Bangkok Day 2: Longboat Ride, Wat Arun, Khao Sahn Rd, and Learning the Scams of Thailand

in #travel3 years ago (edited)

Scams of Thailand

Let's start this blog off with some lessons learned about Thailand. First off, I hate using the word "scam" because it's so often misused in today's online world. But I can't find another word to describe what we've experienced here in Bangkok with the tourist traps that have literally led us down the road of spending unnecessary money.

How it works

As tourists (such as us) walk down the road heading to our destination, a random person on the sidewalk will appear out of nowhere with a friendly face asking us where we're going. Seems like a kind and genuine gesture of concern, right? Wrong. They ask us to pull out our map and show them where we're going. At some point in the conversation they always ask where we're from. This just adds to the confusion. Why would somebody wanting to take our money care where we're from? Obviously they are really interested in us, right? Wrong.

As we explain where we're going, they will either tell us to take a tuk tuk, which is usually waiting on the sidewalk next to them, or they'll explain that we should really go see something else (where we'll spend more money and they get a cut). I can't prove this at all, but it's happened on more than one occasion now and it's becoming apparent what's going on.

Example A:
Yesterday we were at the Grand Palace. But we weren't dressed appropriately to go in. A guy standing on the sidewalk told us that we could instead go to three other places on a tuk tuk for 30 Baht (which is super cheap). What we weren't told is that one of the stops was at the silk suit shop where they were going to really try and sell us a suit. So for 30 Baht we got to see a lot of the city and several beautiful temples. But it ended up costing us a grand total of 10,030 Baht ($303 USD), and we strongly feel that the driver (and probably the man who set it all up) got a cut.

Example B:
Today we were walking along the road heading back to the Grand Palace because we now had the proper attire on. Once again, a man standing on the sidewalk asked where we were going and where we were from. We explained that we were headed to the Grand Palace. He told us that today wasn't a good day to go because it was the King's birthday and they were having a celebration there. This was in fact true, but we hadn't considered it affecting our plans to tour the palace. We're still unsure whether it would've mattered or not.

He recommended that we take a tuk tuk to the ferry port where we could get a longboat for 1,000 Baht a piece and tour the canals of Bangkok and visit a floating market. It sounded like fun, and honestly 2,000 Baht didn't sound like much in our heads at the time. As soon as he said tuk tuk, one magically appeared next to us ready to go. So we climbed on board and headed to the docks. On the way there, I realized that 2,000 Baht is $60 USD. That's REALLY not cheap in Thailand, considering that an hour in a taxi costs, at most, 200 Baht ($6 USD). Once again, we knew we had been taken. But what could we do at this point but try to enjoy the boat ride.

To make matters worse, there was no floating market. It was just one guy in a canoe that came up to our boat selling some overpriced beer and fruit. We purchased some mangoes for 100 Baht ($3 USD) which should have been.. maybe.. 20 Baht at most.

We also got to a spot where we fed some fish and a lady was selling bread for 20 Baht. This was actually more reasonably priced, and at least we got some excitement out of it.

Once the hour ride was over, we landed at a dock next to Wat Arun. Seems our little tourist trap was over. Not yet! As we stepped off the boat there were two lades sitting there telling us we needed to pay 30 Baht for a landing fee. Wth? Really? Why doesn't the driver (who just made $60 USD from us) pay this fee? And we really don't even know that these ladies own the dock.

Just so you guys know, I'm not cheap. And I'm not exactly poor either. But I do appreciate a dollar and I also absolutely HATE being taken advantage of. It's one of my biggest pet peeves while traveling. I'd rather walk 2 miles in the heat than pay for an overpriced tuk tuk and that actually happened yesterday LOL. When I travel to a destination, I'm no longer using the US Dollar. I'm using the local currency. And I expect to spend my money as the locals do, especially in a country like Thailand where the money goes so far.

Anyways, just be careful when coming to Bangkok. I'm not sure if the rest of the country is like this, but always check to make sure you're getting a fair deal and avoid these sidewalk hustlers. They really seem genuine and out for your best interest, but we've determined there are other motives at play here.

Wat Arun

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Luckily we landed at one of the temples we've been wanting to see here: Wat Arun, also knows as the Temple of Dawn. This Buddhist temple (wat) gets its name for the Hindu god Arun and the locals believe that the temple protects the lives of Thai Buddhists in this region from dawn til dusk. It's outside is covered in very detailed porcelain which makes it unique when compared to other temples.

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Sorry for the lack of pictures. The internet is horribly slow here.

Khao Sahn Rd

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A trip to Bangkok wouldn't be complete without spending a little time on Khao Sahn Rd, exploring the little shops lining the road and watching the tourists get their buzz on. Oh, and we also found more fried bugs (which I still haven't worked up the appetite for 😆).

We found a restaurant not far off of Khao Sahn Rd that was super cozy. The decor felt like a blend of traditional Buddhist Thai with a modern, rustic, hippie vibe. We kicked off our shoes (no shoes allowed) and found us a little table. We were surrounded by other tourists, and even locals, who were either laid out on the floor with their drinks and food or sitting on a cushion on the floor indian style. It was a very cool experience.

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We ordered thai lemongrass tea and two different vegetable plates which were both great. The dishes are so simple, yet so good!

After we ate, a thunderstorm set in. It was time to rush back to our hotel and get some much needed rest. Tomorrow we have something VERY special planned. I'm not going to give anything away here, but it would be worth checking out my blog tomorrow. I'll just leave it at that! 😉

Thanks for following along with our journey through South East Asia! I hope you've enjoyed reading about our experiences. Be sure to follow my blog for more travel adventures over the next couple of weeks!

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One has to be really careful when travelling to new places, some people are only out to take advantage of foreigners. Sorry for what happened. But well, you still had a great time, which is awesome.

I really will love to see more photos of that temple, it looks beautiful.

Yeah, just part of the process of learning a new place I suppose. And I actually had so many pictures of that temple but unfortunately the WiFi at our hotel was horrible. At the airport now waiting for our flight to Myanmar. :)

Yeah.. That's sad, maybe you will post them when you get back home?

I hope you enjoy your stay in Myanmar , even though it didn't start off so well at the airport.

There was a show on netflix I think called Scam City. Thailand is one that has a lot of scams. I'm glad you are not letting it get to you and having a blast. Just don't let Taxi drivers choose the bars you go to.

I'm gonna have to look up that show now! Maybe we should've watched it before we left LOL. And yeah, I never let it get to me too much. Just gotta keep reminding myself that it's a part of traveling. These people are everywhere.

We really have had a great time here. Today was incredible! I wrote about it just a little bit ago but it involved some new ink ;)

@brandonfrye i always very intrested and i really like a Thailand trip. and saur i want to go a Thailand adventure trip as soon as possible, i'm so excited for it, and i'll really remember all scams that you described in this blog.

if you don't mind, i have one question. according your this blog you have some bad experiences of Thailand so, would you like next time go to a Thailand Trip?

please reply !

thanku for share your Bangkok Day 2 experience. i really like, so i'll follow you closly.
i'm doing follow, upvote and resteem this blog @brandonfrye .
please upvote me @krishnackt11 .

Of course, I have no problems with Thailand. I actually really like it here. :)

It's just a learning process of knowing what to watch out for. Once you figure that out, your travels will be much smoother.

thanku @brandonfrye for share this information.

I think it was perfect click and photography
Especially this place looks so beautiful
Well done @bradonfrye & thank you for this original-content writing and sharing with us have a good day

It is a shame that these tourist traps occur in many countries that need the support for their economies. I know that the government tries to regulate at times but it is best to prepare before getting there. It seems like scams are everywhere these days!

Yeah, it is. The very thing that helps their local economy they take advantage of. This isn't necessarily unusual though. We've experienced this in many places... just not this elaborate lol.

I am sorry to read about your trip to Bangkok. It may be a trip that will never be forgotten. Want to enjoy the trip, but less fun and spend a lot of money. I have never experienced anything like that. Hope it does not happen. But the photos of your trip look good and I like the photos while in the restaurant, the food looks really good. The temple is also very beautiful. Thank you for sharing your experience when you take a trip to Bangkok. Hopefully this does not happen to other tourists. Have a nice trip.

We really have had a great time and most of the people have been super nice. Just hate dealing with scammers while we're trying to navigate from place to place. But it's all a part of traveling so no worries. And thanks for following along. I'm glad you've enjoyed it thus far. I just posted about today's adventures which led us to visit a local Buddhist Ajarn where we received Sak Yant tattoos! One of the best experiences of a lifetime.

I have been in Bangkok for two years now and I have never gone to most of those places. I did get to Wat Arun during Sonkran and walked around a bit. There were so many people that no one bothered me.

I live up by MRT Sutthisan and never have any trouble since no one is on the make here. It is just a quiet neighborhood. If a Thai person talks to me here it is because they are interested. I go to my local market and have no dream of ever visiting Khao Sahn Rd. I'm one of the people who would be ripped off left and right if I ever tried.

In my first month, I went on a long day trip to a floating market somewhere. This was the most expensive day of the whole two years and I bought nothing at all because the taxi and boat ride were much more expensive than promised. I had to use my "hidden" cash to even get on the boat and it was less that the guy wanted. I was glad I had no money left as people came up in boats for the whole long trip trying to sell this and that. You missed nothing.

The only temple I have been to was for a funeral. This is enough for me. I count on photos and posts like this to show me what I am missing. The food looks like the food up here, but there are no tourists, and no one is sitting on the floor eating it :)

One tip I know now is that if anyone does try to talk to you is those tourist places you can stop them easily. Just hold out your hand palm down and wave it back and forth gently as you keep walking. This means "no" here.

Thanks for sharing your experience here in Thailand! Sounds like you've avoided most (except the boat trip) of the traps lol. And thanks so much for the tip!

Just hold out your hand palm down and wave it back and forth gently as you keep walking. This means "no" here.

I'm certainly going to be using this tomorrow. I'm sure I'll need it more than once! :)

lol - glad to help.

btw, I got into a taxi yesterday on the way to extend my Thai Visa. The driver had the meter on but started telling me he needed more money for tolls and a fee for paying them. "Only 200 baht!" There was no reason to even go on the highway from where I was. I got out at the next light and think my 60 baht payment was a steal.

@fitinfun, read your writing I am more and more convinced that experience is the best teacher. you are so familiar with the tour that you visit following the code owned.
the notes are loaded with valuable experience is very useful to be a reference for those who like to travel to places you've ever visited. creative greeting make.

Thank you very much. I am so glad you find my posts interesting and helpful. Thank you for the boost today :)

This is a fantastic photograph. The colors are vivid and sharp. WOW!

This is a fantastic photograph

Which one? I posted many pics. You might want to update your comment bot to be more personable. Or just comment yourself. Still debating whether to downvote this comment. 🤔

@brandonfrye the silk suit you purchased costs alot. I think that was a very expensive deal. Anyways guys no need to think about what you did. Learn from that and enjoy you trip.

Yeah, we really should have bargained with him some. We literally forgot to even negotiate LOL. That was our fault. But on the bright side the same suit would have cost upwards of $1,000 in the states so we don't feel like we messed up too bad. It is really good quality with custom silk lining which we got to pick out. Now getting Kristen to actually wear it is another story LOL :)

Brandon! Another cool picture of tasty looking.....bugs....lol I don't blame you I wouldn't eat them either...but you totally should, I want you to do it. lol I bet if you film it and slap that baby on Youtube or Dtube, it will probably do well..lol I know I will watch it! LOL Anyways sorry to hear about the scams. It happened to me all the time in the Philippines. But after I learned Tagalog, it was much harder for me to get scammed. But then again I wasn't really a tourist there either I was living there, so I go the hang of it after awhile. haha As always cool update post and great pictures!

Lol, I know. I feel somehow obligated to try them.. but... nah. 😂 We were actually going to go to the Philippines but somehow our plans got diverted to Malaysia for a day. So we'll just have to wait and see what they have to offer in the way of swindlers. hahah

Ummm yeah nah! I won't blame you one bit for not trying them. I wouldn't! LOL Have a great week this week! Eat amazing food and see amazing sites! lol

Sorry about the scams. That’s a lot of SBD.

Also dude, you might want to make a quick edit.
Looks like you forgot to replace “(restaurant pic here)” and “(insert pics of Wat Arun here)“

The internet is horrible here. I had to create the post and then add the photos from my phone lol. I can't wait to get to a place with some better WiFi. But thanks for the heads up!

Did you try fried bugs? 😆

How good travel and good recomendation about all steemian to arrivel this place. Your write in description very nica. I like it so i give you my vote

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