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more scams in Thailand

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1. Posted by rozner (Budding Member 36 posts) 9y


Just thought I'd give another warning about my experiences in Thailand.

I had met a girl over here who rented a motor bike for 2 days, I was with her when she returned the bike and the guy tried to charge her 4000b for damages on the bike and was refusing to return her passport. There was a small crack in the front part of the bike although this was marked on the sheet before she even rented it so it was clearly there before. He also said there was damage on the left side of the bike pointing out a small scratch, saying the whole piece needed to be replaced which was a bunch of crap really. I won't get into all the details of what happened, but we got the Thai police involved who was surprisingly helpful. The guy seemed to change his story when the policeman was there, pointing out different scratches and saying those were the ones that he wanted her to pay for. After a while of arguing with the guy and aid of the police man, he stuck to 4000 for so long but then all of sudden asked for 500b instead, we ended up still arguing with him and eventually ended up walking out with the passport and not paying a thing. It worked out fine but was an annoying thing to deal with, took around 2 hours to sort all this out. I've spoken to many other people who've had similar experiences. So I'd say make a thorough inspection yourself when renting a bike, I'll probably use my camera and take some pictures to be safe.

2. Posted by Mel. (Travel Guru 4567 posts) 9y

Hello Rozner

I have heard similiar stories.
Basically, it seems to me, that if u damage anything belonging to somebody else in Thailand, they will charge u what they want for it, whether it is reasonable or not.
Just dont hand over your passport. Give them a photocopy and tell them u need the original to change travellers cheques with. If they dont agree, then dont rent the bike at all.
I met a guy who accidentally killed a chicken, while he was driving past somebodies house. They demanded some idiotic amount of money, for it.


3. Posted by clarife (Respected Member 294 posts) 9y

and is it legal to demand whatever they want? Will it help to call the police as it did for Rozner?

4. Posted by Mel. (Travel Guru 4567 posts) 9y

Yeah, certainly call the tourist police.
They are used to dealing with that type of incident.
But I would avoid the problem, by never handing over my passport, to anybody. Of course u may have to ask somebody to look after it and other valuables, when u are on the islands, because u might want to swim or go to a party. Make it somebody u strongly feel u can trust.

[ Edit: Edited on May 15, 2007, at 1:36 PM by Mel. ]

5. Posted by clarife (Respected Member 294 posts) 9y

Will everywere accept a photocopy of passport or will they ask for the real thing? To rent a moped do you need to show your driving license?

6. Posted by Mel. (Travel Guru 4567 posts) 9y

I dont think u need to show your drivers licence. I dont even think u have to have one at all. I have seen the guys who rent out the mopeds, showing the people renting how to use them.
But I think it is important to be experienced with motorcycles, if u want to rent one. There are so many accidents, on the islands every day, with mopeds. When i was waiting for the boat, to leave Koh PhaNgan around half (no exaggeration) of the other people waiting had various body parts bandaged, because of moped accidents.
But if u insist on one, I know a beach on Koh PhaNgan where u can get a beach hut, for 200 bahts and they give u a moped with it, free of charge. I dont think they ask for your passport. But if u cause an accident and damage property, with the moped, it may be expensive. I heard about a guy who did not know how to ride a moped. As soon as he started it, he immediately crashed into a shop, broke lots of items in there and had to pay for the damage.

People might want to argue, if u just want to give them a photocopy of your passport, but I still would not hand it over. U can show it to guesthouse owners, so they can write down the number of it, but they should then give it back straight after that.

7. Posted by okisha (Budding Member 2 posts) 9y

all the rental places will expect your passport. i have just come from 6 weeks on Koh Phangnan and had a 'small" scam myself. ours involved a thumbtack and a flat tyre. this ended up costing us 150bt which was 100bt above what it could be fixed for. we knew this first hand as we wheeled the bike around to the repair shop (there are a few of these around ) cos we were not willing to pay 150bt for a punctured tube. the rental guy was not willing to budge even after we supplied this 'quote' so we ended up giving him the money. after, we found out from a local, he is known for pulling these tricks. i cannot remember the name of the place but it is the street parrallel and right to the main street.
if you are near the north - chaloklum, go to Panees opp. seven 11. she is tops.
yes... inspect the bike and if you feel better write the damage down and have them sign it too. take care on the roads, gravel and stuff makes sliding really, really easy.

8. Posted by rozner (Budding Member 36 posts) 9y

regarding the drivers license, I haven't had to show it yet and I've rented a motorbike twice, and an ATV once. Although I never actually left my passport, I ended up leaving the drivers license, fortunately for myself I haven't had any of them try to charge me for damages. Unfortunately I have fallen off twice, although the second one was really stupid and I was probably only going about 10-15km, on a flat part but a thick patch of sand got me by surprise and I lost balance on the damn thing, didn't really hurt myself on that one, the first one was a bit painful, mostly just scrapes, no serious injury. I was going probably only 30-40km on a semi dirt road that was wet and my friend in front of me stopped kind of suddenly (he said he dropped his phone), but I couldn't swurv around since there were trenches on either side of me so I tried to stop but skidded out. I'd definitely recommend renting one if even just for the experience as it was fun (other than the falls), but do be careful...

9. Posted by clarife (Respected Member 294 posts) 9y

Hi Rozner,

If you hurt yourself on one badly, are there adaquate doctors/hospitals on the islands or in most tourist parts?


10. Posted by Mel. (Travel Guru 4567 posts) 9y

Quoting clarife

Hi Rozner,

If you hurt yourself on one badly, are there adaquate doctors/hospitals on the islands or in most tourist parts?


I am not Rozner, but I will answer.
Yes, there is an international hospital, on Koh Samui, and on Koh PhaNgan. They would provide more than good enough care,for somebody who fell off a moped. There are probably hospitals on the other islands too, but I have not checked. If there is any particular island u want to know about, I will look it up, for u.