Three scams in Thailand you need to know about before you go
So you are planning a trip to Thailand? Great. We love, love, love Thailand and are moving out there for a while in September 2017. We came across a few scams during our visit to Thailand in May 2016 that are totally common and well known scams in Thailand. If we had known about them before we went we could have saved ourselves a bit of money.
Scams are common all over Thailand, and there are some more complex than others. We did not come across any of these so are only going to explain the ones we did.
Avoid the airport taxi
My friend Max told me to get a metered taxi wherever I went and to make sure they put the meter on. I was stupid to ignore his advice and the first thing I did when I left the airport was agree to a price of 1400 baht from Suvarnabhumi airport to Khao San Road. This price is ridiculously expensive when others were paying 150 baht for similar journeys.
If you take a yellow or pink cab you will be able to put the meter on and actually only pay on the length of your journey.
The Tuk Tuk scam
My friend Max also warned me about the Tuk Tuk scam. You basically get offered a really cheap Tuk Tuk ride for around 10 baht and the driver will take you around the city. He will stop at many stores, with which he has a deal with the store owners to bring you there to make commissions off whatever you buy.
You can take this Tuk Tuk ride and not buy anything, that is what most people are unaware of. Don’t be fooled into thinking you need to buy because you don’t. Simply say you will come back another day during your trip and move on with your Tuk Tuk ride.
Another scam we came across was the double-scanner. This happened to us in a Seven Eleven in the bus station in Bangkok. We were stocking up on snacks for our night bus from Bangkok to Koh Samui and the teller was double scanning the majority of the items. Obviously this meant the bill came to double what we had expected. We didn’t complain because we had the money.
If we had been backpacking on a budget we may have felt differently but we guessed she probably took the extra money or the food equivalent to feed her family.
These are really simple scams which won’t set you back too much money if you fall victim to them, but at least this way you can be prepared and watch out for them!