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Thailand Scams to Avoid That You Should Know

Taking advantage of the ignorance of tourists, many crooks play tricks to “extort” more money. Actually, this is not uncommon in Thailand. According to World Nomads, which specializes in providing insurance and travel stories around the world, Thai people are always welcoming to visitors. However, the number of scammers is still on the rise. In this post, The Broad Life will point out some popular tricks in the ‘Land of Smiles’. Read through this post and have a safe, experienced trip without facing Thailand scams!

Taxi Scams in Thailand

Taxi is the most popular means of transport for international visitors to Thailand. The cost for this type of vehicle is not expensive if the driver follows the meter. However, not all drivers are so honest.

Experience is that before getting into the taxi, make sure the driver agrees to follow the meter. Otherwise, at the end of the trip, they may ask you to pay “heavenly” rates.

taxi meter scams in thailand
Tuk-tuk and taxi scams are common scams in Thailand.

In case the driver suddenly turns off the meter midway, stay calm and take a picture of their information, and threaten to call the police. Most drivers will be afraid and quote a reasonable price.

Additionally, Tuk-tuk is something the writer of World Nomads thinks should be avoided. Although this is a traditional and typical Thai vehicle, actual experience shows that it is quite hot and unsafe. In fact, the price you pay is not cheaper than a taxi. Drivers also do not often follow the clock and challenge.

Water Sports Scams

Thailand has many ideal destinations for water sports such as Phuket, Pattaya, Koh Phi Phi, Phang Nga Bay, etc. However, Thailand scams related to water sports are not less. A traveler told about his situation that affected his joy on the trip.

Tourists easily face jet ski scams in Thailand’s seaside cities.

“At the beaches, many people provide services such as jet skis, kayaks, paragliders,… My friend rented their jet skis. After returning the item, they reported that my friend broke it and demanded compensation at exorbitant prices” said the traveler.

According to him, visitors should book these services through reputable units or at 4-5-star hotels. In the event that a supplier selected by the hotel is intentionally fraudulent, the hotel will still be on the customer’s side.

Risks of Renting A Vehicle

Firstly, vehicle owners often require compensation from tourists even if they don’t make the fault. You need to take a picture of the entire vehicle and send it to the shop as proof of the condition upon receipt. In addition, do not let the rental unit keep the passport but only agree to let them take a photo. Getting hold of your passport sometimes puts you in a difficult position.

The critical traffic situation in Thailand is a reason that causes accidents and problems for tourists who rent vehicles.

Second, you need a dash cam to record what happens. Riding a motorbike or driving a car in another country is not easy, even for experienced drivers. Not to mention, the car’s steering wheel in Thailand is on the right, which is different from many countries. When an accident occurs with other vehicles, tourists often fall into a difficult position because they do not understand Thai. Dash cams are helpful in this situation.

Besides that, riding a motorbike in Thailand is not safe. According to the New York Times’s statistics in 2019, Thailand has the second highest number of computer-vehicle-related deaths per capita in the world.

Thailand Bar Girl Scams

Red light districts such as Patpong, Soi Cowboy, Nana Plaza, etc. are the ‘specialty’ in Bangkok, Thailand. Bars in the red light district often put up prices on the bill. Be sure to know the price of drinks before ordering.

Furthermore, some of the bars with “sexy shows” charge you the service for watching the girls upon entrance. The prices usually are for watching the show plus 1-2 drinks plus a snack. However, when you leave, the bar girls and the guards may approach asking for more payment. They will disturb you till you open your wallet. Then, be careful, one of them may steal your cash or wallet if you don’t notice.

Thailand Bar Girl Scams aren’t uncommon in the red-light districts.

It’s better to be careful when you want to have these experiences. There are different shows in Thailand that are mainly for tourists with clear registrations to the government. It’s where you can come to have experiences without risks and scams.

Other Top Scams in Thailand

At the end of the article, Ronan offers some other scams that are less common but not uncommon:

Final Say

This post just sums up some of the typical scams in Thailand, but you shouldn’t worry about that. Thailand is a beautiful country with so many things for you to explore. The purpose of this post is simply to show you the risks that you may face in your trip to avoid them. Anyway, Thailand’s nickname is the ‘Land of Smiles’. Through this post, I hope you have a safe and enjoyable trip in the land of the Golden Temple with amazing experiences!



Don’t be afraid of traveling to Thailand just because of a few scams. The country is, anyway, one of the top travel destinations in South East Asia. If you are going to explore Thailand, for sure you will want to know more about the country via the posts below:

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