Day 42- Bangkok, Bangkok

Bangkok I’m not sure what to think of you. Yet.

Your unfamiliar curvy winding roads, your relentless tuk tuk drivers, your friendly ladies with carts of shiny greasy foods. It seems everything I do I have to proceed with a caution.

I have read about the many common scams that people fall for in Bangkok, but I didn’t expect to have seen so many already. Some of the common scams I’ve been approached with so far are:

– tuk tuk drivers offering me a ride around town for 10 baht (that’s like 30 cents, impossible)
– tuk tuk drivers telling me places are closed or open only today (which I know aren’t)
– taxi drivers offering me a flat rate for my ride (knowing a metered trip would be cheaper)
– an old lady forcing bags of corn onto me to feed the pigeons for good luck, and then asking me to pay (yes this really happened!)

The good news is though all of this is extremely easy to walk away from, simply by being smart and doing research beforehand, and staying firm, and giving them a hard “NO. Thank you.”
It terrifies me a little though the amount of people who do not do their research and fall prey to these scams. I always hear pepple say being tricked and lied to is a part of being a tourist. And I suppose that’s somewhat true, but it doesn’t make it ok. Being overcharged a dollars or two here and there with souvenirs, sure. But paying double for a taxi simply because you didn’t know they were suppose to have their meters on, NO! That is not ok! Nowadays with phone plans so cheap, and the internet at the palm of your hand, and tons of guidebooks, I simply see no excuse for not knowing things that you could’ve easily looked up. 

But not to scare you guys, I’ve had plenty of good interactions here as well, including discovering a local market that I wasn’t hassled even once and then feeding a hungry alpaca. Getting lost looking for Chinatown then stumbling into a Chinese expat’s restaurant trying their Thai infused Chowzhou dishes and asking them about life in Bangkok. Finding a Blues bar just down the block from my hostel with people who loved musicfrom all over the world.

The tourism industry in Thailand as you can see is on full blown, and it’s easy to be seen as a walking dollar sign here. But be smart and know where you are walking into and you should be fine. I’m not letting the gritty parts scare me, or at least trying!

I’ll give you more time Bangkok after my trip to Phuket! The ‘h’ is silent by the way just so you know.
Picture time!

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