Travel Tips for Thailand Scams
Unfortunately, being a foreign tourist means looking like a walking dollar sign sometimes. Many Thailand scams have been around for decades; you can avoid getting ripped off if you know about them in advance.
Use this list of scams in Thailand to avoid being a sucker!
Fast, bustling, insane - Thailand's busy capital of Bangkok may be a lot of things, but predictable will never be one of them. These Bangkok tips will help you make sense of the chaos! Bangkok has a reputation for wearing out new travelers on their first visit. Luckily, there is hope.
A few simple Bangkok travel tips from experienced travelers can help make your landing in Thailand just a little softer!Cigarette Smoking Scam
Despite seeing locals do it, never drop a cigarette in tourist places. Bangkok police set up sting operations in front of MBK to watch for smokers and demand a cash fine on the spot.
Nice or expensive flip-flop sandals have a nasty habit of disappearing quite easily in Thailand — particularly in the islands. The reason being that you have to remove them to enter places, and people swap with you on the way out.
Always lock up your rented motorbike, and don’t leave the helmet or other belongings in the basket. Motorbikes are frequently stolen in Thailand – sometimes even by the agency that rented it to you!
Some taxi drivers will refuse to use the meter or claim that it is broken. They claim traffic is too bad or a destination is too far for the meter. Ignore them and hail an honest driver; be patient – there are a few.
Don’t buy the “entrance bracelets” from people blocking access to the beach during the Koh Phangan Full Moon Party. There is no entrance charge to the party and these people are scammers selling overpriced bracelets.
If you are dumb enough to take a prostitute or local girl to your room, don’t be surprised if you wake up with money or items missing. Some will even spike your drink, flirt, then rob you after you pass out.
Check motorbike rentals carefully for scratches or damage before you take them. The agency will demand large fines when you return the bike with insignificant scratches they think you made.
Theft is common on overnight “VIP” buses in Thailand. They literally pick through bags in the luggage hold as the bus rolls…
Never trust someone’s recommendation for a bar, restaurant, or hotel. You will end up in a friend’s or cousin’s second-hand place because drivers and locals want to send business to friends and family.
Drivers parked and waiting for tourists will invariably charge you more. Hail your own taxi on the street, and insist that the driver use the meter before you get inside. Never try to negotiate your fare, you will fail.
Both tuk-tuk and taxi drivers rarely have change. Try to keep small bills to pay close to your exact fare. Round up for a small tip, but don’t expect them to break big notes. They will claim to not have change.
Avoid the age-old scam of accepting a tuk-tuk driver’s offer of driving you somewhere for cheap in exchange to visit three shops. The shops are rude, will waste your time, and sales pressure will be high. Get a taxi instead.
Tuk-tuk drivers are the biggest scammers in Thailand. Metered taxis are always cheaper – make them use the meter – and more comfortable. Never believe if a driver says a place is closed.