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Big Trouble in Tourist Thailand

Travel Forums Asia Big Trouble in Tourist Thailand

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1. Posted by vegasmike6 (Travel Guru 3562 posts) 7y

I have been trying for several years to warn members that all is not smiles in "The Land of Smiles" or LOS. Thailand had an ad campaign that used that theme for many years: 'Come to the LOS'. All of us that have spend months or years in Thailand know how thin that veneer of LOS really is.

Our UK members have already seen this series, but perhaps others have not. Take a look at several of the episodes and hopefully you will not make the same mistakes shown in the series. Don't rent a motorbike unless you are an experienced rider. Never rent a jet ski, never get involved in the drug scene. Just because you are on holiday, do not leave your common sense back home.

2. Posted by opospa (Travel Guru 1836 posts) 7y

I saw the 1st episode and JJ the jetski operator was busted by the police

3. Posted by paul j (Respected Member 217 posts) 7y

Quoting opospa

I saw the 1st episode and JJ the jetski operator was busted by the police

There is a uncut version of the interview with JJ on Youtube . I think the TV make him to look like a complete bastard .
If you watch the full interview he does not seem to bad .. I am not sure if he was scamming tourists, but he does not seem as half aggressive as they make him out to be (apart from the gun incident) :) but you dont get the whole story on these programmes http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fgHo3-ieVjk&feature=related

[ Edit: Edited on 20-Sep-2009, at 07:35 by paul j ]

4. Posted by CanadaGuy (Respected Member 199 posts) 7y

Thanks for the link Mike-

I have been to Thailand twice, on two separate extended trips to SE Asia- I think it is extremely common that Western backpackers get into some "conflicts" with the locals while traveling - Mine have fortunately been nothing more serious than the typical sudden change of a price when it comes to pay, or a service not delivered as promised.... And mine never escalated to involve violence or law enforcement ....
But I do think it is really important for travelers, especially young ones, to be well informed of what can possibly happen, and to be smart about avoiding trouble in the first place... These are not the places to mess with drugs or to even let yourself be in a position where you can get into trouble.

Sounds silly and obvious... but when dealing with a different culture and customs you really need to adopt a more cautious mind set. Which, for many, is hard to do on what most consider a trip of a lifetime...

5. Posted by SamSalmon (Respected Member 626 posts) 7y

This all old, old, old.

tell us something we don't know.

6. Posted by vegasmike6 (Travel Guru 3562 posts) 7y

Quoting SamSalmon

This all old, old, old.
tell us something we don't know.

Sam, since you are 108, everything is old, old, old! Did you not see the part where I said: "Our UK members have already seen this......? If even one TP member visiting Thailand decides not to rent a jet ski or use drugs while on holiday, it was worth posting 'old news'.

7. Posted by GeorgeR (Budding Member 10 posts) 7y

Tom is totally right. JJ looks like hes run this scam before, but if you look at the unedited video the marine admits that the accident must have happened while he had the ski in his possession. Any court would make the marine pay for the damages in this instance, especially since he also admitted looking over the ski before he signed the release to be liable for damages!

Obviously these scams are bad (as are motorbike scams; ive heard of instances where they follow you and throw the bike in a pickup truck when you are in a restaurant/shop and then you have to go back and buy them a new bike cuz it was 'stolen')
So there are certainly some precautions to be taken but that Big Trouble show totally distorted the truth by editing out a lot of what really was said that day.

Is Thailand as scary as Los Angeles or Mexico? I really doubt that. Is it as safe as Singapore? Probably not that either. But Thailands people love to smile and they are almost all nice buddhist people that are suffering because tourism is down so much. Come see for yourself!

8. Posted by paul j (Respected Member 217 posts) 7y

These programmes take a lot of bad incidents from over a few months and put them in hour long documentrys.
Most people who have never been to Thailand would look and think '' wow i`m not going there '' thinking there is trouble every corner you turn . I dont remember seeing any trouble in Thailand the month i was there, maybe i was lucky .

9. Posted by frank_bkk (Full Member 101 posts) 7y

Of course there are a lot of scams in Thailand, but if you use your common sense like you would in Farangland, the chances of getting badly scammed are slashed by 95%. Take the jewelry scam, would you buy two thousands worth of gems at the advice of someone you just met half an hour in your home country? Look at the jetski scam, quite simply double-check your jetski beforehand and have the owner identify any damage already, even take a few photos first. Come to Thailand, don't leave your common sense at home.

10. Posted by Swept Away (Travel Guru 1113 posts) 7y

Its every touristic cities... If people choose to do drugs, they will do it anywhere. ITS LIKE SEX tourist, who make such statements: Woman in the Philippines and China only want western guys for their money.... UHM, where do you HANG OUT??? You go to a red light district and complain about everyone being a whore.

You got scammed? when you were so pissed and stoned? A lady boy raped you? Uhm, that was in a temple or some sleazy club, where you tried to pick up a teenage thai waitress.

I was in Thailand for more than 3 MONTHS, it was very safe... the BARS close way TOOOOO EARLY, and the lonely planet calls it the city that never sleep. Yes, Thailand has its dirty realms, but dont be a hypocrite, its probably why you went there.