Bus Rides in Thailand
How the scam works:
The first thing that you need to do when you are ready to travel by bus in Thailand is to purchase padlocks for your suitcases. Don’t be fooled by the good-looking buses (sometimes even double-deckers) they use to transport travelers across the country.
More than in any other country, it's reported that tourists are still constantly robbed while traveling, without knowing. The ones who “operate” are the driver's helpers, who are sitting in the passenger seat in the front right next to the little door that opens to the luggage area. Most of the buses have an internal small door in front, which leads to the luggage room in the “basement” of the bus. While tourists are enjoying a nap or have their eyes glued to the windows enjoying the scenery, the helpers go down and open every suitcase, looking for cash, jewelry, and other small items that can fit in their pockets.
How to avoid:
Keep padlocks on your suitcases at all times.
Another eye-opener while traveling by bus in Thailand is the sticker on your clothes. Waiting for a specific ride in a bus terminal, in some places you might get a sticker put on your shirt, according to your destination. The stickers are legal and let the upcoming drivers know who is allowed to board the bus.
However, quite a few locals try to scam tourists by confidently putting home-made stickers on their shirts and requesting an extra fee, usually small, claiming it is for the environment or that there is a new bus that comes quicker.
How to avoid:
If you paid for your ticket, refuse any other offers and don’t pay extra suspicious sudden costs.
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