Trouble in Paradise: Scams in Pattaya to Avoid
You’ve saved up. You’ve got on the plane. You’re looking forward to your trip in paradise. But before you know it you could be out of pocket and feeling glum. Don’t fall for these old tricks. Allow us to teach you about the scams in Pattaya to avoid.
Where there are tourists there are scams. It’s a fairly simple adage and one which every traveler should be mindful of. Another is, if it seems to good to be true it probably is. Pattaya is no different to other tourist hot spots. Some scams seem relatively harmless and involve people trying to make a quick buck. Others could end up with you in some serious trouble and should be avoided at all costs.
Don’t panic though. Thailand isn’t called the Land of Smiles for nothing. This is one of the most welcoming and friendly countries that you’ll ever meet. This guide will equip you with knowledge of the most common scams in Pattaya. With this knowledge you’ll have the power to avoid them.
The Extra Bill Scam
Pop in for a beer in one of the beach or street bars in Pattaya and you’ll notice small pots on each table. As the night progresses your pot begins to fill with slips of paper that act as your bill for each beer. This is where you should be somewhat watchful. All too often extra slips are dropped into your pot and before you know if you’re paying for 9 beers instead of the 5 that you had.
Can you prove that you didn’t have them? Likely not. Trust us, you do not want to get into an argument with Thai locals. The moment you show irritation or raise your voice this constitutes a loss of face for them. This can result in a major conflict, and in some cases, violence.
Simple solution? Pay as you go and ask for the pot to be removed after each drink.
The Jet Ski Scam
Watersports are huge in Pattaya and jet skis are part of that. They’re offered at what seems a surprisingly reasonable price. Just before you jump on you’ll be asked to sign a damage liability form then you zoom off. Almost always there’ll be a piece of damage that wasn’t there before and you’ll have to spend a great deal of cash sorting it out.
Avoid this one by taking photos and video of the jet ski before you set foot onto it. Make sure the owner sees you doing this. If there’s any damage make them note it on the form. They might still try and push some damage when you return but they can’t discredit your photos.
The Taxi Scam
This is the same all over Thailand. They’ll demand payment up front, refuse to use the meter or claim it is broken, charge you for luggage or claim they have no change when you pay.
Simple to avoid by clearing up exactly what you expect at the start. Don’t get into a cab unless you have agreed terms first. Avoid the change scam by always carrying a few smaller notes so that you can pay in the exact money.
The Shop Scam
Linked to the above. It is not unusual for a taxi or tuk tuk driver to attempt to take you to either a gem stone, artifact or clothes store. They work on commission for these stores and get paid if they get you to buy anything from them. The items for sale are almost always extortionately overpriced and, in the case of gems, fake.
Simply state that you do not want to go. You don’t have to get out if you don’t want to. If they insist just refuse to go in and if necessary pay for the cab so far and flag a different one.
The Laundry Scam
There are hundreds of laundry places in Pattaya. Some are more reputable than others. Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for expensive items to go missing within your perfectly pressed bundles that are handed back.
The simple solution is to do your laundry yourself. Failing that, your hotel is more likely to complete your washing without incident.
Pattaya Insider Tip
As with most scams, your best defense is common sense. If something doesn’t feel right then remove yourself from the situation. Keep your wits about you and be prepared to walk away. Most of all stay safe and enjoy yourself!