Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Bad Thailand

Our brother friends visit Thailand twice a year. We have been there three times, the last when we were returning from Vietnam. Thailand was a fun country and back then, quite sophisticated compared to Vietnam.

But Thailand has fallen on hard times. In the past foreigners were pretty well left out of the day to day bribery that is the way of life there. Not so anymore. Remember Beer Mat Mum? Life would have been a lot easier for her if she had offered an appropriate bribe, rather than standing on her supposed moral principles.

So I now hear tales of tourists now being targeted for bribery as tourism is down so much in Thailand, the whole local bribery chain is breaking.

Here is one scam I have heard of from two different sources.

You are leaving Thailand after you visit and are doing some duty free shopping at the airport. You arrive at the counter to pay for whatever you have selected and the cashier packs something extra in your bag.

"Free gift Sir/Madame".

They may not even say that. I might look like they made a mistake and put something in your bag by accident.

You leave the shop and you are soon collared and accused of theft from the shop. You have a product in your bags and you don't have a receipt. You have no answer. Face the legal system or pay a bribe.

Generally I like Thai people, well I only know a couple really, but I would suggest if travelling, avoid going via Bangkok and travel via Singapore or Hong Kong. If you want an Asian holiday, consider Singapore, which is a very sophisticated country that works well, or what about Vietnam? We had a great time there and can recommend it. The Vietnamese police look after foreigners. Unlike Thailand, they know which side their bread is buttered. Honkers has plenty to see too.

Sadly Thailand seems to be malfunctioning country at the moment. Avoid it.


  1. Last December, only days before our flight on Thai Airways, the protesters took over the Bangkok airport. Luckily Thai offered to refund our money, but we had to buy last minute tickets from Qantas instead. We will never fly via Bangkok. About 11 years ago I spent 5 days in Thailand, mainly in Bangkok, and I found my money went a long way. I can't stand the tropical humidity though! Plus all of their clothes were far too small for my Western frame!

  2. Our brother friends spent nearly two weeks in a Bangkok hotel when the protest happened on the day they were to leave. Bad, but they go back. Heat and tropical never really worried me in Singapore, but it did in Bangkok and Pattaya. Freesize did fit me, but not my b/f. Freesize would not fit me now.

  3. I always thought the whole beer mat thing was a bit fishy. Now bar mat mum can't even go on a family trip to Disneyland, as she was barred entry to the US due to her Thai conviction.

    I'd would really like to go to Hong Kong. I've been to Singapore, but I wouldn't mind going back one day. I'd like to get the train between Singapore and KL or vice versa.

  4. I think the train from Singapore to KL, and I should have mentioned that KL and Malaysia seems to be a popular holiday destination too. A friend caught the train and he liked it. Buses are much cheaper though.

    So in Hong Kong, after a tram trip to Mount Victoria, what else would you do?

  5. Bit of a worry if they pack something stronger than cigarettes/alcohol in your luggage! :(

  6. The mind boggles over that Jayne. Don't worry, the farang is rich. He/she will pay.

  7. Bloody hell, I am with Jayne!