How to Avoid Tuk Tuk & Taxi Scams in Thailand

How to Avoid Tuk Tuk & Taxi Scams in Thailand

How to Avoid Tuk Tuk & Taxi Scams in Thailand, despite certain things sound typical, they should not have happened though. Particularly when it comes to scams that could happen to you, while abroad. Not only we might be getting ripped off, but situations can get us into dangers or crimes.

Thailand is well known for friendly locals who are willing to help, meanwhile mischievous people are out there waiting for an ideal moment to conduct perfect crimes on innocent foreigners. As public transportation in Thailand, specifically Bangkok, is not thorough and of great quality like those in Europe, Japan, etc., Tuk Tuk and taxi unfortunately remain prime options when it comes to (actually) getting around. So, what to do to avoid scams? Here, we have some suggestions you might find useful.

 

Survival Rule 1

Don’t Get into the Vehicle Right Away

If the driver doesn’t seem to comply with using the meter nor hasn’t agreed at a final flat rate yet (this depends on the situation), DON’T get in the vehicle. Make sure you and the driver have agreed upon the same method of fare charging. Bear in mind, also, that flat rate generally doesn’t include the use of toll roads.

Survival Rule 2

Suspect the ‘too-cheap-to-be-true’ Things

Never ever get lured by incredibly cheap offers. No matter for Tuk Tuk, taxi, water taxi, hired minivan or unlicensed vehicle. There were cases that drivers making super cheap offers ended up bringing foreigners to pricey eatery, jewelry factory, carpet shop, tailor store, etc., whereby huge profits are being shared between the shop owner and the driver.

Survival Rule 3

Insist on Using the Meter

If taxi is your option, make sure the driver agrees to use the meter even before stepping into the car. Another good suggestion is that if you find the driver a good man who can communicate well with you, ask for his mobile number to hire him again in the following days. After that it depends whether you will cling on using meter or negotiate a flat rate for a day tour. By the way, don’t forget that toll road fees must be added up separately for either metered fare or flat rate.

Survival Rule 4

Always be Prepared

Work your part. Be prepared. Roughly study the route using your map or smartphone so that you can get an overall picture of the routes you’re about to use and by which landmarks you’ll be passing. If, unfortunately, the driver is tricky and bringing you out of the correct way to overcharge, you will be able to notice and interrupt right away.  

 

Survival Rule 5

Stick to the Officials

Be it at a pier, palace, temple or attraction site, stick to the official ticket booth for entry. There might be somebody come up to you making special offers of fast lane service, additional privileges or custom tour package, but you better ignore. Just queue up at the counter. Reach out only to the officials or authorized staff for enquiry or ticket purchase.

 

Good to KNOW!    

  • Some hotels, or even department stores, have a systematic taxi hailing service for their customers. So, it’s much better to have the staff helped you on this. Currently, there are many hotels or department stores that manage to use blacklists of unkind and cunning taxi or Tuk Tuk drivers whom customers have made complaint of. These drivers will be banned by these premises in the future.

–       Good people and bad people are everywhere. Crimes can happen anytime in the world. If one day you must encounter with a criminal, just remember that the best way to tackle is to “Be mindful. Keep calm”. Save your life before valuable belongings.

Living as a Digital Nomad in Bangkok, Thailand.

Living as a Digital Nomad in Bangkok, Thailand.

Being a Digital Nomad is like having a job with lots of freedom job as digital nomads spend at least a few months of the year abroad, change their destinations, and earn a living while working online. They do not to work in the office, they can work in anywhere even on the beach with sea view.

However, it is not that easy for every digital nomad to make enough money to be able to live and work anywhere in the world. But why do a lot of digital nomads want to live and work in Bangkok, Thailand?

According to the nomadlist scores for living and working in Bangkok voted by digital nomads, Bangkok is good for working online because of the speed of Wi-Fi in the city, nightlife, friendly to foreigners, A/C, places to work, cost of living etc.

 

Figure 1 – www.nomadlist.com (January 26, 2017)

So I would like to summarise top 3 reasons why you should work and live as a digital nomad in Bangkok.

  1. Convenience
  2. Cost of living
  3. Comfort

Why convenience?

It is convenient because of the speed of Wi-Fi in the city. In Thailand, you can find internet or Wi-Fi providers that not require complicated registration such as True Move, 3BB broadband, and CS loxinfo. You can also work online at any coffee shops in Bangkok. Enjoy drinking coffee while working online!

Cost of living in Bangkok is cheap

Yes, Bangkok is cheap. Food in Bangkok costs around 1 USD – 3 USD for your breakfast, lunch and dinner. Even though you visit a nice restaurant or luxury one, it is still cheap. There are many good places for cheap drinks in the city too. You can also pay for public transportation like local bus starting 0.17 USD to roam around the city.

Why comfort?

Bangkok is served by multiple transport systems such as the Skytrain (BTS), underground (MRT) rail systems, taxis, river taxis, motorcycle taxis, tuk-tuks and local buses. BTS and MRT connect the main shopping, entertainment and business areas of the city, while river taxis and express boats can be used to explore many historic sites at the riverside. Tuk-tuks are worth a ride and roam around the city.

Visa

You can work as a digital nomad with a tourist visa in Bangkok but please be aware of the period of stay for your Visa. If you have a 1 months tourist visa, it is still great to discover the city but I am sure that it will be not enough for you to stay because the city is great. You will fall in love with it. I highly recommend you to apply for a 3 months tourist visa at your home country. If you want to extend your visa for one more month, you can apply it at the Immigration Office at the Government Complex Commemorating His Majesty The King Chaengwattana, B Building, Floor 2 (South Zone), Chaengwattana Road (Soi 7), Laksi, Bangkok 10210 (Website:

I highly recommend you to apply for a 3 months tourist visa at your home country. If you want to extend your visa for one more month, you can apply it at the Immigration Office at the Government Complex Commemorating His Majesty The King Chaengwattana, B Building, Floor 2 (South Zone), Chaengwattana Road (Soi 7), Laksi, Bangkok 10210 (Website: http://bangkok.immigration.go.th/intro1.html)

Tel : 0-2141-9889 , Fax : 0-2143-8228
Office hour: Mon-Fri 8:30 – 12.00 and 13.00 – 16:30
Closed on OFFICIAL HOLIDAYS

Please be aware of the new rules for visa on arrival. If you want to extend the period of stay, Thailand becomes stricter for visa on arrival.

Border runs have been cut short due to the very recent change in rules regarding overland entry by Thai immigration. Foreigners entering Thailand via border posts at Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, and Malaysia without securing a prior visa will now be granted only 15 days of stay in the country as opposed to the previous Visa on Arrival, which was valid for 30 days.

(See more: http://www.thaiembassy.com/thailand/new-visa-rules.php)

21 Money Saving Tips in Thailand

How to save money in Thailand

21 Money Saving Tips in Thailand, it  is relatively cheap city to live if you can avoid the western influence areas and places. In the Thai local areas you will find cheap accommodation and cheaper food. It will be difficult to spend a lot of money in these areas rather the western areas.

Traveling around Thailand can be cheap, if you do some research

Avoid Western Food in Thailand

Western food can be expensive wherever you go, whether it be in a n American coffee shop, not mentioning any names. And that’s just the coffee, what about the food. You could probably have ten Thai meals for the price of one western meal. Nearly all-western food is imported at a great cost although the menus do change to incorporate a Asian influence. So the answer is don’t eat western food in Thailand.

 

Eat from the street stalls

Street food is great, very tasty and fresh and very cheap. You can have pad Thai or fried rice for only 30 THB. The locals eat the food so it must be good, not only is it the best food, but it is also the cheapest. You can get great food also at the night markets, the smell of the food is just great, and who could resist such temptations. You will find food for every palate, such as all kinds of meats and the desserts are just out of this world, beyond temptation.Thailand has some great food, probably some of the best in the world, so don’t miss out.

 

Make sure your taxi turns on the meter

Taxis are notorious for not using their meters; this is especially true at night and during busy times and at shopping malls. All taxis are required to use their meter and you can report them if they don’t. Thai taxis don’t want to be stuck in traffic so they try to up the price to compensate otherwise they could lose business. At night the problem is worse and people need to get home and maybe don’t want to wait so you will pay a premium for this.

Always ask for the meter to be turned on and if they refuse then get out of the taxi, if most people did this then there would be less of a problem in Thailand.

 

Negotiate with Tuk Tuk drivers

Tuk Tuk drivers do not have meters so make sure you fix the price beforehand. If you are not on the ball then the prices could be 3 times the price of a Taxi or if your new to Thailand and just of the Plane then could cost you ten times as much, you will always come across plenty of Tuk Tuks so you can fix your own price. It is good to get the experience of a Tuk Tuk, but it can be very hot, noisy and lots of pollution from the Tuk Tuk or other vehicles around you. Don’t get scammed by Tuk Tuk drivers wanting to take you to the jewellers or tailors for free, it will cost you in the long run and the Tuk Tuk driver will get petrol vouchers in return.

 

Use public transportation

Why not use the public transport system rather than using taxis. You can use the BTS system to get anywhere in Bangkok to save money. Or use the bus, which costs 10 THB instead of 130 Taxi fare for the same destination. Songthaews are great and a cheap form of transport, they tend to run a specific route with set fares. They can also be hired as a form of private transport. When crowded, luggage is placed on the roof, but can also be left in the aisle or stuffed under the seats.The public transport in Thailand is very good and quite cheap,so why not take advantage of it.

 

Take the boats In Bangkok

Boats are a great way to travel, with famous historic attractions, temples and the great architecture. You can explore the great canals of Bangkok and go back in time and view Bangkok from yesteryear. You will find lots of different boats, from express boats, taxis and Tail boats, you can travel up and down the Chao Phraya river, or even use the free crossings to various hotels and restaurants in Bangkok Thailand.

 

Avoid Preventable Money Charges

Bank charges can be quite expensive in Thailand and Your bank or card company will normally charge a flat fee for withdrawing money, if you make fewer and larger withdrawals you will save money. Also If you have to pay a fee for each time you exchange a Travelers Cheques or cash, then order larger denominations before you go.

 

Barter Over Prices

Bartering for some items is expected in Thailand. Anything from a market is fair game, but keep it real when trying to get an extra few baht discount. Room prices can be negotiated, especially in low season or for longer stays. Be aware that if you are the first customer then they must get a sale otherwise if could be bad luck for them for the rest of the day, please be aware of this as they may even make a small loss or just a small baht profit, please do not abuse this as they could lose face.

 

Motoring Regulations and fines

In Thailand it is quite normal to see road blocks at times when the police are out in force to fine you, so here are some tips. Always bring your international driving license with you and carry it with you when driving. I don’t have an international one but I still bring My European one. Always wear seat belts in cars and helmets on motorbikes, or you will likely get an on the spot fine. They do put roadblocks every so often, these are normally in the morning, and some say it is to pay for their lunch. You could always avoid the roadblock and turn off before hand as you can normally see the traffic and police lights ahead.

 

Obey the Local Laws

Foreigners in Thailand have been targeted outside shopping malls, normally the foreigner would smoke and then finish the cigarette and throw it on the floor, you will then be taken away and fined, if you disagree to the fine then they will take you to the local police station, Normally you would not see the litter signs and fines until they take you to their office. Smoking can seriously harm your wealth

 

Don’t Get Scammed or Robbed

Be aware as soon as step foot in Thailand from the arrivals lounge from your international flight you will be approached by many drivers asking you do you want a taxi and how far you are going. Suvarnabhumi International Airport, has its own area for Taxis, this is the best way to get a proper Taxi, and if they see a problem then they will wave on the taxi themselves, you also have a ticket which you can complain if you need to. Meters will normally always be used at the airport, but if not tell them to put it on or tell them you want to get out and report them. I have never had a problem at the airport, but it is a bit of a potluck whether you get a nice newer taxi or a very old car with the Air-conditioner not quite making it. I have always found the Airport taxi drivers very friendly and helpful.

 

Protect your valuables and cash

Try not to make yourself an easy target in more dangerous areas of Thailand. People can always tell that you have just arrived as you are not tanned or by the clothes that you are wearing. Be careful during the Songkran festival, you will get wet, your money will get wet and your camera and laptop will get wet, so if you are travelling during this time and going outside, you must put all your items in waterproof bags, and don’t forget to include your phone. Its great taking some pictures of all the fun, but when your phone is wet, you may need another phone, so protect it.

 

Booking accommodation

When you traveling to Thailand try not to book your accommodation all in one go, as once you get to know the different locations that you would like to stay then you can move to a different accommodation or hotel. You could have saved a lot on cheaper deals in even better locations and better hotel facilities. I tend to only book the first 1-2 nights at a hotel. As you may find that you hotel is not as nice as you think it was by looking at the photos and maps, or it is not in the right location or problems with Internet being in the reception area and not in your room.

After settling in a little I will search the Internet for the best deals, I normally search agoda.com and booking.com at a discounted price. Don’t be put off by the size of guesthouses, as the smaller guesthouses can be more comfortable stays and the owners usually look after you well.

 

Booking Travel Tours

There are literally hundreds of travel agent and tour-booking shops all over Bangkok and other cities in Thailand. Don’t book anything over the internet or through the hotel as you will be paying premium prices, You can checkout the prices first and then compare them.

Sometimes I like some of the tours but would not want to be rushed from one place to another, an alternative is a taxi may be willing to take you to different places at a price that is cheaper and you will have the taxi driver waiting for you. If there is only one of you this might not be the cheaper option but if there is 2-3 of you then you will save money. The Taxi driver is happy to sit around and get paid is half-day rate or whole day rate.

You can walk in to any shop and book whichever trip or tour you want to do. Most of the activities will have a van, which will pick you up in the morning and drop you off at your hotel afterwards if you decide not to do it yourself.

The Island tours in the South: Angthong National Marine Park, Phi-Phi Island, Koh Samui, Koh Phangan etc., these one day trips are great and it is fun to get to know others and having fun together do its always worthwhile, in these cases definitely go for packages that include pick up, lunches and activities. You can get different quotes from different travel shops.

 

Packing for Travel

I have wasted so much money going to shops in the UK buying shower gels, Shampoo’s, conditioners, toothpaste, sun cream and other items. I didn’t have to do this as I can get everything in Thailand and most cases it is cheaper in Asia. Don’t forget that when you travel from America or UK your luggage allowance is quite large but then later when you are traveling to another location, you are on a smaller flight and then the luggage allowance has almost halved. Also don’t bring your heavy clothing, you wont need it and clothing is so cheap in Markets in Thailand.

 

Use drinking water from filtered water dispensers

If you’re spending some time in one town, then keep an eye out for filtered water dispensers. Instead of buying 1.5 L or 6 L water containers from Tesco, FamilyMart, or 7-Eleven, and throwing away the empty plastic bottles. Save them when you’re finished and refill them with filtered water. If you drink tap water in Thailand you could end up with an upset stomach, the water could even come from a well, so go for the filtered water.

If your staying for some months and renting out a building then you can get your drinking water delivered in bottles or in larger plastic bottles from your local water company.

 

Thailand dual pricing

Thailand is very bad for charging the foreigners one price and then charging the locals another. In some places they would ask for the foreigners to walk one way and the locals to walk another. Reason for this is the locals did not pay to get inside but the foreigners had to queue and pay.

This is really annoying at times and other times it is warranted, even my wife gets annoyed when she has to pay a much cheaper price as in the UK we all pay the same. Other times I have now changed my mind, when it comes to temples, as I have found when a foreigner goes into a temple we may be eager taking photos and having a good look around. But the locals would be spending money on candles, incense and putting money in each pot, as they pray, where as the westerner would not in most cases. So in would become evident that the locals actually pay more than the westerner by not paying an entrance fee but will spend more once inside, this is part of their upbringing and belief. When it comes to other places like a zoo or national parks this can be annoying to the westerner, as back home it would not be allowed.

 

BUY BEER AT 7-ELEVEN or FamilyMart

It is far cheaper to go into the local 7-ELEVEN, FamilyMart stores to get your beers rather than going to the bars in Thailand.

A beer costs a lot cheaper in comparison to a restaurant and those beers can soon add up. You can sip your beer outside and take advantage of the cheap price and you may even bump into some locals.

 

 

Rent a Motorbike

Taking a Taxi or getting a Tuk Tuk or Songthaew can add up over time, so why not rent a motorbike, You will find that over time it will work out a lot cheaper and you wont have to wait around. Be aware to not hand in your passport when doing this and if there is any damage to the motorbike beforehand then make sure you take photos of these. There are scams around Motorbikes to please be aware of them in Thailand.

 

Don’t have toTip

It is not customary to tip in Thailand, unless you are in a high-class western restaurant then this may be expected. As it is not expected then just be very nice to them instead, My wife would prefer to give some money for the poor or disabled instead that may be sitting outside the restaurant or nearby. But you don’t have to tip or if you do decide to tip, then you don’t need to tip that much.

 

Setting yourself a Budget

And the last advice to you is to make yourself a budget, be it a daily, weekly or monthly budget. If you don’t control; your finances, you could easily run out of money if you don’t budget your finances. Its easy to think that you are on holiday and take a trip to another country and another city, but make sure you have enough money coming in to cover the costs.

So if you are a freelancer, sometimes you may have money coming in and at other times the money could just dry up, so take care and live within your means until you have enough income from different income streams to cover your finances so remember to always budget. Remember all your bills and the bills that may come every quarter that you might forget about. It might be best to do a spreadsheet of all your normal outgoing expenses whilst your staying in Thailand.

 

 

Summary

So in summary here is the list of 21 Tips that will save you money in Thailand, although some of these tips you could possible use across Asia.

 

  1. Avoid Western Foods

  2. Eat from the street stalls

  3. Make sure your taxi turns on the meter

  4. Negotiate with Tuk Tuk drivers

  5. Use public transportation

  6. Take the boats In Bangkok

  7. Avoid Preventable Money Charges

  8. Barter Over Prices

  9. Motoring Regulations and fines

  10. Obey the Local Laws

  11. Don’t Get Scammed or Robbed

  12. Protect your valuables and cash

  13. Booking accommodation

  14. Booking Travel Tours

  15. Packing for Travel

  16. Use filtered water dispensers

  17. Thailand dual pricing

  18. BUY BEER AT 7-ELEVEN or FamilyMart

  19. Rent a Motorbike

  20. don’t Tip

  21. Setting yourself a Budget

DOs and DON’Ts for Digital Nomads in Bangkok Thailand

Digital Nomads in Bangkok Thailand

dos-and-donts-image

Globally, Thailand is known an easy going country. People are friendly, especially with foreigners., and Digital Nomads in Bangkok Thailand.

As a digital nomad residing in Bangkok or another part of Thailand, you might have to involve with either local people around or even working people sometimes.

Knowing DOs and DON’Ts is definitely useful for all digital nomads based in Bangkok or Thailand. Now let’s roll.

 

DOs

  • Remember Bangkok is NOT representing other Thai provinces. There are differences in almost all elements. Urbanisation. Language. People. Food. Manner. Etiquette. Belief. Behaviour. Taste. Attitude. Education. The list goes on…
  • Respect dress code when visiting main temples in Bangkok or Thailand. Women avoid clothes that are revealing with no short pants, while men must leave jeans with holes at home. Sandals are okay, though.
  • Dress properly when dealing with companies, startups, business people, state agencies and officials when it comes to work-related issues. No need to be official outfits, though. Just a smart casual will do. This will incredibly raise your credibility.
  • Be extra careful when crossing the road. Thai traffic direction is similar to some countries and NOT to some others. So, streets can be dangerous.
  • If you have to make a complaint against services or must request something over and over again (when your luncheon companion becomes suddenly fussy), smiling a little as you speak to the staff or manager will make things easier.
  • Only take a taxi when the driver turns on the metre. Having the application like Uber or Grab Taxi installed on your phone or knowing how to call the All Thai Taxi will help save you from dishonest taxis.
  • Know that if the distance is not too far, taking a taxi can be more comfortable with a price that’s equal to a tuk-tuk.
  • Leave a tip, if you made a mess out of your dinner table.
  • Take off your shoes when getting into a Thai house or other places that you noticed others people do so.

 

DON’Ts

  • Expect that some Thai business people won’t call or text you during public holidays or late at night, regarding an ongoing work. Some really do that!
  • Negotiate prices just for fun if you don’t really need that stuff. NO bargaining game if you’re not into it. Some Thai merchants can be fierce like Tony Jaa.
  • Take it seriously if you encounter any Thai who smiles or laughs at all times. Thai people are just like this. But, strange as it may seem, Thai people don’t smile much to one another.
  • Use your feet to operate things instead of hands. Feet are considered dirty among Thais. This is a belief which has been passed on from the ancestors. So, better be careful.
  • Put your feet on all types of table. Be it a low coffee table, working desk or dining table. This is not only a matter of etiquette, but also a hygienic issue as Bangkok is not a very clean city. Street surfaces can be infectious sometimes.
  • Think all Thais have an equal level of education. You might be surprised to find a farmer or a barista nowadays has his or her master degree, while an attractive girl you just met only made it to the A Level. So, don’t stereotype.
  • Trust any local who acts as the middleman who says he can serve you with privileges to enter some key attractions with extra benefits not stated on the entrance tickets. Either at palaces or temples, consult the premise’s officials when you doubt something or want to buy tickets.

 

Well, actually it’s not complicated dealing with local people. Every country has its own etiquette and culture we must obey anyway. Generally, Thai and Bangkok people has the nature of adoring foreigners who’ve shown their efforts to be proper, this will truly help Digital Nomads in Bangkok Thailand.

So, if the digital nomads only know and understand, things will get a LOT easier and will make your time in Bangkok or the rest of Thailand more memorable and worthwhile.

 

 

Health Concerns for Digital Nomads in Bangkok Thailand

Health Concerns for Digital Nomads in Bangkok

What are Recommended Medication Centres for Digital Nomads in Bangkok Thailand?

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Health Concerns for Digital Nomads in Bangkok Thailand as less digital nomads have health insurance if they were to get ill. Even though Bangkok has been well modernised, chances of illness remain.

Contagious diseases, such as influenza A or B, and other diseases, including dengue fever, are often diagnosed among working people, from season to season.

Staying safe is the best prevention, but how? In this article, we’ll take a look at health concerns for digital nomads living in Bangkok and recommended medication centres in Bangkok. (more…)

Sporting Activities for Digital Nomads in Bangkok

Sporting Activities for Digital Nomadstennis-841172_1920

While many know that sports are inarguably good, not all know that sports are not only good for health, but also for the mind. Once we’ve developed physical tolerance, which all sorts of sports offer, our mental tolerance tends to improve, too. Sporting Activities for Digital Nomads in Bangkok is the key to good health and fitness.

In the business world or even a family life, dealing with others can be tough sometimes, Mental strength is hence a vital factor that helps us fight our way to hit the milestones we’ve worked hard for.

Digital nomads who care about health can always find places to go when it comes to keeping themselves fit. Some like to join workout groups, (more…)

Day Excursions out of Town for Digital Nomads based in Bangkok

Digital Nomads based in Bangkok Thailand

bangkok_night_wikimedia_commonsEven though Bangkok seems to be a big city with numerous things to offer, living here for a certain period of time can be boring, especially when you seek peace or want to recharge your energy.Day Excursions out of Town for Digital Nomads based in Bangkok.

Fortunately, there are some places out of town that recreation and attractions can be found within a couple hours of public transport ride. Alternatively, using a car rental service is a great idea and prices are also highly competitive nowadays. Great Day Excursions Digital Nomads based in Bangkok. (more…)

Why Digital Nomads Rock More in Bangkok Than Anywhere Else in Thailand

Thailand Digital Nomadic Lifestyle

Digital Nomads Rock More in Bangkok than Anywhere in Thailandimage-1807518_1920

Before the arrival of startup era and nomadic lifestyle, Thailand has long been known for its ease of launching new businesses.

Be it American, British, Russian or even Chinese, conventional investors and merchants had considered Thailand one of the best business bases in the world.

Nevertheless, things change as time flies and technology evolves. Broadband has made the business world spin faster.

Average age of entrepreneurs tends to be lower. White collars choose to leave their countries behind, head to another continent and work with their laptop from anywhere they prefer.

Once again, Thailand has become one of the top destinations for these digital nomads, having Bangkok as the top priority above other major cities. (more…)