The world can be a very mean place when you travel it. People can be quite mean and they won’t even blink twice about it. You can get scammed, robbed or even worse, when traveling, especially alone. Traveling to some specific countries is more dangerous than traveling others. Some people exaggerate when they talk about countries, as they are quite safer than previously thought of, while others, which are deemed exotic, are home to some crafty people, let’s call them that way.
Thailand is one of such countries. If you are planning on visiting it, you should know a couple of things in order not to get scammed. Here are those things, in no particular order.
Tuk Tuk Drivers
This is something you should be really careful about. Tuk tuks are very small vehicles, with three wheels, most of the time, for two or four passengers and a single spot for the driver. They are open and often cheap, at first glance. The problem is when the drivers are corrupt and end up taking you places where you don’t want to go. They charge you with very expensive sums and they also deliver you to the wrong place, and if that place is something they know and claim it is very good, it is most likely another scammer trying to take your money.
The common offenders are hotels or hostels, jewelry stores, shops, temples or even entire markets. Be careful and search for better methods of transportation.
The Somboondee Market
There is nothing like a fish market, right? If you can stand the smell of fish and other sea-food, then you might enjoy the Somboondee Market, right? Well, perhaps. You might find an honest merchant and purchase great fish or sea-food from them, but you are far more likely to find a merchant who is absolutely horrible and who will sell you stale food or food which is past its due time, at a really high price. Be careful of this market, not to be confused with the Somboon Restaurant, a chain of restaurants in Thailand.
Imagine a scene where you enter a shop and pay for an object with baht bills, their local currency, only to be told that the bill is fake and that it needs to be taken a look at, preferably in the back of the shop. You give the bill and the person comes back, giving you another bill, but giving you a fake one, a counterfeit. This is a problem, because you still have to pay for the thing, but with a different bill, and you are also given counterfeit baht. Be careful when purchasing stuff in Thailand, especially in smaller shops where people claim you have counterfeit bills.
Curious tourists are the easiest targets, especially greedy ones. Tourists who hear of various stories of precious gems, often start paying the various strangers money to hear more information about them, strangers, who are of course, friends with one another. They end up paying lots of money to get shiny pieces of glass. Sure, they are beautiful, but definitely not diamonds or precious stones. Try not to be greedy and listen to outrageous claims about inexpensive jewelry which is actually expensive.
These are some common scams in Thailand. Be on the lookout for them and avoid them at all costs (pun intended).