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.

Chiang Mai Digital Nomad Scam

Chiang Mai Digital Nomad Scam

Scammers come to Chiang Mai

– to recruit newbie digital nomads promising them away to start up their own business on their program, they managed to take some money off some of the newbies in January 2017. Chiang Mai Digital Nomad Scam artist who are unscrupulous twins that have travelled to Thailand hoping to make some money and scam people that were venerable and wanting to be a digital nomad so badly. These scammers had travelled to other countries and scammed others before, charging between $300 – $1500.

Apparently, some digital nomads got together and said that they should leave town as they are suspecting that they are just scammers. Some of the people still turned up to the event and were later told by others that this is all a scam. Apparently, the Thai police are looking for them, but it is suspected that they are no longer in Thailand.

Chiang Mai Digital Nomad Scam

Due to this some of the people that came to Chiang Mai got very angry and said that the whole digital nomad thing is all a scam and that it is not real and does not work. They blamed even the most popular nomads for scamming people and just selling their own courses on how to be a digital nomad and the money that they make is funding their stay in Thailand.

Some YouTubers were criticised by spreading negative things about being a digital nomad and that they should be spreading more positive approach. Stating that it is not so easy to be a digital nomad and can take many years to build up a business. The Youtubers state that the whole thing is a scam and that it is a pyramid scheme “everyone is just making money off each other, selling crap. Selling how to be a digital nomad and everything is bullshit”, Chiang Mai Digital Nomad Scam.

What I do agree with is yes the newbies don’t know any better and they don’t know between a real successful digital nomad from someone that has been stuck in Chiang Mai and has not built up a business and you have some newbies coming along and they are at times being taken advantage of.

Turning up to Chiang Mai thinking that you will be a digital nomad in a few weeks

It is wrong that they should turn up to Chiang Mai thinking that they will be a digital nomad in a few weeks and be successful and live the independent lifestyle. Most of the early digital nomads had to put a lot of hard work to get where they are now. They have had to work all hours in the beginning until they have built their own business and automated it so they can live the Digital nomad lifestyle. Please don’t think that you can turn up and be successful in a few weeks, although there may be people out there that will sell you that idea. Chiang Mai Digital Nomad Scam, No it is not a scam but that will not stop some people from trying to take advantage of others, and people will always scam others, unfortunately, Thailand is full of scams.

Please don’t think that you can turn up and be successful in a few weeks, although there may be people out there that will sell you that idea. Chiang Mai Digital Nomad Scam, No it is not a scam but that will not stop some people from trying to take advantage of others, and people will always scam others, unfortunately, Thailand is full of scams.

Don’t get carried away by the some of first video’s and podcasts saying just come to Thailand you won’t regret it, unfortunately, a lot of newbies are regretting it and are having to come back home and losing money in the process. Some tips before you even go to Thailand make sure you:

Tips on becoming a Digital Nomad

  1. Do your own research
  2. Follow top Digital nomads
  3. You can learn from free resources on how to start a business online
  4. Don’t get sucked into expensive courses
  5. Stay at home and build your business first before you come
  6. Watch and listen to YouTube and Podcasts on being a digital nomad
  7. Read blogs on being a digital nomad

Having listened to the original YouTube video claiming that the Digital Nomad is all a scam, this is because he attended groups and newbies were attracted by other digital nomads selling different courses. He states that 90% of the digital nomads are scammers and the other 10% are newbies.

I could not disagree more, Digital nomads are real and it does work if you spend time building your business and you build a passive income. Don’t just can’t just turn up in a country and expect to earn thousands of dollars without putting in the work first. It is a shame that he chose the words very poorly and said that being a digital nomad does not work and it is a scam. 

Following other Digital Nomads

If they had followed some digital nomads closely from start to finish they would have found out that they did do the hard work and some of them came to the Digital Nomad conference and seen the lifestyle, and said that is what they wanted and were more destemmed than ever to make a go of it. They returned back to their home country started saving and started researching their online business and started it. They were not all successful and some kept on going despite the disappointments and then made it, after putting the work in and made some losses on the way.

This is not true, there are many digital nomads around the world that are very successful, It does work and people are doing it or working it all over the world. This kind of talk puts the whole digital nomad lifestyle in disrepute. Unfortunately, there will always be scammers, if you try hiring a jet ski, or Tuk Tuk in Thailand you are likely to be scammed, so what is the difference.

Eager newbie Digital Nomads eager to learn 

Newbie digital nomad believes that they can make it in Thailand just by turning up in Thailand and mostly Chiang Mai and think that they are going to make it without putting the work in first. They are eager to learn quickly and willing to pay people to learn, and then there are the others that are coming to Thailand and trying to scam others claiming that they have all the answers and taking money up front with lots of promises that they cannot fulfil and then take the money and run.

Newbie digital nomad believes that they can make it in Thailand just by turning up in Thailand and mostly Chiang Mai and think that they are going to make it without putting the work in first. They are eager to learn quickly and willing to pay people to learn, and then there are the others that are coming to Thailand and trying to scam others claiming that they have all the answers and taking money up front with lots of promises that they cannot fulfil and then take the money and run.

Buyer beware – Claiming to be Digital Nomads, selling their own products

Yes, there are others that are claiming to be digital nomads and yes they are but may rely on the newbies coming into Thailand and trying to sell them courses as many of them are including the very long established digital nomads, and that is just part of their income stream. As long as they deliver what they state and you are prepared to work at it then fine. Buyer beware, they are not going to be giving you all the secrets as that will affect their own income, they might even teach you what used to work but as the competition has grown so much these digital nomads have moved on and tried a different approach but might not pass that on to you.

Many free resources on how to be a Digital Nomad

There are some many free resources out there and so many popular digital nomads explaining how to make the digital nomad lifestyle and explain bit by bit how to achieve success, these are free and on YouTube, they are happy for people to learn, they may even get some money from you watching their channel and really who cares it not costing me anything, I am happy to help.

I am not saying that some people in Chiang Mai are not taking advantage of some miss guided information that people should just come to Chiang Mai and be a digital nomad. To be honest, I heard exactly the same thing, come to Chiang Mai with some money and within a few months you will be able to build a business in dropshipping or amazon and away you go you’re in the money.

I have been tempted to do the same thing and to be honest in the beginning I believe it could have been like that but there is a lot of competition from others and it is not so easy now.

Happy to buy courses from well established Digital Nomads

Some digital nomads will try and sell you courses on how to make it, well, to be honest, if I was travelling to Chiang Mai I would want someone to teach me how to do it quickly. If you have some successful digital nomads and they are prepared to teach you, then what’s the problem, even for a fee?

We hopefully have done are research and listened to the top digital nomads on YouTube or on their podcasts, we can either learn from what they teach us each week or do our own research and go it alone.

I personally would not mind being instructed by the top digital nomads in Chiang Mai as I feel that I know them already. But what I would not do is agree to sign up to any course with a digital nomad that I didn’t even know and is not known by others. This is where people can really get hurt and it normally hurts in the pocket. Unfortunately, this has now given the word Digital nomad a bad name and this is especially true in Chiang Mai. I really hope that this gets sorted out and some rules are put in place and some of the original Digital nomads and influencers stand up and tell the newbies what they should do and what they must not do. They must give really good advice and not always seen as selling their own courses, although this must be tempting.

How to become a Digital Nomad 

If you want the whole location independent lifestyle, then learn a skill before you leave home. A skill that you can take with you, why not Learn to code, there are plenty of great (and free) courses on Udemy, YouTube. Get a remote job. Freelance – teach yourself copywriting, design, build websites and much more.

Put at least a year into it or a lot longer would be more beneficial, but please not just a month. Have backup cash and plans. Leave when you’re making enough money, not when you’re learning how to make enough. Don’t chase shiny objects.

My advice as always is always the same, build your business at home in your own country, you don’t even have to leave your job, you just build slowly your online business until you can live on your earnings.

In Thailand it is cheap to live, so you don’t need much to live on, so you don’t need to earn your full wages that you earn in your home country, You can choose if you wish to leave sooner as all of your accommodation, food, and other items would be a lot cheaper in Thailand so don’t think that you will have to earn the identical wage you were on before.

When you finally arrive you would have built up your business and able to survive and live a comfortable life in Thailand or any other country with a cheap cost of living. This is my current plan, to build an online business and when the time is right I will be able to live a comfortable life and continue to build the business in the country that I choose to go, which in my case is, of course, Thailand.

I put it out there to all the influencers and top digital nomads in Thailand, especially Chiang Mai, Please give strong advice to the newbies, It’s great to come to Thailand and be part of the conference and then return home and build your business at home. Return to Thailand with your businesses earning money and make sure you finically independent before coming to Thailand.

So a call out to some of the Nomads that I personally follow


Jonny FD – Podcasts “Travel like a Boss” and YouTube

I have been following Jonny F.D from the very beginning and I believe that most people that have gone to Chiang Mai, in the beginning, were due to the influence from Jonny. The other digital nomads below were influenced by him.

Jonny FD – Digital Nomad


Chris the Freelancer 

Highly ranked on YouTube, He has slowed right down on his podcasts, which is a shame as it could have used his audio file from his YouTube Channel for his podcasts, maybe he will after he reads this. At the time of writing this piece, he has slowed down on his YouTube Videos. Maybe he has such a large following now that he only has to do a video every so often.

However, that being said his videos are very informative and is my current number one to follow as a digital nomad in Thailand / Chiang Mai. He has worked hard in a short period of time to become a digital nomad and has spread extremely valuable information to others. Thanks Chris for all your hard work.

Chris the Freelancer – Digital Nomad



Riley Bennett – Livin That Life 

Riley is now becoming a big influencer in his own right, first influenced by Jonny in Chiang Mai where he attended the Nomad conference, stayed for a while and could not wait to come back again to start up his business and become a digital Nomad, he is now successful.

Riley Bennett – Digital Nomad



Nick Danforth

Nick has been travelling the world as a digital nomad with his wife Steph since 2012 and love sharing their adventures online. updates several times a week as we continue to travel and build our online businesses. I really like Nick and his videos as he travels around Thailand and beyond, giving an honest reflection of his life with his wife as a digital Nomad.

Nick Danforth – Digital Nomad


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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.

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