I'm Just Here For The Food

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Being Taken For A Ride

So I was walking the streets of Bangkok, on my way to some Wats, when this kid approached me and asked where I was going. I said the royal palace, and then Wat Pho. Oh, they're closed for lunch, you should go around two. Now this didn't seem so far fetched, that happened in Vietnam and Cambodia all the time, so it had a ring of truth. Then he told me that the tuk-tuks with a certain number are government run, and therefore cheaper, and then pointed to a few places on the map I should go (most of which I was planning on seeing the next day, since I had just arrived in Bangkok that morning. He also told me I was in luck since this week there wasn't any entrance charge, and today was the last day. OK HERE IT COMES, IT'S ALWAYS THE LAST DAY WHEN THEY WANT TO SCAM YOU. Then he also names a place where I can get cheap clothes made. AND THERE'S THE SCAM! Low and behold one such Tuk-Tuk pulls up, and the kid talks to the driver and tells him where to take me all for 40 baht ($1). Now I know this is a scam. I've read about this scam. They take you somewhere, then take you to a jeweler or tailor, and they pressure you to buy over priced stuff. I've seen it before, but since I have no money, I usually get a cheap trip to a bunch of sights, so I actually like the scam. So we go to one Wat, and it was a really nice Buddha. NOW THIS IS HOW WELL THEY HAVE THE SCAM WORKED OUT. As I'm looking at the Buddha, this older man walks in and starts chatting. He asks where I'm from, and when I say Canada, he says he too lives in Canada, and is back in Thailand for a few months visiting family. He says he works for the Canadian consulate or something. He then tells me I'm lucky, because today is the last day of bale, bale,bale. And if I go to the tailor I get a special price and become a member, and can then order more stuff from back in Canada. MY GOD, THEY'RE ALL IN ON IT. He then says if I go to a specific travel place I'll get student rates which are much cheaper. This is one hell of a well designed scam.

So I get back to the Tuk Tuk, and the driver wants to take me to the tailor. I say no just to see what would happen, and that's when he tells you he gets gas coupons for bringing customers in. At least they're upfront about it. So I go. I'm led upstairs and we talk suits. Then it comes to price $280. YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME. I just laugh and ask if it looks like I can afford a $280 suit. So I leave. The driver kind of says I wasn't in there long enough to get him the coupon, but what could I do. After price is mentioned I can't say much without misleading the guy. So he take me to another Wat, this one with a 50 Ft. Buddha or something. It was quite amazing. Then it's back to the Tuk-Tuk ,and now he wants to take me to a jeweler. NO. Come on he says pretty much pleading. So I go. This is the last one he says after this two more sights and then to the palace. Well the jeweler was more than the tailor, so out I walk,and the driver's not happy, but he takes me to another Wat. This one was OK. So I walk out, and the driver is gone. No where to be found. Turns out though that I'm a 20 minute walk to the palace (which is only about 5 minutes further than when I started). So I basically got a free ride to a few wats I was going to see anyway, and it cost me nothing.

Hats off to the Scammers of Bangkok though, that was one well planned scam. On the way back from The palace (which was insanely beautiful by the way), I was once again offered a cheap ride. This time I elected to walk though, you can't scam the scammers twice in one day can you?

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3 Comments:

  • Hey, I just stumbled across your blog. Sounds like you're having an excellent time on your trip - and you're tales are definitely giving me the travel bug!

    By Blogger Anastasia, at 8:47 PM  

  • Please be careful Peter. Other countries don't have the same standards as the US in ensuring the safety and efficacy of medications. If you do decide to use a canada online pharmacy, PLEASE do your homework. Make sure the canada online pharmacy is in Canada, like canada online pharmacy. Some sites say they will ship the medications from Canada when they are actually in other countries. If you can, make sure the medications are manufactured in the US or Canada. Canada also has good protocols in making sure medications are safe and effective. There are many counterfeit drugs in the world. I would hate to see you become injured because of a counterfeit drug. Like I said before, do some researching before you decide to send away for some medication.

    By Blogger bloger16us, at 1:24 PM  

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