Last post I tried to describe the scenery outside the hotel where I was staying the best way possible. The location and the food stands that people had that were of the neighborhood. Well that’s a picture I took from the room that I was staying in. Anyways, let’s get into the topic. When I say watch your back, I’m not only talking about the locals, I am also talking about the foreigners as well. Yes, a foreigner from your home country or from another developed country can put you in a bind and cause havoc to your life as well. I know it may sound cliche but don’t trust anybody. I’ve literally met someone before who was from my hometown in a foreign country and later on he was someone that could not be trusted. Here are a few reasons why you should watch your back, starting with the locals.
First off, Thailand is a poor country. I know I’ve typed this several times in my blogs, and you have heard many people talk about vacationing to Thailand, but don’t get things twisted. People are always trying to look for a come up, and one of those come ups is the passport hustle. Do not, and i repeat, DO NOT CARRY YOUR PASSPORT ON YOU IN THAILAND!!!!! Make a copy of your passport and carry that on you. There will always be a safe or a lockbox in the hotel room you are staying at, and if there isn’t one, check out and check in to a hotel that does have one. Now in case you don’t know, prostitution is legal in Thailand. It’s not as rampant in Chiang Mai as it is in Bangkok, but none the less it is still legal. You see men picking up these prostitutes off the streets all the time and taking them back to their hotel rooms. You get through doing your private business with your “guest”, and you lay back down, and she sees your American passport laying on the desk, what do you think she is going to do? She’s going to pick it up and be gone with it before you can say Jesus Mary and Joseph.
Now I am not advocating anyone in engaging with a prostitute, but I am being considerate to whoever is reading this that might want to. And it doesn’t just stop there, there are males who want to take your passport as well. They will either sell it for some cash or make a fake one for themselves out of it in hopes of going to America or whatever developed country you might be from. You have to treat that passport like it’s worth a million dollars, because that is a meal ticket to the people of Thailand, and if you lose it you could possible go to jail.
Watch out for the police as well. I have seen with my own eyes, undercover Bangkok police officers, strolling through nightclubs trying to plant drugs on different people in the clubs. Mainly women who left their purse on the bar counter or the table and it’s slightly open. They will sometimes slip the drugs in the purse and ask the individual if they could perform a random search on them and act like they are popping them for drugs. In this case they will give them an option, either you go to jail or you pay a ridiculous fine. I have heard the number as high as 100,000 baht (almost $3,000 usd). Let me make this clear that all police officers in Thailand do not do this, there are some officers out there who are honest and helpful and are genuinely good people, I am just telling you what I saw in the club from two undercover officers. Those two do not represent all of Thailand police offers.
Be careful partying as well. They have these parties in Thailand called the “Half Moon” and “Full Moon” parties. If you look on Youtube and type that in, you will see a bunch of videos of people in glow in the dark paint and accessories drinking their faces off having a good time on this island. Now there are no direct flights to this island. You have to take a plane to the westside of Thailand, and then from there you take a boat out to the island. A friend of mine from back home warned me about those parties before I even stepped foot on the plane. He told me that there’s usually no police officers on the island and people get murdered and end up missing all the time at those parties. Boy I am sure glad I listened to him. Because for the month I was there in Thailand, every party that they had on that island several people got killed and tossed in the water. I am not saying this happens every time, but it happened every time when I was there. You know exactly when they are having those events just by following your calendar and seeing what days is the moon full or half.
Do not flaunt your money around, blend in with the crowd and look plain as possible. Keep your occupation to yourself and don’t carry a lot of cash on you. Do not wear expensive jewelry. I have a friend who spent a lot of time in Thailand and he would tell me some crazy stories about his time out there. He told me when he first went out there he didn’t like how he kept going to the ATM to take money out and they would charge his card an international fee every single time. So instead of just opening up a Thai bank account and transferring the money over to that card, he just took out a lump sum. He later on went to a bar and wanted to pay for a drink for him and the young lady he was talking to. He reached down in his pocket to grab the amount that he wanted to pay for, and as he was pulling out his money, the other bills in his pocket kind of peeked out the top of his pocket because he didn’t have that much room in his pockets and the girl saw it. He noticed she sent a few messages on her phone as they were talking but he didn’t think anything of it. He later on wanted to take her back to his hotel room, and as they were walking, he noticed that he was being followed by 4 other guys. He put two and two together and immediately started running, leaving her behind and they all chased after him. He got away, but that was definitely a lesson learned and information that he passed on to me.
I hope this post somewhat enlightened you and hopefully you learned something. I will get into why you should watch out for foreigners and how they can scam you as well on my next blog post. When I say foreigners I am talking about people who come from developed countries while you are in Thailand (America, Europe, Australia, etc.) Stay tuned! – Splash Wave