Crowd walking on Yaowarat Road Chinatown Bangkok. Photo: Getty Images.


How not to get scammed in Thailand

Published December 22nd, 2016

Our Student Flights consultants live, dream and breathe travel so it’s fair to say they know a little something something about how to stay safe and not get their stuff nicked while traipsing about the globe.

We asked one of our Sydney consultants and Youtube vlogger Natalia of HeyImNatalia to let us in on the best tips for not getting scammed in Thailand off the back of her recent trip...

If you’re anything like me - you’ve read the horror stories on news websites and blogs about travellers striking bad luck and getting scammed whilst travelling overseas. You then laugh to yourself because it could never happen to you, you shut the tab and then get distracted looking at the next meme to tag your mates in.

Boy/girl/whoeveryouidentifyas - you’ve got a BIG storm coming.

Believe it or not, whilst travelling a country that you don’t speak the language, which you know little to nothing about and you’re sticking out like a sore thumb as a tourist- it’s easy to get taken advantage of by the “friendly stranger” offering you cheap Tuk Tuk rides to the temples in Bangkok. On my last trip to Thailand, in a single day - I was scammed not once, not twice but THREE times.

Yeah, you read that correctly. Given my experiences - I’ve decided to compile you a couple of tips for your next trip over to the land of the Thai so hopefully you don’t come out the other side with a bruised ego like me (well, to be fair - I’m lucky that’s the worst that happened!)

1. Research your destination

If you’ve never been to your new adventure location - become an expert so you hit the ground running and are living like a local! None of these scams are new and have all been talked about time and time again online so make sure you’re ahead of the game so you don’t look like a fool when the time comes around.

2. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is

Listen, if someone is offering to drive you and a friend around for the entire day in a Tuk Tuk to highly sought after photo spots for your Instagram feed for less than the cost of a bottle of Coke- there’s probably something up with that. I 100% learnt this the hard way.

3. Understand the currency

Suss out online how much your home currency converts to in the new foreign currency and how much you should be paying for the basics - a bottle of water, a street meal, a shirt etc. If you ask a local the price of something it’s likely that you’ll be charged at least double that of a local so by knowing how much everything is worth, it gives you a leg to stand on when bartering.

4. Nothing is ever closed. Ever.

Okay. Let’s be real. Why the heck would the biggest Chinatown district in Bangkok be shut down on a pumping Friday night but a local family owned restaurant down a dodgy side street be open? (Hint: It’s not shut, those guys are looking for customers)

5. Trust your gut

If something isn’t sitting right with you, it’s probably worth trying to work out why. I don’t know what it is about our bodies but THEY KNOW WHAT’S UP. Take every situation with caution and always put your safety first so you don’t end up in a situation that you’ve only ever read about.

So that’s a couple of my handy tips there on How To Not Get Scammed In Thailand! I really hope these were of some use and that my first hand experiences didn’t go to waste. If you want to hear me talk about my experiences of getting scammed in Thailand, check out my YouTube video below where I re-count the entire day!

Student Flights' Consultants

At Student Flights, our consultants have travelled along those well-worn routes before diverting from the beaten path to explore the real side of foreign countries. These blog posts shine a light on just some of the experiences our consultants have had on recent adventures. We hope you enjoy reading the blog articles written by the Student Flights' Consultants.