The take home message here are:
1. Never trust anyone that tries to befriend you in the streets. Thais are friendly, but they won't go all the way to such extremes of friendliness unless there's something to gain from you.
2. The Grand Palace is NEVER closed. If it is, then thousands of other visitng locals are wrong too.
3. The official looking friendly guy claiming to be a "palace official" isn't what you think he is (an official). He's one of the scammers operating at the palace gates. Expect him to give you the whole spiel mentioned above.
4. If it's too good to be true, it probably is. Exercise utmost caution.
5. And lastly, read the 2bangkok gem scam website before going to Thailand. Its database has an extensive record of anecdotes and quests for money back by the victims of these incorrigible gem shops. It is regularly updated with the names of questionable shops (with photos) and the methods used to lure unwitting buyers.
Hi fellow travellers, I had jus returned frm thai. I was so excited about the trip that i forgot to read up on scams in Bangkok, my biggest MISTAKE! While strolling with my Gf at sanam luang, a thai approach us. He told us that he was a buddhist lecturer, waiting for his friend and started explaining to ask the history of the temples. When we reveal tat we were gg to Wat Po, he told us tat it was the buddhist festiva & its close in the morn as there was a prayer session for the royal family. He then advise that we visit the surrounding temples as admission is free when the Grand palace and Wat Po is close. He ask whether we had a map and advice us the route to take & the temples to visit, with a little detour to a jewellery export co. When we told him we were not interested in the jewellery he explain that the export co. was open only for 1 day to the public tax free once a year during the time the royal family do their prayer. He also advise us that we should only take Tuk Tuk that are register in Black and White as the others are private Tuk Tuk hence charges tend too high. Along the trip you will meet a traveller who will come up and share their story of how they profit frm buying & selling Jewelleries to their country. In our case, they engage a foreigner claiming to be from belgium, he will specifically show u his receipt and the name of the Export Co. And this company will coincidentally be the same as the one the lecturer advise. The jewellery co. we went to is call "THE GOLDEN AGROSY EXPORT COMPANY".
DON'T trust Bangkok Tourist Police - Full of corruptions
DON'T trust Thai men / women approach you with smile and starting to guide you.
DON'T trust Tuk-Tuk drive - Number one conmen/women.
Don't Believe Thai Police can help you - Full of Corruptions.
Don't travel alone or show money or exchange money (Currency ex-change) in public.
Thai people full of sex mind.
King portraited like God but the downline full of devils.
Tons of scam with gems, no money back if you buy.
Remember, Thai people are full of money face especially in Bangkok city.
DON"T TRUST ANYONE IN BANGKOK, DO HOMEWORK BEFORE GO TO BANGKOK OR THAILAND.
Even in the so called "Factory", there are fakes gems as they may not be authentic. You have to have the experience and knowledge to discern. Check for certificates from the government but it is not fool-proof too.
This is a true experience that I encountered on our trip in Bangkok. Con artists with very "well written" script !
We were on our way to Chinatown on day. While waiting for traffic to turn red, a man standing beside us smile to us so we ask him for direction to a temple (we nv thought he was a con artists). He appear to be very friendly, and told us that he is an art teacher. He ask where we were from and said he hv been to our country...After which, he told us that the temple we wanted to go is closed and we should go to another temple first, then move on to a big factory that sells many products at wholesale price which only opens to public this week. (I hv came across these stories in VT, so I was very aware of Tuk Tuk drivers. never did we expect that con artists in bangkok is so "skilled") .After talking for a while, he flagged down a tuk tuk for us.. we were reluctant to board but after he tried to bargain for us and told us the other temple is v near and only open in this week... we boarded ( think we must hv been hypnotise).
Upon reaching the "so called open once a year" temple. we saw a man praying inside (another con artist -his partner)..after he finished with his prayers, he walk towards us n tried to be friendly again...he told us he also hv relatives staying in our country. He began to tell us that gems are very good and that we can get good price in bangkok. He explain to us for abt 30mins... He was so detailed and made you believed that gems are extremely cheap there. (lucky I am not into jewellery/ gems)...Most imptly, he will tell you the shop is only open this week and today is the last day. He said the place is very big and sells many other items. Do take note these shops are known as "Home products, Local Products etc" . Its lucky that we managed to escape without buying any fake products from them. We walked out of the shop the moment we know smthg is wrong and told the tuk tuk driver that we are meeting someone else...or else we might not know what other places we will end up in...
Do not purchase from this business.
All cheats and deception.
Vorsicht vor dieser Firma. Steine meistens unecht und nicht einmal die Hälfte des bezahlten Preises wert.
Es besteht eine sinceposted Warnung im Internet.
Never go with anyone, who says they have a friend, who has a good deal on some jewerly. Never go with a cab driver or tuk tuk driver, who says this.
A lot of tourists have beens scamed by this. The government is trying to educate tourists about these scams. On city maps(which are free at the airport) you may see an ad about this. Just be careful and if it seems like a too good deal-it probably is. Use jewerly stores that are listed in reputable guide books.
Look at any jade that you buy and avoid buying anything that looks like ivory.
I bought some jade carvings and they had a seam in them and Ivory is illegal here so the ivory pipe I "may" have bought was tossed to a friend.
Touts will use all kinds of stories to trick you into visiting this place called the Lucky Buddha Temple. They will spin tall tales of people striking rich after visiting the temple. At the temple, you might be made to donate some money to the temple as an offering. What happens after is that you will 'bump' into a person who will offer you a tip on how to earn a quick buck (it's as if the lucky buddha has indeed brought good luck!). Basically, the story that the person will tell you is that the gems in bangkok are really cheap..and one can make a quick buck just by buying gems from bkk and bringing it back to one's home country to resell. To make the story more convincing, the person will take out receipts of purchase and resale as proof. To trick singaporeans, the person will also lie about how this well-known jewellery shop in singapore will readily buy such gems. After all these have been said, if you appear interested..the person (or he'll signal to his accomplice - usually a tuktuk driver) will offer to bring you to this shop that's offering very special discounts on that particular day.
Even though I wrote this tip years ago, I still see it happening on the streets in 2004, so please read the following:
Bangkok's infamous gem scam has ruined the holidays of many, many visitors to Thailand and it is an important thing to be aware of beforehand if you want to avoid becoming yet another victim.
The scam is no secret - there's warnings about it in every guidebook and in posters put up around Bangkok by the Tourist Authority, yet many people are still caught unaware of it.
Though it does happen occasionally in other parts of Thailand, the vast majority of incidences take place in Bangkok.
I have received a no. of warnings regarding this from friends and relatives before I left for Bangkok. But I was not prepared for a very elaborate scheme involving a 'policeman', a taxi driver, an 'architect' from rich family and a man from the 'united nations' office. All these 'resources' just to get me to the doorstep of a gem factory (apparently called the Royal Factor) just north of the Chitralada Palace.
Just be careful. There seem to be so many con men on the Bangkok streets that I have learnt that the rule of thumb is to treat everyone (and I mean EVERYONE) suspiciously. Asking around for directions and suggestions of eating places will likely get you into trouble. So read up and do a lot of research before going to Bangkok, unless you have friends there who can help you.
Beware of scams by people inticing you into believing that your lucky to be in thailand at the time and you are fortunate because the government is allowing tourist to buy jewells tax free at the very time you are there for one week only , your led to believe you very lucky and you can double your money back in westernised countrys , sounds great huh yeh well i got ripped for about 4000$ u.s. call me a sucker but there very smooth ..its not isolated to one company its very common ..
Watch out for over friendly, well dressed Thai's approaching you near the Grand Palace, Sanam Luang, or Wat Pho that are telling you about special holiday prices on Gem Stones!! Unless your an expert you will be scammed!!! Read my travelogue on Bangkok. I don't have any pictures of these scammers!! Hhahha Next time if I remember I'll take a photo of them.
*#*Beware of Conmen!!!*#*
In Bangkok,there are several situations where you might encounter:
Visitors are approached on the street by respectable looking men who speak good english and they will be freindly and offer their assistance or services free, or at a very low price.At some point of the conversation,they will suggest that you go to a jewelry shop.After purchasing some jewelry,the visitors found out that they have been cheated.
1.Beware of any encounter with strangers!
2.Note that there are no government promotions and special sales at any time of the year.
We came across many scams in Bangkok.
1) Well-dressed young men may stop you in the street and say something like, 'Didn't I see you in the hotel this morning? How are you etc.' This is a ploy to get you talking. When they find out where you come from, they will say they have been there and reel off a few local facts so that you almost believe them. Then they will tell you they trade gold/jewellery/perfume/, whatever, and that if you go to their shop ... do I need to go on?!?
2) As you make your way to your destination (e.g. a temple complex), someone will stop you and ask if you are going to your destination. When you say, yes, they will tell you it's closed for the holiday. Then they will tell you that instead you should go to some shopping complex where there is a one-day sale (today!) where you can get bargains galore. Don't believe them - just carry on to your destination.
3) Your tuk-tuk driver may nod when you tell him your destination and then take you to a tailor's shop where he will try and take you in.