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gret Mar 16th, 2002 10:59 AM

Safety in Bangkok
We are with a tour and leaving soon-suitcases packed--my husband has a concern of safety in Bangkok and Hanoi, we have several days free any ideas and help to make him feel more comfortable???

Margot Mar 16th, 2002 12:32 PM

We were with a tour in February and one day in Bangkok my husband felt really tired and I decided to stay out on my own. Had no problems at all. People are very friendly. You may be approached to take a tuk tuk really cheap. We did and as long as you go to a jewelry store or silk shop as part of the trip, he only charged 20 baht (50 cents) and he showed us around for two and a half hours.

B.C. Mar 16th, 2002 09:52 PM

Re: Tuk-tuks and jewellery stores - it is one of the longest running scams in Bangkok with 1200 reported complaints filed last year. Somebody tells you a temple or a mall or something is closed, but you can get this special 20 baht deal on a tuk-tuk. The tuk-tuk then takes you on a tour where you bump into all these people, including Caucasian foreigners, who tell you about this special government gem sale... and then you get whisked to any number of scam gem shops selling worthless glass for thousands of dollars. It is elaborate and cunning as the authorities have done little to deter it, raising constant complaints from the foreign embassies. This is probably the biggest danger to unsuspecting tourists. Don't listen to anyone telling you a temple is closed or you can get a special deal on anything. It is best to use the taxis, as many tuk-tuk drivers are part of the scam. For victim testimonials on the scam, visit

gret Mar 17th, 2002 11:46 AM

Thanks for your answers!

Thomas Mar 17th, 2002 03:39 PM

I agree that Margot's comments were reckless. Do not trust Tuk Tuk drivers. Don't even bother with them in Bangkok because the taxis are cheap and air-conditioned. My best advice for travelling in BKK, be very cautious with locals. Everywhere you will run into people who'll ask you simple questions like "where are you going?" only in the hopes of talking you into some scam or an overpriced tuk tuk ride. <BR><BR>On one occassion, while trying to walk to Wat Po to see the Reclining Buddha, tuk tuk drivers tried to convince my girlfriend and I that there was a "monk ceremony" on that day and it was closed. However, they offered to take us on a tour to see many other buddhas. I never bought their lie and walked on to the open temple. Another foreigner passing by told us that those same men took her gem shopping and she lost $3000 on fake gems. <BR><BR>I was also concerned with safety before I went - for myself and my girlfriend. Tell your husband that you just have to use common sense. If it sounds too good to be true, 20 baht!!!!!!!, it is. Get a map and a guidebook and figure out what you want to do yourself. If you need transport approach someone yourself, preferrably flag a moving taxi down. If someone approaches you, don't trust what they say. Although they are very nice, they are pros at scamming foreigners. My best tactic was simply to ignore them or just smile and say no.<BR><BR>Sorry for the rambling, but 3 months ago I felt the same way as your husband.

gret Mar 18th, 2002 02:24 AM

That was a very interesting reply and Thanks for sharing--we shall follow your advice and are off to enjoy!!

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