Scam at Grand Palace Bangkok

Dec 3rd, 2006, 09:27 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 1,277
Scam at Grand Palace Bangkok

If you visit the Grand Palace, it is very likely, that near the entrance you will be approached by someone wearing a uniform and looking very official who will tell you that The Palace is closed for a couple of hours except to local people. He will then offer to arrange a tuc-tuc to take you to some other places of interest in the area,whilst you wait for the palace to re-open.I was very nearly taken in but my wife was having none of it (she had read about this somewhere before our trip).What they want to do is take you to various retail outlets and charge you too much!!! The Palace does NOT close during the day but these people can be very plausible. Just politely decline their advice and make your way to the entrance and enjoy the wonderful Grand Palace.
LeighTravelClub is offline  
Dec 3rd, 2006, 09:31 PM
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It never hurts to post this warning again, as it is the most common scam in Bangkok and is detailed in every guidebook and every travel site. There are still those who are taken in by it.
Kathie is offline  
Dec 3rd, 2006, 11:21 PM
Join Date: Sep 2003
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Leigh, thank you for the warning. I hadn't heard about this before so will now be aware for our forthcoming trip.
shandy is online now  
Dec 3rd, 2006, 11:57 PM
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 218
Looks like this scam is been doing the rounds for a long time.I too almost fell for it 5 yrs ago.Maybe some presence of mind I took a chance and was surprised to see the Grand Palace open.
The other scam was the taxi drivers offer to take you to any destination of your choice,their only request being that you visit a government emporium (on the way to your place of visit) even if you have no intentions of buying anything.In doing so they collect a coupon for free gas ( 20lts for each tourist they bring in).By the time you are out of the emporium they have vanished.
Do not fall for this!you will needlessly be stranded.An absolute waste of time.
harsha is offline  
Dec 4th, 2006, 07:52 AM
Join Date: Dec 2005
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My experience with this was hilarious. The man (very official looking, uniform) was standing right under the "Don't trust strangers" sign the Thai government put up to warn tourists about this prevalent scam. And he launched in with a suggestion (I had a long sleeve silk jacket in my hands to cover the no bare shoulders requirement, but hadn't put it on yet) to remember my jacket. Then he tried "the temple is closed" routine. We just smiled and thanked him. It definitely takes a creative person to stand right under the warning sign.
jenskar is offline  
Dec 4th, 2006, 10:16 AM
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 74
This is also commonly used for the King's birthday (this week) when people will approach you saying that this or that store is closed today.
featherbrain is offline  
Dec 4th, 2006, 03:28 PM
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 563
this is another funny story,

first trip to bangkok we headed to wat pho and the grand palace on the morning after arrival. we took the marriott boat, switched to a long tail and got off at tha tien stop. as we 3 women
walked away from the water trying to find our way to the street and wat pho,
an official looking man approached us,
informed us there was a fee of 20 baht per person to use this pier and access.
we were so excited and exhausted from our arrival, i happily agreed to pay him and he pointed us in the right direction. as i was walking away, i asked him how long this receipt would work for future arrivals at tha tien...
and he replied " for as many trips as you please.".....
a year later, same scenario, we arrive, head towards the grand palace and the same man stops us with his receipt book.
i told him i still had my receipt from last year (it was in my passport holder)
and he chuckled..."you very smart hawaiian woman...i remember you..receipt now good for this lifetime
and the next lifetime..."
i treasure my receipt and everytime i go to bangkok, i make the same trip hoping to see the little official guy.
we even have a photo with him, next trip
i promised to bring him a copy.

i have found out that he infact can charge people for crossing this area.
i thought it was a scam and still paid my dues.
divediva is offline  
Dec 4th, 2006, 03:39 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Great story, divediva!

A couple of years ago, a man stopped us on the way to the Grand Palace and started to tell us it was closed. We started laughing and he laughed too, recognizing we knew the deal. I said to him, "but I have a great place to buy jewelry..." He laughed and waved to us, and waved again when we came back out of the GP.
Kathie is offline  
Dec 4th, 2006, 05:35 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,937
We didn't fall for it our first time in Bangkok. We ignored the "warning" and went to the palace. For some unknown reason, we fell for it the second trip. So we let our boatman take us to the snake farm. We loved the snake farm, which was really a nice zoo. The snake show was amazing. We also got a tour of the klongs, fed the fish at a temple. Our photos of our grandkids with the snakes will be shown for years, even to their kids someday. Then we went to the palace, but we rather toured out so we did not stay very long.
Elainee is offline  
Dec 4th, 2006, 08:45 PM
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 563
sometimes these little scams are just
a fun way to interact with the locals.
i think they even appreciate when we
laugh with them ....

in cambodia at siem reap, we had a young english speaking man follow us around
and explained about the different temples and apsaras, lots of good we were leaving,
he informed us we owed him $2 US dollars for his tour....
i should have known...i paid him, felt kinda scammed but he did share time and
knowledge, he just should have been upfront...
i guess everyone has to make a living
and we are so so easy to give our money away
divediva is offline  
Dec 5th, 2006, 12:19 PM
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 3
Also, beware of the Lucky Buddha man. We met a man who told he was a teacher, told us all about Buddhism and was very nice. He told us the Grand Palace was closed due to the holiday. He then convinced us to go tailor shop. I refused the sales peoples advances but my friends got caught up in it. The day wound up being a total wash, we did nothing we set up to do, ate where they wanted, rode a smelly boat that we were overcharged for and bought suits from a tourist trap. It was horrific.
JeannaS is offline  
Dec 5th, 2006, 08:41 PM
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 75
I felt so bad for the people there that if someone offered a tour guide service I took it. But yeah, especially at Bayon, there are tons of helpful guys there.
veracity is offline  

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