Common Bangkok Scam

Frugal Travel Guy experiences a common, annoying scam in Bangkok. He shows up at a tourist site, is told by a local that “it’s closed” and is offered an inexpensive tour that winds up at a jewelry shop. Relatively harmless as far as scams go, but can easily ruin a day of sightseeing.

It’s one reason that, in an inexpensive destination, I like to hire a guide for the day on my first visit to a city. I’m basically paying one tout to fight off all the others for me, and give me a more seamless experience…

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. I had a similar experience several years ago while walking to a royal palace in Yogyakarta. I wound up at a “students’ art gallery.” So I guess this is a common Asian scam. I guess the lesson is that if anyone tells you a site is closed and then wants to “help you” by offering an alternative, you can’t trust them (no matter how sincere they seem).

  2. Oh c’mon, doesn’t the Frugal Travel Guy read any guidebooks at all? They all mention this very scam!

  3. I very rarely read guide books, but just go with the flow. This one cost me an extra 60 Bahts. It wouldn’t have bothered me as much but we had a flight to catch.

    Live an dlearn. I hope somebody gets saved the experience.

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