(The title is meant to say with out)
I just thought i would like to vent my opinion and i suppose frustration about a big problem in south east asia which includes china and japan too.
To start, i am currently traveling alone around the world for a year. I started on the 21st december 2012 in thailand, pre travel and since i have been traveling i have frequently come across stories of people being scammed, short changed, conned etc etc whilst being in this area of the world. i have recently flown with air asia and in their January magazine features an article on common scams and cons being used on a daily basis in south east asia.
Now having read this article which i would like to say features scams and cons that i have read about many times before, i suddenly felt a great frustration towards this and needed to get it off my shoulders so i decided to write about it. I am sure i have probably been scammed or conned slightly while i have been in this country and probably with out knowing it. Now you will be reading this and think to yourself "he doesn't have much confidence in the friendly people of SE asia" well I'd like to say i do have a lot of confidence that i am being treated fairly, but having experienced what i did the other day and today, that confidence is slow diminishing.
The other day i got a sleeper boat from Koh Phangan to Surat Thani, i paid the same as everybody else as did many other people who would agree with me. i was promised at least a thin floor mattress or bunk bed on the ferry, our taxi arrived at the port late and i was greeted with a wooden deck in the bowels of the ferry along with alot of other people(who paid the same as everyone on that ferry) crammed side by side with a block of foam to rest your head on, while on the deck above people relaxed and slept on a nice foam mattress or bunk bed. Now if that isnt day light robbery i don't know what is.
Today i arrive back in bangkok having done my visa run to malaysia, i hailed a taxi from don mueang airport to take me to khao san road, i asked for the meter before i got in but the old guy was reluctant to start the meter so i said thank you and began to walk away, he soon changed his tune and shouted "ok ok meter meter" so i got in and off we jolly well went, about 300 meters down the road he looked at me and said "300 baht", so i said pointing at the meter " no meter", " ok ok" he said, he then pressed the button for the meter to start rolling. We got to the first toll to get on the highway which was 60 baht so i gave him a 100 baht note (now sometimes you will get a taxi driver who will pay the toll for at no extra cost, or you will pay and the driver gives you the change and receipt) he kept the change in his hand and proceeded to put it in his money pouch, before he could put it away i said " no thats my change my change" while offering my hand to him, he then gave me a grunt and put the change in my hand.
We finally got to khao san road, i only have 2x1000 baht notes which was silly of me as i usually break one or two down into smaller for taxis etc. I gave him the 1000 baht note the meter showed 197 baht so i rounded it to 200 baht, he pulled out a wedge of 100 baht notes and proceed to count out the change, my eyes were fixed on the counting part as i did not trust this guy one bit, sure enough the counting stopped at 500 baht, as he leaned over to give my change i said " no i gave you 1000 baht, i need another 300 baht back" again he gave me a grunt and passed me the remainder of my change, he then started laughing as i left the taxi so i politely said korp kun kup and walked away.
When you enter these countries behind their smiley welcoming front are the people such as the taxi drivers, the common touts who roam the streets and various others looking to have their way with us western tourists (including the ozzies and kiwi's too) they really get my goat. I know its what they do for a living and i understand the wages are in some cases quit awful here but why practice these sorts of annoyances, after all us tourists fly all that way to be hassled by these people. 19 million tourists to be precise visited Thailand in 2011, contributing to their economy in a huge way, thailands income from tourism for 2011 was 734.59 billion baht or 23.08 billion USD.
Now multiple that roughly giving or taking a few 100 million each way for all the countries in the SE asia including china and japan, thats alot of money.
So my point is if us tourists and travelers decided to up sticks and only travel to africa, south america and europe, SE asia would be f***ed, well maybe not china but you get my drift. Imagine all the cheap hotels, guesthouses and hostels in these countries suddenly empty for years to come. ANYWAYS
ahhhh much better, frustration is now gone. If anyone has taken the time to read my book and has some views or opinions of their own then i would love to read them also and experiences of what i have written about.
Cheer guys, happy traveling
This thread has been moved to the Asia forum. Go to the new SEA would be f---ed with us tourists thread.