the complex includes the temple of Emerald Buddha which is about seven centuries old.
Image credits : inspirebangkok.com
A strict dress code applies to this place. Both men and women should wear dresses which cover their sleeves & legs, and visitors aren't permitted inside barefoot. You will find a lot of people who takes advantage of this situation by trying to sell you expensive clothes to cover yourself. But you don't need their help, because near to the Grand Palace there is a booth where they provide clothes at free of cost. All you have to do is give some deposit money, which you'll get back when the dress is returned.
Prohibited Outfits In Grand Palace
RESTAURANTS & STREET FOOD JOINTS
When you are ordering food in a restaurant make sure that you take a photo or video of the menu card provided because there are certain restaurants where they charge more at the end, and if questioned they will pull out a different menu card with higher prices.
Thai street cuisines are delicious and unique but always ask the price before you eat in a street food stall and make sure that they give back the right change as the street vendors often try to play with the tourists who aren't familiar with the local currency.
It is not a bad idea to rent a vehicle when it comes to exploring some remote locations of Thailand. But there are certain things to keep in mind before doing that :
Rent vehicles from trusted places with good reviews (you can google about good vehicle rentals).
Make sure that you take photos and videos of the vehicle you are gonna rent because while returning the vehicle scammers might claim damages which were already there on the vehicle. And inspect the vehicle thoroughly before renting it as there are some scammers who hide the damages with toothpaste, which comes off by the time you return the vehicle.
Never give your passport as guarantee, instead propose to give the photocopy of it along with the deposit money.
BOOKING THE STAY
Always try to make the bookings online and check reviews before making the reservation. Don't opt for the hotel suggested by your cab driver unless you wanna get ripped off. And never deposit your passport as guarantee. All these points mentioned above doesn't mean that Thailand is full of scammers and fraud. The locals are mostly helpful and friendly. Just like Thailand every tourist destinations of the world has its own share of scams and traps for the tourists and it is the job of people like us to give you a heads up, so make sure that you follow us on Facebook and YouTube to get subscribed to our articles and videos.