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Wanderous Bangkok Tips on how not to get swindled

by on January 8, 2009

We arrived from bangkok a few weeks ago, and you can pile that on top of the rest of our “to do” list, but for now here’s a couple of tips so you don’t get ripped off like we did.

  • Toll fees from the airport are about 75 baht, and overall you shouldn’t have to pay more than 400 baht for a taxi to your hotel.  If the driver insists on more, bargain it down as best you can, and then remember to keep the taxi coupon you were given at the airport, because on the back is a number and a questionairre you can fill out and mail to the airport authority of Thailand to let them know that your driver tried to overcharge you.  His license plate and name Are written there already (I think) byt the taxi booth, so no need to worry about that.  It only costs 3 baht to mail it.
  • Never ever ride a tuk-tuk.  While some of them may actually get you to your proper destination, tourists = suckers to them, so we were suckered into a jewelry store viewing that we had absolutely no interest in.  I can appreciate that they’re just trying to make a living, but if I’m not interested in buying a suit or jewelry then it’s just not gonna happen.  Don’t be conned by their niceness.  We were accosted by a man who claimed to be a teacher and only wanting to help tourists.  We were given a song and dance about a buddhist holiday and how tourists would get cheap rides only for that day.  Calmly say no thank you and walk away, no matter how persistent they are.
  • If you are walking to the Grand Palace and are accosted by people offering you dried corn to feed to pigeons, scream at them and wave your arms wildly like a crazy man.  This is important.  Keep your arms up, because they’ll try to place the plastic bags of corn on your arms already open, so that if you move you might spill them and they’ll charge you for it.  They’ll give you some fast talk about how this is for good luck and drop hints that it might be free but in the end they’ll charge yo ua ridiculous sum for it.  The bitch that conned Aissa started yeling cuss words at her when she insisted on paying lower, so I figure it’s best to yell at them in advance so they know not to mess with you.  Again, I realize they’re trying to make a living, but tricking people will only work for so long.  Spread the word.  When you see the Pigeon people, scream and wave your hands in the air.
  • If you want to ride the boat ferry, make sure you get an official ticket.  Aissa and I were planning on riding the boat ferry on our way home, but it was late at night and we were conned by a man who promised an express ferry boat for 100 baht.  The “ticket” he gave us was a brochure.  This one’s on us, since we were dumb and tired enough to believe him, but make sure that you have some sort of official ticket before you hand over your money.

Aside from these little mishaps, Bangkok was a wonderful city to visit, which a mix of temples and good food that any traveller should’t miss.  Just be very careful and follow the tips I mentioned here and you should have a fun Bangkok vacation!

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From → Travel Tips

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