Bangkok is one of the busiest cities in Asia. Its enchantment isn’t derived from its busy roads, but instead its busy sidewalks. The hustle and bustle of street sellers, markets, and a flurry of restaurants makes the city one of the most convenient places to live in the world. The problem is even if you live in Bangkok there is always a trickster waiting to catch you off guard.
The Taxi Meter Scam 1
When you get in a taxi always make sure the taxi driver is willing to go by the meter. It also pays to check your taxi driver has turned on his meter. Failing to check usually results in a fee well above the odds when you arrive at your destination.
The Taxi Meter Scam 2
A small number of taxi drivers like to fiddle their meters. This results in the taxi meter ticking up far quicker than it should. Always get in the back seat of the taxi. On the back of one of the front seats there should be a price list that states the government set kilometres travelled versus taxi fee. If you suspect the meter is ticking up at an abnormal speed, compare the price with the taxi’s price list. Tell the taxi his meter is wrong, ask him to stop and get another taxi.
Note that some taxi price lists are out of date, so there will be a small difference in fare. Therefore, you should only get out of the taxi if the scam is obvious.
The 20 baht Tuk Tuk Scam
Some Tuk Tuk drivers will offer you a 10 or 20 baht ride to your destination. This seems like a great deal. However, your journey will usually take twice as long. We all know about the gem shop scam, but now there is a new scam unfolding in the city.
The Tuk Tuls takes you to a tailor shop where as soon as you step in the door you are being measured up. In these places the salesmen can become quite aggressive, and insist you pay for their measuring time. This is despite the fact you don’t want a suit.
The Bar and Drink Scam
In the red light areas some customers will sit down and enjoy a drink in the upstairs bars. When the bill comes the supposedly 90 baht drinks are in fact a 1,000 baht each.
The Electric Meter Scam
Some apartments offer rent that is around 1,000 baht below the market rate. It seems like a great deal at first until after the first month you receive your electric bill. The bills have been known to be as much three times the normal rate. The result is you end up paying way above the market rate, and you are stuck in a contract with your deposit held for ransom.