Bangkok Podcast: Tourist Scams

2017-10-18T21:48:02+07:00October 18th, 2010|Bangkok Podcast Season 1, Expat Experiences|14 Comments

Bangkok Podcast 23: Tourist Scams

Bangkok is a big and fast-paced city, and you need a significant amount of street smarts to avoid the many pitfalls that are present. One thing that many people find – despite the well-publicized ‘Land of Smiles’ image – is that Thailand has scam artists just like any other city around the world. Often these con artists weave incredibly intricate and cunning schemes to extract money out of unwitting tourists; the complexity of the schemes is incredible and people often lose anywhere from hundreds of baht to thousands of dollars.

In continuing our Halloween theme, Greg and Tony talk about some of the more common scams they’ve heard of and/or experienced, and share a few inside tips on what to look for, how to react, what to avoid, and – most importantly – what to do if you somehow find yourself a victim.

Greg and Tony also wax lyrical about the delightfully cool weather this week; talk about a great giveaway from one of our former guests; and Tony gives everyone a pro tip on avoiding the rain.

Show Links:

Bangkok Scams

The Pattaya Jet Ski Scam in Pictures

Flying Farangs: 2010 Land fo Smiles Ice Hockey Classic


  1. Kristian October 19, 2010 at 2:24 am - Reply

    Could you recommend a tailor for suits in Bangkok that you use?

    • Tony October 19, 2010 at 9:10 am - Reply

      The store I go to is called Georgios and it is located inside the Imperial Queens Park Hotel on Sukhumvit 22.

  2. Aaron @ Thailand hotels blog October 22, 2010 at 12:59 pm - Reply

    @ Kristian,

    I always use Chinese Tailor on Phetchaburi Road.

    Always happy with the quality, though the guy that always takes care of me is kinda grumpy and a little pushy.

  3. Mocha October 26, 2010 at 12:31 pm - Reply

    I have been happy at Excelsior near patpong road and would recommend people to check them up when in Bangkok.
    The shop has been establish for many years and serve many famous clients.

  4. Jules October 26, 2010 at 6:09 pm - Reply

    Bobby at Nana clothier is great

  5. Lach October 28, 2010 at 1:07 pm - Reply

    After a few experiences with bags absentmindedly left in taxis, I’ve gotten into the habit of snapping the license plate or driver registration number on my iPhone whenever I take a cab. That way I can always track the car down latter if need be. Just make sure you hold on to your phone!

    • Greg October 30, 2010 at 12:25 pm - Reply

      Nice one Lach. I always think of that only AFTER I get out of the cab cursing the dude’s name. But then what would I do with that number? Sounds like a bit of digging is needed…

  6. Pandit November 12, 2010 at 9:16 am - Reply

    Even I (as a monk) was taken for the birdfood scam.
    One point though, taxis taking the circuitoius route often genuinely don’t know the way. There are no exams required to drive a taxi (other than a liscence). Sometimes I got ‘scammed’ being taken the long route, only for the driver to not charge or discount by way of apology.

    • Greg November 13, 2010 at 11:27 pm - Reply

      Wow, they even prey on monks! Or is that pray on monks? 😛
      Very true, we expect all taxi drivers to know every street in the city, but Bangkok is huge and often they come from far out in the ‘burbs.

      • Andy November 18, 2010 at 12:01 pm - Reply

        When I first came to BKK, me and some co-workers were catching a taxi from Paragon, back to Asok. We didn’t realise that the section of Sukhumvit Road was one way in the part near the expressway, so it wasn’t possible to drive down Suk road. So that was the way we expected him to go.

        So when the taxi driver turned down some back roads, we’re thinking that he’s taking us for a ride, and complained about it. When actually it was due to the confusing road rules enforced on him.

        I guess what I’m saying is, the roads in BKK can be incredibly complex (even seemingly non-sensical), and what may seem like the long route is actually the way a taxi driver must go to comply with the road rules.

        Otherwise like Pandit & you mention, maybe they’re just out of towners who haven’t memorised the spaghetti like roads of BKK just yet.

  7. Claire from Simi Valley Limo March 19, 2011 at 2:25 pm - Reply

    Thanks for this post. My hubby went to bangkok last December. Thank God he wasn’t scammed or anything like that.

  8. Spaniard in Thailand November 18, 2011 at 2:59 am - Reply

    I’ve just met a countryfella who got scammed by a tuk tuk driver selling him weed and calling the police right after dropping him. And he had heard about that before, can’t believe people keep falling in the same trap.

  9. Bill February 18, 2012 at 5:57 am - Reply

    Tony, thanks for the tip. I went to Giorgios and I’m very happy with the result

    • Anthony February 20, 2012 at 2:46 pm - Reply

      That’s great! I’m glad you got a nice suit. Always fun to deal with the rapid fire Thai speaking lady manager.

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