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Travel vlogger Lindsay expresses her frustration about being scammed by Thai tourism operators.


It can be hard to know who to trust while traveling. Unfortunately travelers are scammed everyday, but communicating with fellow travelers and being prepared can decrease your likelihood of being taken for a ride.



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About The Author


Joshywashington is a Travel Media Ninja from Seattle who enjoys writing, climbing trees and strong coffee.

  • Alex

    Exactly the same situation that I faced on the way into Cambodia – I also got overcharged on my visa but by that point I was too exhausted to try and find my own way to the border. Shame on me though, because I let them get away with it even though I knew I was getting scammed.

    On the way back, I took the public bus from Siem Reap to the border (super cheap, long trip, all locals) and then another public bus into Bangkok. No scams, totally simple and cheap. I’ll know for next time…

  • Mitch

    I guess 1200B is a big deal if you’re on a budget but it converts to just over $37 USD which really isn’t much for a Western tourist or backpacker and probably means a lot to the locals. That being said, talk to other travellers. If you are staying at a hostel you’ll encounter all sorts of people coming and going to and from the same places you’ll be going to. We all travel using the same guide books so the chances of going somewhere completely alien are pretty slim.

  • Lindsay

    Yes, Mitch, in reality it’s not a lot of money to western tourists, even for those of us on a budget, and sometimes thinking this way helps ground our emotions and frustrations. But, being scammed is more about the principle that someone is trying to take advantage of you, and that is an utterly sickening feeling.

    When I arrived in India I met two Norwegian girls who could more than afford the 1500 rupee to travel by taxi from North Goa to South Goa, and the 300 Rupee per yoga classes offered all over the state, but they chose local transport (67 rupee for the same travel) and bargained with yoga teachers everywhere. They explained to me that you cannot keep converting rupees to dollars, or euros, else you will really overpay for everything as you travel. Learning to think in the local currency is really a great tip!

    So, using that mentality, paying 1200 B for a 700B visa, leaves us a difference of 500B which is the equivalent of a 2 hour massage at a really nice spa in Bangkok. Hmm, paying extra for a visa scam or getting a 2 hour massage? I’d rather not get scammed, and get the massage, how about you?

  • jason

    you are all some whiny suckers. welcome to a poor country, of course they are going to try to get extra money off of you. but crying about 100 baht (3 dollars)? wahhh. suck it up. i was in thailand last yr and when people try to scam you, you grow a set and argue with them until they do what they are supposed to do. the over dramatic music makes this video hilarious. and you really showed them by tossing coconuts. next time go to club med or something.

  • somchai

    Well Lindsay not only do you save 500 baht but you help improve the situation for the next person. The reasons these scams exists is because tourists are always looking to be pampered for a couple of baht. Just going to the bus station to get a bus is always better.

    Tossing the coconut was bad, could have hurt someone. A farmer walking up the road or some kid had nothing to do with the scam.

    The transport thing goes on day in day out every day of the year.

    Learn to count, learn to say how much, smile a lot, all is good in the long run.

  • Lindsay

    I questioned my ability to grow a set as I am female, but after 3 weeks in India, I’m pretty confident I’ve surmounted biological difficulties to have my very own pair.

    Somchai – great advice. Smiling is the best way to get through language barriers, difficult situations or piercing stares. Yes, throwing coconuts was reckless.

    The reason I made this video was so that other people know what to look for in the scam, and know what to expect from traveling in Southeast Asia. I also think not everyone in this world is cut out for 3rd world adventures; there’s a reason millions of people prefer packaged beach vacations and guide-led tours. I would not want to just make beautiful (and oversimplified) travel videos , and have people that don’t, as Jason says, have “a set” or the ability to grow them travel to those locations on my account, and end up in a situation they cannot handle. I’m lucky my Dad took me to the Arab Market in Jerusalem and taught me how to barter at a young age. I was upset in this situation, but not without the ability to handle myself.

  • Lis@MidlifeTravel

    This scam has been operating for years – I heard about it when I was researching Cambodia for a trip in 2005! Maybe its just me – but I travelled long before most of these tourist buses were invented – and unless it really is a tour – with stops in remote locations – there is ALWAYS local transport – be it a bus, bemo or motorbike!

  • Paulo Gaeta

    By the way they threw the coconuts out of the window (something they would never dream of doing at home).
    I think they actually deserved to be ripped off.

    • Patrick Palladino

      I agree, they shouldn’t have thrown the coconut. But, maybe if they didn’t spend the whole day being scammed and lied to, they would’ve arrived at their destination earlier and wouldn’t been put into a frustrating position. SE Asia is a magical place with beautiful vistas and wonderful people. But, it does seem like everyone is trying to scam and lie to you.

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