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Updated by Joanna James on Jul 13, 2023
Headline for How to Avoid Scams in Bangkok – Things to Keep in Mind on Your Adventures
Joanna James Joanna James
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How to Avoid Scams in Bangkok – Things to Keep in Mind on Your Adventures

Innumerable visitors from across the globe visit the Thai capital Bangkok each year to experience its entrancing attractions. However, although Thai people are honest, friendly and polite, as with any destination, there will be a few unscrupulous individuals seeking to make some quick money by scamming inexperienced visitors. Described below are some of these scams and how to evade them without having to fork out your valuable money.


Avoid taxi scams

Amongst the most commonly employed scams in Bangkok would be those connected with taxis. Taxis in Thailand should be comparatively cheap; however, for this, the meter should always be activated. Before entering a Thai taxi you should not forget to query ‘meter?’ and point at the meter fixed on the dashboard. If the driver happens to deactivate the meter during the journey (an unlikely occurrence) or requests an inflated price as the meter wasn’t activated, don’t panic. The driver’s photograph and ID card would be fixed to the dashboard; use your phone to photograph the ID and say to the driver ‘tourist police’. Usually, this would be sufficient to scare the driver so that he would quote a more reasonable price!


Don’t fall for the Grand Palace scam

Another scam to be wary of in Bangkok would be related to the Grand Palace, an iconic tourist attraction in the city. As you approach the Grand Palace or are visiting the adjacent Wat Pho, a smiling local would arrive and strike up a conversation with you. He may then inform you that the Grand Palace is closed and offer to take you to some other attractive temples. If you agree, at the next temple, you will meet another individual who will inform you about a lucrative opportunity to purchase duty-free gemstones at a discount; the first individual may also pester you to buy tourist packages or tickets.

Naturally, the objective would be to make you part with your money; always ignore people who offer their help without being asked for it. An accommodation choice to consider from which you could easily visit the Grand Palace would be Avani+ Riverside Bangkok Hotel; when based at such a trusted hotel in Riverside Bangkok, you can always get the needed assistance and advice to safely explore the city.


Be wary of the tuk-tuk scam

You will find that tuk-tuks stationed next to important landmarks, shopping malls and other places where tourists gather will sometimes request a ridiculous fare to travel a brief distance. These tuk-tuk drivers may also provide you with lines such as ‘could you help me to obtain free gasoline by visiting a gem shop; you won’t have to purchase anything’. When you reach the gem shop, however, you will experience high-pressure tactics to make you buy a worthless piece of junk. Therefore, never accept random offers to visit shops in Bangkok!


Evade tricksters and pickpockets

You may also encounter other tricksters in Bangkok seeking to make you part with your cash such as scammers who will attempt to isolate you and provide heart-breaking stories before asking for money. If you receive an unexpected invitation to dine at the home of a local stranger, you should probably decline it. Just as in other countries around the world, you will sometimes encounter bag-snatchers and pickpockets in Thailand as well.


Watch out for the khlong scam

Another deceitful ploy that you could encounter in Bangkok would be the khlong scam. A deceptively friendly local man would first strike up a friendship with you on the street. This individual would then offer you a tour of Bangkok’s canals or khlongs for an amazingly low price. You will probably enjoy the tour which would take place as arranged. However, at its conclusion, the boat would stop some distance from the dock and you will be asked to shell out a large sum; you would have to pay as there will be no alternative. Therefore, you should never accept such tours that seem too good to be true!