Here’s a story of how I got conned twice by local Thais.
Did I mention that I have a roommate called Ingo?
When I entered my room after checking in, it was empty but I found a bed that was occupied. Looking at the tag next to the bed, I saw the name, Ingo.
After I returned to the hostel from Chatuchak Weekend Market, the room was still empty. I was bushed that I crashed into my bed and fell asleep almost immediately. When I woke up, I saw Ingo chilling out in his bed. Ingo is from Germany, who is spending a few days in Germany before flying to China to meet his girlfriend.
Ingo is a regular member in the Couchsurfing, where members share travel experiences and look for hosts in countries that they are visiting to host them in their homes to experience the local culture instead of staying in hotels. There are also groups that members create for countries that they are in, announcing what they are planning to do and allow other members who are interested to meet up to respond.
Tonight, Ingo is meeting up with a few Couchsurfers for dinner and he asked if I would like to join in. As I was always happy to make new friends, I agreed to join him for dinner. We took the train down to Asok station where we were supposed to meet up with them. We arrived early so Ingo showed me some of the restaurants he had visited in his previous trips to Bangkok. He’s a big fan of buffet so he’s always into Korean barbecue buffets, Japanese hotpot buffets, etc. We walked around a bit before we met up with the Couchsurfers. Too bad, I couldnj’t remember where they were all from at this point in time. It’s interesting to meet up with Couchsurfers because everyone comes from different walks of life and everyone has a story to share.
We went to this Thai restaurant that looked really popular with the crowd in the restaurant. Boy, were we wrong! Here’s what happened. We placed our orders, including 2 jugs of beer. The beer arrived promptly but the food never did. After 2 hours, we were so frustrated and we decided to leave without eating. That’s where the con started. In the menu, the beer costed 20 Thai Baht each. The owner wanted to charge us 100 Thai Baht for each jug of beer. It was atrocious! With no food in the stomach and no way to get out of the situation, we had no choice but to pay the con artist.
It was really late and the rest of the group wanted to head further down the road for food but Ingo wanted to have Burger King instead because he was really hungry. He was really disappointed as well because we walked past so many buffet restaurants but never had any food. So we left the group in search for Burger King. He mentioned that there’s a Burger King outlet in MBK shopping mall so we took the train back to Siam to MBK. Little did we know that shopping malls in Thailand close at 10pm. As it was near midnight, MBK was already closed and we were wandering the street for food.
Ingo was hungry enough to seek the help of three school girls who walked past us to ask for directions to the nearest Burger King outlet. Yes, he was still determined to have Burger King. The girls said that there weren’t any Burger King outlets nearby and we would need to take a taxi/tuk-tuk to get to one.
The tuk-tuk driver wanted to charge us a lot of money for the ride so the girls suggested we try getting a taxi. So we got in the taxi and told the taxi driver to get us to the nearest taxi. He suggest Khao San Road where we knew was really far from where we were so Ingo said no. Just the nearest Burger King outlet.
The driver drove us in circles for a long time and stopped in front of Central World. He pointed at the entrance and said that the Burger King outlet was in the shopping mall. However, it was obvious that the shopping mall was closed with all the lights switched off. Infuriated, Ingo asked me to get off the taxi. He got off the taxi as well and insisted that he was not going to pay the taxi fare since we never got to Burger King. He wasn’t going to pay another con artist seeing how we got conned the first time in the restaurant. As we walked away, the taxi driver threatened to call the police and Ingo told him to go ahead as he’s going to call the Tourist Police as well.
He pretended to dial on his mobile phone as we walked away in a haste. Looking back, we saw that the taxi was gone. Convinced that the driver wasn’t coming after us, we walked to the nearest McDonalds which was opened for 24 hours and had a hefty meal after a long night.
After our dinner, I was wondering how we would get back to the hostel since we had no idea where we were. Ingo whipped out a miracle out of his bag. A GPS device! He navigated back to the hostel with it and we only took 15 mins to get there.
Note to self: Remember to get a GPS device for my next trip.