Bird Feeding, Bangkok
Near the Grand Palace there is a place were a lot of doves and a Thai fat woman and a middle aged man give unsuspecting tourist a small bag of corn kernel. They look friendly and as if they were giving you the corns for free even if you ask for how much they will keep on saying its ok...its ok... feed them... after the corn were out they will ask you to pay 50 batt per bag and they ussually give you 4 -6 bags of corn.... well i said dont have money..I only have 20 batt..if you want we go to the police,,,he he he...they accepted the 20 batt...but before that they keep on shouting ...so i also shout them and keep on saying Police...Police...Help me....lets go to the police station... They seem to be shock of how i was so determined to go to the police station...they finally said..ok..ok..no police just pay 20 batt...I gave them 20 batt then walk fast as i could.
Just across the grand palace, you will see that there are several birds in the park. NEVER take the corn bits from anyone to feed to the birds. EVEN if they say it's free! Why? Because in reality it is not FREE! We were very wrong to accept such an offer from a middle aged Thai woman. When we are about to go, she demanded payment and not only that! She's asking for a minimum of $50!!!! Who the hell would pay Fifity US dollars for a small plastic of corn pellets? When I said no, she hysterically shouted and just kept on saying "You pay $50!". It was very humiliating because it caught the attention of the others. I'm about to shrink from the looks of the people, as if i have committed a crime! Eventually, she agreed to accept 100 baht.
Old but useful trap!! Low cost and utilise the surrounding source!!
Unique Suggestions: Me and boyfriend just finished touring Grand Palace and set to ride on the boat service along Chao Phraya river. Unfortunately we couldn't find the pier as what we saw on the map, hence roam around outside Grand Palace. A Thai pedestrian pointed to us that the pier is located to the other side which we followed that eventually lead us to National Museum. Well, when we pass through one place where they were now building something, huh..i'm not sure what are they building, but it's quite a large place situated just right out of Grand Palace main entrance. When we pass through the palace, well, i saw a lot of birds on one place so i started taking pictures!!then come this so called 'Friendy people', they tried to give us the corn kernels, and i told them i don't want to..Since i've read that Thai people won't treat you well unless they want to get something from you!Then they stuffed it to my boyfriend and my boyfriend was so excited to feed the bird. A guy then passed few passed by and stuffed few packet to me and showed me how to feed the bird..Ok, by then i was soo excited to see the birds flying all over, so that i can take a great few pictures. OK..soon the corn kernels finished and we were ready to go. Suddenly, they say PAY!! PAY!! three of them ask for us to pay, and we asked how much. One of them replied, 150Baht per bag!! Imagine that one bag only consist around 20g of the corn grits.. Me and my boyfriend were shocked, but to avoid any unwanted circumstances, he took out the money and gave them. I was shocked then, couldn't think much also.. When they said, not enough, i shouted at them and say 'TOO MUCH!!' We left the place instantly. When i ask my boyfriend later how much he paid, he told me 400Baht!!i was sooo angry and at the same time so traumatised (cos they look like as if they didn't bath for few weeks, dirty, makes me remember one of the scene from KingKong, when the aborigines kidnapped Ann).
Fun Alternatives: There is no free meal in this world. Still the same advice: Never trust anyone in a foreign land.. If they treat you with lotsa smiles and friendliness, they sure want to get something from you. The tourist is always the loser.
It's really a nice place to walk around Sanam Luang Park. But please beware when you're approaching the pigeons teritory. It's not the pigeon you need to be avoid, but the group who sell the seed corn. Don't close to them or else they will force you to buy the seed to feed the pigeons. Again, it's not wrong to feed the pigeons, but the prices just too high for 3 small packets seed corn. Even when you said no to them, they will still pour the seed on your hand and ask you to feed the pigeons.
This incident happen when I was walking from Khao San Road heading to Wat Pho with my friend, therefore will pass by Sanam Luang Park. Enjoying the scenery, all of sudden, one women came to my friend and gave her 3 packets seed corn. Since she spoke in Thai, we couldn't understand at all what she meant. She's then, pointed to the pigeons, keep repeating "Good Luck. Good Luck" and even demonstrated to us by pouring the seed on the ground. I understand they're after our money. We rejected them but before we could go away, they opened the packets & pour onto our hands. I had it thought, it's doesn't matter if 40 bath for the 3 packets (we didn't ask the price yet). So, I pour the 3 packets seed to pigeons. When I were about to pay the seed, at the beginning they wanted 50 bath. I took out my wallet, and after they saw my 100 bath note, they're demanding more - 150 bath in the end. So, please ignore them & better avoid the pigeons.
Never go to the road outside Grand Palace. There are Thai lady tricksters out there forcing you to feed the pigeons and try to seek money from your pockets. Gem scams seem to have disappeared into the air but there are direct mobile vendors trying to sell Thai hats to you at an exorbitant price.
Unique Suggestions: At least walk quickly to the nearby bus stop and catch a bus to areas near Khao San Road.
Fun Alternatives: Roam at Suan Lum Night Bazaar, which I find it very safe because of the presence of the tourist police.
when walking from khao san towards the grand palace/wat po, you'll pass by a big park with lots of pigeons. several locals will approach you, pretending that they can't understand english, "wai-ing" and will hand you bags of corn kernels, gesturing that "you will be blessed if you feed the pigeons"
Unique Suggestions: return the bags at once! or say "free? free?" while pointing to the bags. my friends were scammed and had to pay 200 baht!
Fun Alternatives: RETURN THE BAGS and politely say NO!