Sunday, June 21, 2009

Simon's Tip on Bangkok

Stopping off in Bangkok this morning for a look around the temples, I was approached by a local Chap and asked if I would like him to take me on a tour of the local temples. I must have given him one of my trademarked furtive looks because he immediately started producing reams of maps and documents from his capacious pockets and laying them out on the road for me to look at, as though this would somehow prove that he was actually nothing more than a loveable and slightly eccentric local character! But unfortunately for him, I had been pre-warned of this particular scam... In case you are unfamiliar with the facts, allow me to fill you in. Wherever you go in Bangkok (and probably elsewhere too), you may at some point encounter somebody very eager to show you around their city. Now, don't get me wrong here - the Thai people are well known for their hospitality and are some of the nicest people I've ever come across, but if somebody stops you on the street and offers to show you around the city instead of whatever it is they were planning on doing with their day, you have to ask what's in it for them! Anyway, in this particular scam, a total stranger will approach you in the street and offer to show you around his fair city, claiming to have taken pity on a lonely tourist. He may well then proceed to give you a perfectly good sightseeing tour of the local area, building up your trust. At some point, though, this good Samaritan will almost certainly miraculously remember that his friend happens to work in a local gem shop - and since the two of you have now become such good friends, wouldn't it be great if he could persuade the gem shop owner to give you a big discount so that you can go home with an amazing keepsake? Except, of course, that going down this route will leave you out of pocket and in possession of a worthless chunk of glass. Being well aware of this scam, and keeping strictly to the lighted roadways and busy temples, I spent my last couple of hours in the area partaking of a particularly fine guided tour of the local market and places of worship, at no cost to myself. I marvelled as every turn presented me with a more incredible temple than the last, gold encrusted archways and Buddha statues dazzling me on every corner, and wandered through the temples staring around with suitable amounts of awe. Then, at an opportune moment, my guide suddenly remembered that his friend ran a jewellery shop and could probably get me a discount. "Oh, what a shame." I told him sadly, "I've got to catch a bus in a few minutes. Perhaps next time. I really am so sorry. Bye, then... thanks so much for the tour!"You can read my complete travel journals at
Good tip? [Thumbs Up] [Thumbs Down]


Post a Comment


gold jewellires © 2008. Design By: SkinCorner