THAILAND & ESPECIALLY THE CITY OF Bangkok is the mecca of Asia AS WE KNOW IT AND AS MANY KNOW IT but things change from year to year. The new dawn of 2008 brings in a sun shine of activity you have never witnessed before. Well thats until the new PP Party deicdes to go back West and change the face of the place. You got it I mean revamp the hours of opening & clsoing times (Chalerm tried it but is not out of the Cabinet) and try to get the kids inside by midnight. But Bangkok is still the most popular destination for tourists young and old whether you arrive as a backpackers or for business. It has that charisma thats lacking in all those other western countries where the role of the law runs the show and has to be there, and where of course attitudes change people once theyve had a drink or 2 into zombies & instant no hopers. The city of Bangkok is a thriving metropolis and caters for everyone not just the idiots who want to seek out a marriage partner in one night. I guess thats part of "One night in Bangkok". At night time after dark the place is transformed with neons and lights that just dazzle the visitor & offers entertainment virtually all all all night from movies to the theatre---- from th go gos & to shows and videos to girlie bars, massage and live entertainment bands & nightclubs--whatever your into. Of course we welcome you to Bangkok CONFIDENTIAL where we you can see the jazzy side of Bangkok from massage parlours to the best eating and drinking spots from all over the world right to the lowdown girlie bars where the girls bare all to the sutle cabarets & videos. Yes Bangkok Confidential even offers business ideas and help for those here for the GO session ---that means business and pleasure as well as those uniques stories that happen in "the land of smiles". This is just another phase of our Expat Law.
But Thailand is can be a trap for the unwary traveller so be careful wherever you go.
BANGKOK CONFIDENTIAL TOURIST NEWS
& SCAMS IN THAILAND
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Beware of thieves at Suvarnabhumi Airport
Up to 415 theft cases were reported to a tourist-service centre in the past several months.
"Thieves targeted notebook computers and cameras," Pol Lt Col Thammawat Hirunyalekha, an inspector at the centre, said Sunday.According to him, of teh total thefts reported, 152 cases were about items missing in the airport, 152 about items missing while on board, and 101 about items missing outside the airport's compound.The number of theft reports at the unit has climbed from just nine in September, to 54 in October, 72 in November, 101 in December and 114 in January. Watch out for any touts wanting to help you inside the airport. They are everywhere and yes they try to offer you cheap deals for 700baht no meter then will talk you into all sorts of things on the way. There is nothing cheap apart from the real meter in the taxi but only you know this! Do not talk to them or listen as we would say at Bangkok Confidential. The Tourist Police office are on the ground floor if you get hassled bu do you think they will be near the doors when it all happens --of course not. Oh well maybe these guys get a bonus for staying on the ground floor helping poor old ladies beat the queue in the Ladies rest room.
Source: The Nation 25th Feb 2007 Thailands Newspaper
TUK TUKS IN BANGKOK:
If the tuk tuk driver tells you that "Today is a special promotion from THE government" or “ Jewellry fair open for one day only” or “ Seafood dinner cheap”and he wants to take you around for a very 'cheap price' beware It's all a total lie. The Government never has promotions organized with Tuk Tuk drivers at all. (they just want to cheat tourists). They might tell you that a place you want to go (temples, palaces, etc) is closed for 'repairs' today. Just don't trust a driver even if he says cheap fair 20 baht. A good driver would never try to bring you to other places instead but just telling you that "sorry it is closed today" and leaves. And don't buy anything in Jewelry shops they bring you to. Usually jewelry are fake or bad quality but sold overpriced. No matter how they tell you about how much you will earn from selling this in your country. This is always a scam and the motto if someone speaks good English and accosts you BEWARE. In Bangkok Tuktuks are a ripoff so always use a taxi.
TAXIS ARE EVERYWHERE BUT USE THE METER:
Best way is to ask before you jump in a tuk tuk for the price. Other means of transport. Take a bus or use a meter-taxi only. If the taxi doesn’t use the meter tell him to stop and get into another. No charge and theres plenty of cabs in Bangkok. Never use a cab at the new airport from touts inside the airport. It could be your last ride. Don’t use any cab touts inside the new airport. Always go to the bottom ground floor and use the taxis there as there are many. Some touts hang out at the exit but keep away from them. Some years ago an Egyptian taxi driver plied on tourists and they were later robbed & then murdered. He was caught but not good for Thailand. Go to the ground floor and get a voucher. Recently an elderly couple got into a taxi at the airport only to be taken to the wrong hotel by the taxi driver who never spoke to them--- Feb 2007. Always use your cool and tell him to take you to the right place as they did. This guy tried to get them to stay at a cheaper place but they had already booked & they wrote to the Bangkok Post. Many scams trying to get you to go to a cheap hotel. Remember the cab number on the doors. Avoid at all time to take taxis which are pulled over at the side roads and with the drivers standing outside their vehicle. They usually never run the meter, and would be calling their prices - at least 2 -3 times if not more higher than metered prices.As at August 2008 taxis will not use the meter to Suvannabhumbi airport as they cann ot get a return fare. Negotiate 400-450 baht and if the latter tell them to pay the toll on the Expressway Hway 9.
THE GAMBLING RAQUET:
Another scam is to get you into gambling. They will ask where you are from, what your job is and then they will tell you that their daughter or sister is going to study at a university or is moving to your city to work and knows nothing about the place. They will socialize some more to gain your friendship and confidence and then ask you if you could meet their daughter/sister to tell them about your country & come to lunch. Do not agree to meet the girl as it is a setup to get you into gambling then losing all your money.Mosty of all don't drink or eat anything offered to you as you may not wake up.
DRINK AND FOOD:
Never ever accept food or drink even from a full bottle of water from Thais especially in bars or in guest rooms etc but mainly those you do not know or have just met. You may wake up 14 hours later with no possessions. If theres 2 glasses you may like to fill the glass first then ask them to drink first a toast and let them drink first. If only one glass watch out???? Don’t touch it. If you go to the toilet and youre with a woman, drink it up first and when you come back and its full maybe don't drink it. Sojme time back we knew of an expat Bar/restaurant owner who lost 75,000 baht one day. He was drinking in a bar in Chiangmai and after 2 hours went to the toilet. On the return he keep drinking and l dozed off within 1/2 hour. he lost 75,000 baht from his pocket--so no money he had to borrow.
CHECK OUT THE ONLY THAI LAW FORUM BELOW
THOSE WAT TRICKSTERS:
Grand Palace and Wat Po. There are Thai lady tricksters out there forcing you to feed the pigeons and try to seek money from your pockets. Beware of people outside temples and other tourist areas offering their help and advice. These people actually are scammers after a buck and want to lead you to a jewelry shop or any other shops for you to buy stuffs, which in turn give them commissions from those shops. To start a conversation, they usually ask questions like from what country you come from or where you are going then telling you that such temple/palace is still closed for some reasons 'til certain time and then tell you to go some other 'tourist' place first. They may say they are a doctor or such like & know your country trying to get a laugh out of you but that’s just a ploy. A scam is being perpetrated : 1. The intended victim is told that the item he buys can be resold at a large profit because (a) the jewelry item's cost will rise, (b) it is being discounted, or (c) it is a wise investment 2. The victim is taken to a jewelry shop specializing in gemstones. 3. The shop has no credit card machines of its own but has to use the facilities of other shops. 4. The sales pitch is made in a monastery, on the street or by Tuk-Tuk drivers. If you are not truly knowledgeable about gems and jewelry, to obtain them for the purposes of investments, speculation or reselling would be a sure way to losing your money. So, when in doubt about buying jewelry, please obtain further information from Tourism Authority of Thailand or the Tourist Police. Tel. 1155/694 14 60/678 68 00-9"
BUSES & TOURS:
Never book tours in Bangkok for Chiangmai or elsewhere. You will find the prices cheaper if you book in Chiangmai eg elephants etc. Once you pay you are locked in and you may find you have over paid and the service not what it was supposed to include. There are many tour companies offering fares and tours outside the railway station and bus terminals etc. They'll ask you where you are going, inform you that the route is sold out but they have a TAT travel agency across the street that can take care of you. Fake agents will come up to you with fake ID cards in the station but they are paid employees NOT FROM TAT (Thailand Tourism). You see the TAT license and assume you've been told the truth - that this is a TAT travel agency. But what you don't know is that TAT doesn't operate any travel agencies, only licenses them with the criteria being little more than the agencies ability to comply with a few bureaucratic requirements. Inside the agency, the pleasant people will try to sell you a bus ticket on a private "VIP" bus that is just a 68 seater crammed up and a total ripoff or an elephant ride at 3 times the cost. More info in the Lonely Planet??
If a bus trip sounds too cheap don’t take it eg Bkk to Chiangmai for 150 baht. They will have 68 seats – cramped – not licensed and if they crash the driver will run away. Cheap is not always the best and even the stewards and esses will steal from your bag if you catch the bus. Carry all your passports etc on your person and keep copies. For a good night journey try Sahacharn or Indra tours by the Bai Yok Tower Pratunam
Around 420 leaves at night and safe. Has free drinks and meal stop inclusive and only 38 –seats. This bus is where all the buyers use and it is good for trips to and from Bangkok –Chiangmai. When you go to the train station to buy a ticket somewhere make sure you go straight to the ticket windows and ignore anybody that tries to tell you otherwise.. Do not buy one across the street from one of these travel agencies. Ignore the people
CLOTH SHOP TOUTS:
The most famour tourist clothing shops will always have toutsd hanging around. They run there turf just like the mafia and can be in the form of a few taxis, tuk tuks or people on the street. Saladaeng skytrain towards the Jim Thompson shop watch out for Ladies or men asking where are you off to. They will tell you that you are being ripped off to buy Jim Thompson stuff, and you should shop at the next block up from the JT shop. These people actually operate in a small booth at the corner street of JT shop, and if you do not take heed of their advise and come out of JT shops with bags of goodies, they may even snare at you. It is just their way of luring you to their shops to earn them a commission.
JEWELRY SHOP TOUTS:
Jewelry and what you wear be careful as many foreigners have lost there gold necklaces etc by motorcycles coming alongside and tearing them off you. Don't believe their are one day sales and be careful when wearing nice jewelry as its just a temptation for any Thai tout. Today its very dangerous to have all your valuables in one pleace --your hand bag. In March 2007 one of our staff put her bag in her front basket of her Honda Dream after going to the market. She went to start her bike and a Thai boy drove along and scooped her bag --lost --- Wallet with ID, drivers license; CC; digital camera & keys --- not nice.
WALKING ALONG A STREET :
Don't carry your bag on your right shoulder if walking down the left side and visa versa down th other side. A motorcycle may come down on you and grab your bag. try to have some money in another place besides your bag as having all your possessions in on bag is not a good idea. For those wealthy ites who like to show off their jewelry its up to you if you want to expose yourself and be a sitting duck as once you lose it --swiped from your kneck you will not get it back. Anyone that accosts you in a Bus station; railway station or airport, wat tc just be wary as the price may change dramitically or what they show you will not be.
NOT JUST BANGKOK ---- - - - CAMBODIA:
Going to Cambodia: With the Government not wanting to sign any anti corruptiuon laws as at 2007 its understandable that this is a cowboy town still so watch out as plenty of scams here. Using a moto like tuktuk hold on to your bags. An ex Aus cop friend of ours went there and had all his money, passport in a small bag beside him in the moto. After arriving at Phnom Penh he was being driven into town in a moto and 2 guys on a Honda bike came alonside and stole his bag. No possessions, no money, no passport and what to do –One hell of a headache he told us one hour after he arrived. Lucky there was an Aus Embassy there but if you think about the headache to reapply for non immigrant visa etc, get another CC and money etc ---- who wants it? you said it.
Poipet on the border be careful as many touts who want to take you to the buses. They wait while the driver is having a snooze or not there then allow you to climb on board take your money –no ticket and then the driver comes along and wants you to pay again. It’s a racket so don’t use touts for shortcuts.
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