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Steve

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Visited Grand Palace with a friend in 2013

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Asia > Thailand > Bangkok > Grand Palace > Useful Info
Updated on Aug 23, 2018 Useful Info

The biggest scam to be aware of at the Grand Palace

A friend and I went to visit the Grand Palace a few years back, and we ended up falling straight for this scam. This is what it looks like:

The scam:

  • In pretty much all the areas adjacent to the Grand Palace, there will be some locals loitering around trying to scam you
  • When you're dropped off by your taxi or tuk tuk, you will be approached by one of these locals who will give you some sort of excuse that will prevent you from going into the palace
  • Then he will convince you to go on a ride with him, and usually that means he will take you to various places to buy things, and he will pressure you to buy some overpriced (and probably fake) stuff

Our story:

  • When we got dropped off, we were told that it was a Thai national holiday, and that the palace was closed in the morning. He would take us on a free guided tour for the rest of the morning, and will drop us back off when it re-opens in the afternoon
  • The first stop he took us was an innocuous-looking temple. We went inside it and it looked like a completely normal, nondescript temple. Here's the ingenious part: one of his accomplices, who spoke ok English, pretended to be a worshipper at the temple. We struck up a conversation, and this "worshipper" confirmed that it was indeed a national holiday. This made us put our guard down somewhat
  • Basically after this pit stop, the rest was shopping. He took us to a suit shop, a gem stone shop, and another shop I can't remember
  • When we were adamant about not spending money, he got very pissed off and just dropped us at a random temple, and just left
  • We eventually found another taxi to take us to the Grand Palace, but the whole experience was stressful

What you need to do:

  • Look up ahead of time exactly what you need to go into the Grand Palace (dress attire, timing, how much you need to bring, etc.)
  • Have the taxi driver drop you off as close to the entrance as possible. The farther you are, the more you will be harrassed
  • Ignore anyone who approach you. Literally don't listen to a word they say to do you, and go straight to the palace. Even if they raise their voices (which they will), don't listen to it
  • When you leave the palace and find a taxi to take you back to your hotel, make sure to tell the taxi driver "no shopping"