Watch out, there’s a thief about!
It probably comes as no surprise that theft from visitors is a common
occurrence. As I was reporting the theft of my wallet including my passport
at the Tourist Police today three more cases of a similar nature were being
processed in the space of perhaps 45 minutes.
My own case was one where my wallet and my wife’s cell phone were removed
from a small backpack by the seventh floor swimming pool at a local hotel
some time between 1.15 and 1.30 pm on Wednesday 29 July. My wife and I
frequent this pool twice weekly.
It is remarkable that, even in the purportedly secure environment of a
hotel’s swimming pool high above the city streets, one cannot be certain
that one will not be plundered by passing miscreants.
I regret to report that the hotel’s staff and manager as well as the
personnel at the police box on the ground floor appeared to be only
marginally concerned, although they did provide us with transport to the
tourist police office since all our money had been stolen.
Needless to say we are seriously inconvenienced by the disappearance of my
passport as it contained four long-term visas for different countries
including Thailand itself.
In view of the various cases of this kind that have been reported it seems
that Thailand’s reputation as a safe place for people to visit is being
Perhaps it is time for the authorities to act rather than merely filling in
some forms for transfer to what must be by now a massive collection.
Do unto others...
Dear Chiangmai Mail,
Thank you for publishing the excellent editorial on page 8 of last week’s
(11 August) Chiang Mai Mail.
As the editorial indicates; what is needed from all guests in a foreign
country is respect for the people, and for the customs of those making us
feel welcome. I’m sure the local population asks no more of us than we would
want to see from them if they were visiting our home countries. Do unto
others as you would have them do unto you!
Thank you very much,
Out-of-control scam artists deterring expat arrivals
I am studying expat Blogs and Forums from half a dozen places around the
world to decide on a suitable place to retire. Since I am a photographer, I
have been leaning toward Thailand, mainly to photograph all the magnificent
temples and other exotic scenery. Since digging deeply into a few of these
forums and country profiles, I am beginning to have second thoughts.
Seems like to even get a job inside the airport in Bangkok an employee must
be good at some sort of scam. Then if a new visitor makes it through the
airport unscathed, they meet up with another set of bottom feeders (taxi and
limo drivers). Heck, as a Vietnam vet, I sort of wish I could get off the
airplane in Bangkok with full combat gear to sort of level the playing
To an outsider like me, it looks like these scam artists have the support of
the government and the police. After all, nothing seems to be done to stop
the activity. Surely someone in the Thai government must realizes the
airport scam artists are hurting Thailand in a big money way.
If Thailand scares off just one farang retiree, that is probably a loss of
over one million baht each year. In my case, it amount to over $36,000 a
year. Multiply that out to 10 years with ten different farang and it comes
to $3,600,000. 100 scared off retirees would equal $360,000,000. The sums
are staggering - all lost because the government can not - or will not -
control the country’s rampant out-of-control scam artists.
Seems to me like something positive needs to be done to control the scam
artists, particularly inside the airport in Bangkok and the taxi and limo
drivers outside the airport - and the sooner the better. Clearly Thailand is
losing a lot of potential income that tourists and retiring farang could
bring into the beautiful country.