We rode the infamous Tuktuk from our hostel to a restaurant but we were not taken to our intended destination. Why are we not surprised about this. Yeah, the Tuktuk in Bangkok is known for many scams – overpriced fare rides, taking you somewhere else to buy some expensive jewels (which some are fake) and many other stories. Then why ride them anyway? – you might ask.
At around 10pm, we flagged a Tuktuk to take us to a nearby restaurant and agreed on a 100 Baht price for the three of us. Seems fair enough. We have already checked the restaurant in the map to see notable landmarks just to be aware if we were going in the right direction. It seemed that the trip was taking much longer than expected. But then one of us noticed that we already went past one of the landmarks near the restaurant based on the map. But we didn’t stop near the area. We were taken around two blocks farther than we expected. We were already silent and anxious.
We finally stopped at a seafood restaurant named Somboondee. From outside, it already looked like a shady place. There were men waiting outside who approached us. We trusted our instincts and immediately left the place. No, we didn’t take a chance if the restaurant was any good. From there, we took an Uber ride to make sure we’ll really arrive at our intended destination.
When we got back to our hostel, we checked the name of the restaurant and sure enough the word “SCAM” came up. There were a lot of complaints: From the ordinary food with no price indicated on the menu. Serving you food you didn’t order. To overcharging with some undisclosed expenses and no official receipts given. And this was all with the Tuktuk or taxi drivers as accomplice. Thankfully, we didn’t get to that point where it could have ruined our whole Thailand experience.
In our trip to Thailand, we rode almost all kinds of their public transportation. From mini bus to aircon bus, BTS to MRT, even public vans and of course Uber. We took all these rides except for public taxis who were usually not wanting to use the metered rates. Then there are the Tuktuks. Even with all the infamous stories, it is still something that captured our interests, with it’s colorful style or just the thrill of the ride. But don’t say we didn’t warn you. Be wary of the scams out there but then its part of the adventure of riding a Tuktuk. Just make sure you know how to play it out when an unexpected situation comes your way.