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.