It’s true, I know it sounds hard to believe, someone as astute and street wise as myself, but yes, I was scammed. I was reviewing my map while pondering what to do with the afternoon when a “helpful” gentleman stopped and asked where I was going. I said I was thinking about going to the MBK shopping centre. He proceeded to annotate my map with several important tourist spots he thought I should see.
When I asked how I should get to the MBK centre he suggested a Tuk Tuk. Knowing they’re normally outrageously expensive I said as much and asked if I could get a bus. He said that due to some government promotion on the television yesterday, Tuk Tuk drivers were being given coupons for food or petrol or something, so my fare would be only 20 baht, including stopping at the previously annotated tourist attractions.
He hailed a Tuk Tuk, agreed the price, and in I jumped. I didn’t really want to see the golden buddha or the golden mountain but I didn’t want to be rude, so I had a quick look. To collect his free token he had to take me to a tailors shop, I went in, was told a pair of trousers would be Â£40 and decided that was really a bit steep, so I left. Back in the Tuk Tuk, next stop golden wat (temple), round the corner, he said he’d wait there. I walked down the road, looked, couldn’t be bothered going in, walked back, and low and behold, the Tuk Tuk and it’s driver had vanished.
Me thinks bring a ferrang (foreigner) to a tailors shop on the promise of a low fair, get your commission, then ditch them at the nearest available tourist attraction. Luckily I hadn’t paid up front, so I hopped on the bus for a mere 12 baht, a total saving of 8 baht, around 10 pence!