Not the best of starts...
Trip Start Sep 28, 2010
40Trip End Dec 16, 2010
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Where I stayed
Arrived in from the bus about 7.30am, and whilst a nice couple who teach English out here directed us to the metered taxi's so we wouldn't get ripped off by the zillions of drivers shouting 'taxi taxi' once we got off the bus, unfortunately we landed a driver who spoke no English, and also did not seem to know Bangkok very well!
As a result it took us three times as long and three times the expected fare to get to our guesthouse. The taxi driver did however knock the price on the meter down so we only paid double what was expected...first scam of the day, or not??
We were able to check in despite it being early morning, left our bags and headed out for breakfast
En route back to the guesthouse we also nearly got scammed again, with a friendly Thai who spoke good English claiming to be a policeman from Chaing Mai on holiday in Bangkok, pointing out nice places to go. These included the 'lucky temple' which is only open once a year, and the guy said it was a government day so these places would be cheap, and if we took a Tuk Tuk with a yellow flag they wouldn't charge us very much as they would get subsidised by the government
Fortunately both of these would have only ended up in us wasting time being dragged around places we didn't really want to go, including tourist information offices and tailor shops, but with only a few days here we are now highly suspicious of any friendly people which is a bit of a shame.
We are going out to find some decent Thai curry, and looking forward to the free breakfast tomorrow :)
Ciao for now
Sophie and Keiron
P.S. we are also hoping to pick up a handset as we only have Sophie's and it has died a death for no apparent reason - sorry if we haven't replied to any texts!
P.P.S (for Rachel :D) - we ended up on Khao San road, it's mental - took refuge in a bar with a live guitarist/singer to watch the carnage from a balcony above the road! See pics!
P.P.S. To summarise Bangkok has three major tourist scams:
1) Ignore well spoken Thai men who will tell you that various Palaces (including the Grand Palace) are shut for the day/morning/afternoon and that you should get a Tuk Tuk to another temple, the "Big Bhudda" and "Lucky" Temples are their favourite as they are close to the travel agents/Tailors that they will take you to afterwards.
2) Ignore anyone who tells you it is a Government subsidised/supported/national holiday where you can get in a Tuk Tuk for only 10 or 20 baht. It's lies.
3) Be wary of people giving out "lucky" bird feed for pigeons near the Grand Palace, however forceful they are.
Learn to say no thank you/ignore Tuk Tuk drivers/taxi's around Khao San Road.
Be instantly suspicious if the Thai man talking to you suggests something is "lucky".
In fact don't ever get in a Tuk-Tuk/taxi unless you are certain on an agreed price/meter and that you are happy the driver knows where he is going, even then don't be surprised if you're taken somewhere else first!