Taxi & Tuk-Tuk Driver Scams

If you’ve read Dave’s post, you already know that Dave & I both made it Bangkok safely and found each other at the airport. I found out last Wednesday that the new airport was already open for some domestic flights. I knew Dave’s plane would land at the old airport, but I had no idea where my plane would land. I read that transportation is a major problem at the new airport because taxis aren’t allowed on the land yet. I was envisioning myself landing at the new airport and having no way of getting to the old airport to meet Dave. Luckily, my flight landed at the old airport. I was so happy to see those old, dirty buildings!

My friend Wallapha gave me a ride to the airport in Khon Kaen. I was expecting her to try to talk me out of going to Bangkok, but instead she told me that I was extremely lucky to go to Bangkok at this time. She said Bangkok would be very safe because theives wouldn’t dare stealing from tourists with so many soldiers around! She was right that there was nothing to worry about. Bangkok feels very safe and the soldiers are actually really friendly! Dave wants to write about the coup later, so I won’t write about our experiences with tanks and soldiers now.

I do want to write about the taxi & tuk-tuk driver scams we’ve encountered. We read about common scams in Lonely Planet. The most common one is that someone tells you that the attraction you’re visiting is closed and then offers to take you somewhere else, usually a store. This happens to us at least 4 times a day. Usually it is by our taxi & tuk-tuk drivers. We tell them where we want to go and they tell us that the place is closed. Usually they say that the site/museum/restaurant/shopping mall is closed because of the coup. They then offer to take us somewhere else to do some shopping. We always say no, but we had a misunderstanding with a taxi driver today. I wanted to go to the Hard Rock Cafe for some nachos. The taxi driver said that it wouldn’t open until 6. He offered to take us to another restaurant near Hard Rock Cafe. He ended up taking us to a seafood restaurant that was nowhere near Hard Rock Cafe. We had him drop us off at a shopping center across the street from Hard Rock Cafe. On the way, someone asked us where we were going and said that the Hard Rock Cafe wouldn’t open until 2 pm. We finally arrived at the restaurant and it was open. The nachos were delicious too!

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