I DON'T KNOW HOW TRUE THIS IS, BUT IT IS SCARY! I SUGGEST THAT YOU CHECK YOUR BAGS BEFORE YOU LEAVE THE COUNTER. NOBODY GIVES YOU SOMETHING FOR NOTHING!!!
A man was detained in Bangkok for stealing a box of cigarettes in a duty-free shop in Bangkok International Airport.He had paid for chocolates and a carton of cigarettes.The cashier put a packet of cigarettes extra into his bag and he thought it was a free pack. He was arrested for shop-lifting and the Thai Police extortion price was 30,000 Bhat for his release.
He spent two nights in jail and paid 500 Baht for an air-conditioned cell, 200-300 baht for each visitor, and 11,000 baht for his final release. The Police shared the money in front of his eyes. On top of that, he was charged in court and fined 2,000 baht by the magistrate and handcuffed and escorted to his plane. His passport was stamped "Thief". While there, his relatives requested help from the Indian Embassy and was told that they are helpless, many Asians are victimised similarly daily and letters and phone-calls to the Thai Authorities are ignored.. He shared a cell with a Singaporean the 1st night who paid 60,000 baht for his release. The 2nd night was an Malaysian national who paid 70,000 baht Mind you this was not in a shanty
shop in downtown Bangkok but in a duty free shop in Bangkok Int'l Airport. BE WARNED.
PS: Above is 100% correct information- because Mr.Rajan Khera's customer from India faced exactly the same scenario mentioned above when he was in transit at Bangkok Int'l Airport coming to Taipei.
I have also met someone,,,who went through the same ordeal in Dubai,,,, He bought stuff at Duty Free upon entering,,, the girl at Duty Free,,put a Bottle of Cologne in his shopping bag,,,,,( he did not even see it happen_) He was arrested for stealing,,( this is before he even picked up his luggage ) ,,,,he sat at the airport Jail,( where he was harassed for the whole day,,,,NO FOOD , NO WATER), for 1day & only after he paid a fine ( bribe of US 500..)that is all the cash he had in his pocket at the time,,
They let him go ,,,,,These are scams that are happening all over the Place,,,, please Please BE CAREFUL !!!
All of this is pre-planned,,,,& the people who work at the airport know who to target,,,,,
When walking on the street of Bangkok, you will see roadside makeshift stalls selling what looks like precious stones or gems or antique watch.
From the humble display, you should know better. There no cheap stuff unless they are really cheap in the first place. If you want to buy them as a token, that is fine. Interesting to look at anyway.
Thailand is a non smoking country. They are some smoking areas in different places in Bangkok where you can smoke (For example in Mo Chit Bus Station there is a smoking area outside and on the end of the building where you can smoke. You will see the smoking sign - check my pictures). Be careful because if you smoke in places that are non smoking places then you have to pay 2,000 bath.
First Photo: Smoking Area in Mo Chit Bus Station
Second photo: Smoking Sign in Mo Chit Bus Station
Third Photo: No Smoking Sign in Thailand
Fourth Photo: No Smoking Sign in English language in Thailand
Fifth Photo: No Smoking Sign in Thai language
Driving on the right side
If you rent a car or motorcycle you have to be careful in the streets because the driving on the right side. If you are from UK its ok, but if you are from other country in Europe (like me) you need some days-weeks to learn the different to get used.
First Photo: Inside the taxi
Second Photo: Exprees way in Bangkok
That main report on BBC was about shop lifting at a Duty-Free store at the airport and the surveillance camera did seem to reveal that they did shoplift. The BBC should really do a follow-up because it leaves the impression that there was no wrong-doing by the shoplifting couple. At least that's why I've learned thus far on several travel forums.
But yes, there have been a few reports of 'travel horror stories' in Thailand but overall after many years of travels there, if you learn about and avoid the scams, then you'll have a great time. Not all Thais are out to part you with your money and IMO, they are really very friendly and hospitable once you get to know them. Don't travel through Thailand trying to avoid interactions with them because I've encountered many times where their hospitality is/was overwhelming (such as meeting them on a boat or in a neighboring country and them inviting you to their home for dinner and/or taking you out for a meal or showing you around their town). I've had Thais I've met drive 45 minutes to pick me up to go out for dinner and then drive me back to my hotel.
So again, I just don't want you to get the impression that Thais are out to cheat you all the time.
Anyways, it seems that you're following the news and am doing your homework on what to look out for and I'm confident you'll have a great time.
Thailand is a wonderful place to visit and if you are mostly staying in urbanized areas, your risk of getting malaria or dengue is low. Visiting a Travel Clinic 4-6 weeks before leaving you country allays a lot of fears and worries.
When there is less rainfall, there is less malaria transmission. CDC (ceneters for Disease Control) however safely says that "Seasons with more rainfall and higher temperatures will have more malaria transmission than colder, drier seasons. However, in most tropical and semi-tropical countries, transmission may occur even during cooler months or periods of less rainfall".
Those going to Sub-Saharan Africa have the highest risk of getting malaria. In Thailand, I believe most cases are in rural areas. And if you choose to take anti-malarials, make sure you do it while in USA or your country where you can be sure that the medications are not counterfeit.
Dengue is also through mosquitoes and the risk of acquiring this is small. There is no vaccine for this and the best thing to do is to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes indoors by use of air conditioning or windows and doors that are screened. The Proper application of mosquito repellents containing 20% to 30% DEET as the active ingredient on exposed skin and clothing decreases the risk of being bitten by mosquitoes.
On my last day in Bangkok, I walked a main street, no dogs, within 5 mins I had turned around and come back the same way when I heard Dogs barking. I stopped and turned around to see where they were, at the same time feeling a bite to the leg. This all happened very quick, I don't even know what the Dog looked like, all I know is it hurt and my leg was swollen. As a result of this, I am now on a course of Rabies vaccine over a period of time. As this disease is nasty, and it doesn't matter whether the bite is shallow or deep, rather than take a risk, they have put me on the vaccine.
I do not know what you can do to prevent being bitten. The Dogs weren't there, then they were! No fences, no yards! I was up todate with Tetanus, so that was lucky.
IF YOU GET BITTEN IN THAILAND, GO TO THE DOCTOR BECAUSE RABIES IS STILL IN THIS COUNTRY.
We took a train to Ayutthaya and on our journey back, we didn't notice the tickets were 3rd class free sitting/standing. We ended up standing for 2 hours, without air-con and smelling the smoke from the train. What a hellish experience. So check your tickets when you buy them!!
The situation now appears to be deteriorating.
"Anti-government protesters have stepped up their campaign, marching through downtown Bangkok and rallying at major shopping centres to hand out pamphlets and VCDs of the October 7 clash with police.
This latest escalation in the the anti-government protests has taken the action away from a small isolated park of Bangkok to the main business, shopping and tourism centers of Silom, Sukhumvit, and Wireless roads, to the giant Central World shopping mall.
The comments have prompted Pracharaj Party leader Snoh Thienthong to claim another bloodbath will definitely happen because certain people are instigating unrest."
More here: http://photojourn.wordpress.com/2008/10/20/thailand-political-crises-worsens-further-bloodshed-forecast/
I haven't been yet but have stumbled upon this information. The Patong District is like the red light district filled with bars, girls, men who look like girls, nudity, sex offerings, etc. You get the idea. Your curiosity may get the better of you because people trying to coax you in will tell you it only costs 100 baht (US$3.00) to look and have a coke. Once you're inside, you are hounded by the "girls" to buy them drinks and it will be for all of them. I've read stories the the bar tab then becomes 2900-4100 baht (US$87-$124). I suppose you can try to leave without paying the bill but then what happens? You're in a different country and how will they react?
I think it's best to avoid such areas. I've read the shows are actually a bit bizarre. Topless and/or nude "girls" throwing ping pongs, blunt darts, bananas at the patrons. I'm not too interested.
The link below is a detailed story of someone who experienced this and comments left by others.
The air in Bangkok is some of the worst in the world. Bangkok , of all the major world cities, has the least amount of trees or grassy parks per square mile. The air quality is horrendous because of that and the high vehicle use in the area. Beware if you have a respiratory disease. The heat can be intense as well in the mid of day, prepare for that accordingly
I've lived through coups, birdflu, tsunami, SARS, bombings, protests. Thailand is safer than most own country Australia and I am glad I am here and bring my daughter up in a civilised society.
P.S. I agree with the above, have a look through the Thailand forum before you post on this the most popular subject.
Spoken and written Thai remain largely incomprehensible to the casual visitor. However, English is widely understood, particularly in Bangkok where it is almost the major commercial language. English and other European languages are spoken in most hotels, shops and restaurants, in major tourist destinations, and Thai-English road and street signs are found nation-wide.
I can't tell you how many times my buzz was ruined by seeing some old Westerner looking guy with a young local girl. Don't support the prostitution industry in Southeast Asia. It is disgraceful and disgusting and if you participate in this industry you should be ashamed of yourself.
The new airport is extremely large, the immigration lines are long and so are the check-in lines. If you expect to arrive at the last minute and get to a plane, forget it! Remember, most airlines cancel your ticket if you arrive too late to get to a plane.
Immigration backs up rather far during peak travel times. It can take 20 minutes or more to get through. Once through immigration, you must walk a substantial distance through the large airport shopping mall before you can get to the gate area. Some of the gates are rather far out, so plan on 15 to 35 minutes to get to security at the gates. Then you go through security, and everyone knows how long that can take.
My last trip to Cambodia, I left the hotel 3 hours ahead. I got to the gate with 10 minutes to spare, before boarding started. Since I was on the small Bangkok Airways flight, it boarded early, because we had to take the bus to the plane.
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