Con Artists & Scams, Ko Samui
Somewhere along the way
on our travel by bus to Surat Thani,
a Thai guy got on board.
He started his introduction to the passengers
by appearing to help them
in notifying them that
the bus would arrive to the pier
at a certain time
(which we already knew)
and that the ferry would depart at another.
He then would continue to ask
each and every commuter
if they knew what hotel
they would be staying at.
The young couple in front of us
answered that they were going to
check availability at a certain budget hotel.
(it was low season)
He immediately discouraged them
in their choice,
stating that the hotel of their choice
was fully booked.
He quickly pulled out brochures
of certain hotels
of which he logically had
some kind of agreement with.
He requested to be paid
the hotel fee upfront in cash,
made a call on his hand phone to someone to pick them up at the pier,
and hopped off the bus
just a couple of miles after that.
We continued traveling for another 2 hours.
I believe the hotel reservation in this case was genuine,
-I doubt that the hotel the young couple was thinking of was full.
-If they had gone the hotel he recommended on their own,
o any other, they would have been able to negotiate the price.
-Who knows where the hotel he recommended was located.
-At no time did he present any ID or references.
This guy could have been just anybody
and be working with the driver,
hopping off the bus with their money.
I add this tip
just so that all of you
are conscious of
the various ways people here
will try to impel you
to make choices of which,
you may be later sorry for.
Be careful when taking songthaew taxi`s after dark,it is a fact that fares rise the later and further distance you travel(this is an acceptable practice worldwide).My experience involved a ride that ended at the complete opposite to where I wanted to be,then a very high fee that was basically extortion. If it wasn`t for the intervention of my Thai girlfriend(I don`t know what she said to them but I think it saved me a trip to Samui hospital because I wasn`t a very happy camper & neither were they).It was funny because even though I was the one being ripped off these men didn`t like my attitude & I think they expected me to be just like the tourist guide tells you "Be friendly & patient".These men tend to pray on inebriated tourists especially around the soi green mango area around 2 am
Be careful of this Internet/travel agency. I used the internet there and it kept crashing and they had to reboot but still charged me for all the down time, when I questioned the older man he scolded me. He asked me if I thought I was a big man or a good man and told me I had to pay for the whole time because this was Thailand. He was very rude and threatening and obviosly did not like tourists..
English speaking and normally on motorbikes you will be approached win a scratchcard and asked to attend a meeting to win your prize, be polite and walk away