Safety Tips in Central & Eastern Thailand

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Most Viewed Warnings and Dangers in Central & Eastern Thailand

  • Myndo's Profile Photo

    Bangkok, go prepared

    by Myndo Updated Feb 10, 2006

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    I am not the first nor the last here to write this.
    The very minute you hit the road in Bangkok and have a look at your map (where are we going next?), you will have someone friendly come to you and offer help. These friendly people are ofte directly related to tuk tuk drivers or shops. They will say anything to get you have a trip with a tuk tuk with stops at many tourist shops.

    Mostly this sounds like this:
    "Where do you want to go?" ... "Oh, Wat xyz, that is closed today (or until 2 p.m. or whatever) because of a Buddhist holiday" - Don?t believe it. They don?t close their temples or museums because of that. Always believe your guide book on that and not what people tell you. We were told this 3 times in one day, and it was never true.
    On it goes: "But, I would propose you go to this Wat instead, that is very nice. I can get you a tuk tuk to bring you there. They make special price today because of Buddhist holidays "(or world fair, or because only it is Wednesday or whatever). "They will bring you there for only 20 or 40 Baht.".
    Yes they will. But they will also bring you to a jade shop, a yeweller, a Thai silk shop, a souvenir shop, a .... I think you got it.
    It also does not matter if you really buy something in these shops. They get their commission by just bringing you there.

    One more thing that is quite typical for Bangkook is the yewellery scam.
    They try to persuade you that you can make money by buying yewels cheap in Thailand and then reselling it at shops where you live.
    Don?t do this! For once you have no idea what the colorful stones you are offered are really worth if you are no expert. As a normal tourist you won?t even be able to distinct them from fake stones or even glass. Second: you won?t be able to resell them at home (not even at the addresses they may give you, they are not real either). Also don?t trust in any certificates they may show you- paper is patient.
    If there was money in it, they would not need to rely on tourists to do the trade.

    Tuk Tuks and scammers
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  • Myndo's Profile Photo

    Always bargain FIRST

    by Myndo Updated Feb 10, 2006

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    HMMM, yes. We should have known, we were not in Thailand the first time. Anyway.
    There we are, on the Khlongs of Bangkok, sun burning down on us and we get thirsty. So when the Boat driver stopped at this swimming shop, my husband ordered two cokes.
    Said and done she handed us the opened drinks and said: 200 Baht.
    What?
    We managed to get her down to 150 Baht, that is still too much for it, but take this as advice: always bargain first, before they open the drinks. After you have them, it is as if you already agreed on the price - whatever price that is.

    Vendor in Bangkoks Klong
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  • Myndo's Profile Photo

    you never bath alone ...

    by Myndo Updated Feb 10, 2006

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    This we encountered at the Erawan Falls, but I am sure it is true for many other Falls and bathing oportunities as well.

    So when you found your place at one of the seven steps of the Erawan Falls and settle down into the water in one of the pools, you suddenly feel something on your toes.
    You are being picked at. By fishes. They will eat the skin flakes that you shed, right off your skin. They begin at the feet and slowly work their way up your legs.
    It doesn?t hurt at all, but It tickles like hell!

    If you manage to sit still, you can be sure you have no more tough skin on your legs at all.

    The fish are not these in the pictures, they are smaller than these. I could not make a picture of them, because they stay depper down in the water.

    fish under the waterfalls
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  • Myndo's Profile Photo

    be street wise...

    by Myndo Updated Feb 13, 2006

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    Renting a car and driving around Thailand in it was an experience. Not a bad one, but certainly, well ... "interesting".
    Thais do (in my opinion) have a very special way of driving. And here they definitely loose their famous politeness.

    Some examples:
    - They drive on the left side of the road (ok, that is only new for some mainland europeans as me and americans, but...)

    - To overtake another car would be then on his right side, but if he already drives on the right side, just overtake it on the left side (everyone else does it). Also take care because some of them are standing on the right lane because they want to make a U turn onto the other road.

    - If there is a row of vehicles and you have to get in there as well, they just set their lights and go in. The bigger and more aggressive car has the right of way.... you better have an eye for any flashing lights and approaching cars.

    - if the car you are overtaking is begining to overtake at the same moment, feel free to use the break down lane for driving.

    - If there is a red traffic light, you are alowed to turn left anyway, except when it is frobidden by a sign.

    - The lanes are often separated. So if you have to take a road that goes of to the right somewhere, you may have to wait until there is a possibility for a U-turn, and then maybe drive back a little on the other road until you reach that road.
    That is the reason for the vehicles you may see on your breakdown lane (see picture): they are too lazy to first drive up and then down again, so they use this lane instead.

    - Take care of grossly overloaded vehicles (as in the picture). It is seldom windy, but if it is, I don't want to be next to one of these.

    - A motorbike is like the family car. You will see up to 4 persons sitting on one.

    road dangers in Thailand
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  • 71stuman's Profile Photo

    Traffic

    by 71stuman Updated Sep 11, 2004

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    Unless you are a very experienced driver with a good map sense i recommend that you do not drive. It was scarey enough being driven around by TukTuk driver or taxi driver. Be careful of motorbikes they pop up everywhere. Also horn are sounded to indicate intentions so listen carefully.

    Traffic Everywhere

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  • victorwkf's Profile Photo

    Scams

    by victorwkf Written Sep 7, 2002

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    While the people of Bangkok are generally very nice, there are some scams going on so be careful. These scams usually prey on greedy tourists who wants to buy items in Thailand and then sell them at a profit back in their own country. The most common involves jewelry e.g. sapphires which turn out to be less than the value which the tourist pays. Usually, the person will sweet talk to you, bring you to thier 'impressive' factory and show you all sorts of certificates to proof that the items are genuine. If things are too good to be true, they probably are.

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  • victorwkf's Profile Photo

    Scams

    by victorwkf Written Sep 7, 2002

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    While the Thais are generally very nice people, there are some scams going on so be careful. These scams usually prey on greedy tourists who wants to buy items in Thailand and then sell them at a profit back in their own country. The most common involves jewelry e.g. sapphires which turn out to be less than the value which the tourist pays. Usually, the person will sweet talk to you, bring you to thier 'impressive' factory and show you all sorts of certificates to proof that the items are genuine. If things are too good to be true, they probably are.

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  • theguardianangel's Profile Photo

    Hotels offered in Airport

    by theguardianangel Written Jan 28, 2012

    We haven't the booked online for a hotel to stay so when we arrived in Suvarnabhumi Airport, while looking for the public transport in Sukhumvit, there's this old, fat man that approached my friend and I. He dressed in a coat that made him look a professional. He said he's working for the Royal Pacific Hotel Bangkok. Since we're looking for a place to stay, we listened on what he can offer. Exhausted and ready to sleep, we agreed to stay in their hotel and because they have this free tour on our 1st day- w/ car service and tourist guide. Well, for 1st time travelers... we got excited.

    to make the story short, after the tour of some of the temples... We stopped by a jewelry shop!
    The tourist guide says that 1st jewelry shop was 1 of the official gem/jewelry manufacturers of Bangkok and said that even Nicholas Cage was able to visit this shop after shooting his movie. And yes, they were able to prove it and we saw his picture with the staff.

    My friend and I weren't really into gems/jewelries that we kept on murmuring to each other that we mustn't spend too much money because we will still be shopping in Platinum Mall.
    We were seriously scared at that moment since we were left by our tourist guide!!!!
    There's this feeling we had when we can't make up our minds since the staffs doesn't want to leave us until we buy something. So we decided to buy anything, the cheapest that we can buy!!!! oh gawd!

    And you know what, we were dropped by to a 2nd jewelry shop!!!!!!!!! grrrrrrrr!!!!
    but my friend and I agreed that we mustn't mind the staffs even they have their fierce looks on us without any purchase at all! That was the 2nd time, we were left again by our tourist guide! What a prankster!

    They weren't contented by those jewelry shops, they also dropped us to the Jim Thompsons' tailoring shop and finally to their travel agency office! The office staff offered us if we were interested to book for another tour on the other part of Thailand (I can’t remember where)! OMG! We really had enough! They really insisted! and that's what I really hate like when you have no options to choose from! No freedom! Being forced to do something you don’t want! But I made myself firm to say “NO” because we don't need it! The agency staff wasn’t able to force us but he called for his manager to escalate the issue.
    They’re really insane!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    The manager wanted to find out why we can’t accept the offer, I said we just DON’T want it and we have only limited time to travel in Thailand. I even made up stories just to let us out in their office!

    I dunno why there are people who take advantage and deceive others. It seems from my story that I haven’t moved on yet.. haha, nah… I’m okay now. I just can’t help the feelings I had, at that moment.
    I believe that what goes around; comes back around. God Bless them!

    Lesson learned: Don’t accept hotel offers from people in the airport. They would really bring you mischief by taking you to the gem/jewelry shops. Book your hotels in advance.

    from the 2nd jewelry shop
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Central & Eastern Thailand Warnings and Dangers

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