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Thailand Annoyances

Do they exist? Is Thailand no complete paradise? No, certainly not. There are some things that will annoy you from the first day, and other things that will annoy you more and more every time you come there! They have to be mentioned, in order to prepare you! I start with a modest collection. Hopefully it does not have to be extended to several pages!



Luggage room in a taxi

When you go on a holiday overseas, it is not unreasonable to take one bag per person with you, and some smaller luggage like a trolley and a hand bag. Is it? Be prepared for your first annoyance on arrival then!
When you arrive at the airport and take a taxi to your hotel (and of course again on your way back to the airport) you will notice that all (not most, but all taxis hardly have any free space left in their car for your luggage. When they open the back of the car, you will see that almost all the space is taken by the large gas tank they have installed in their luggage room to save on fuel cost.

What next?

You have to accept this. Your two bags clearly do not fit there next to the tank.
The driver will tell you not to mind, and he will produce some large piece of elastic, to close the back of his car more or less provisionally with that piece of elastic. If he loses your bags on the way, you can be certain not to be the first foreigner who has this piece of very bad luck, which is of course hardly a consolation. The only safe solution is to hire some (trusted!) "limousine service", for instance from your air transporter. In 90% of the cases you will then get a proper car then with space for your luggage. This will cost you more money, however. So you have to choose between the two alternatives: hope that the driver has a firm piece of elastic or hire a larger car.

Is there really no alternative?

As experienced Thailand travelers we always venture the trip with the elastic band. And when we call a taxi on our way back, we tell that we have two large bags, and ask if they can transport them. It has never happened, in more than twenty years of Thailand traveling, that a taxi driver has admitted that he cannot handle two bags. Now and then a driver gives up his playing with the piece of elastic and does not venture to bring us to the airport.
But in all those years we have NEVER seen a taxi with proper room for two bags. If you stay in a three or more star hotel, it may happen that your hotel has a car with proper room for luggage. Use this service if you can get it. Otherwise you have to accept those elastic bands! This really is a shame in a civilized country!

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Double prices

In Thailand, and as far as I know nowhere else in the world, foreigners pay a higher price for hotels, attractions and what not. In National Parks you pay ten times as much as a Thai, and in attractions you have to pay as much as they ask, mostly about five times the fee Thai people pay. This is a strange system and it should be abandoned immediately.
Who can explain to me why I have to pay (much) more than a Thai citizen? Because I am richer? Is that a fact? Thailand has more and more millionaires and even billionaires (in US dollars) and they pay the "Thai" price.
And are backpackers, as an average, richer than Thai people? No, of course not.
So, there is no justification for this system whatsoever. I am married to a Thai wife. When she books a hotel by phone, they mention the "Thai" price, but when we arrive and they see me, they double it up to the price for foreigners. Is that reasonable? No!

Discrimination

Discrimination is treating people differently because of (for instance) the color of their skin. And that is exactly what the Thais do. Even foreigners who live permanently in Thailand with a Thai wife have to pay the "foreigner" prices for hotels and everything else. There you have it! I stop writing about this, before I will become offending!



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Sellers, particularly tailors

Although this is not as annoying as the former points, it really can be quite a plague. In places where there are many sellers and not so many clients, the sellers can become very annoying. I can bear to hear "Please take a look Sir, I have special offer for you" mentioned all around me, but sometimes (this happened to me in some places on Phuket, like Karon and Patong) sellers start to become very annoying and start literally pulling at your clothes and almost attacking you if you say you are not interested in buying anything. So do not go into those small streets with no clients, if you do not like to be (almost) assaulted.
There is no problem at all of this nature in busy places like the streets of Bangkok or the popular markets. You can do business there in a pleasant atmosphere.
Extremely irritating are the (Indian) tailors you see all around in most places in Thailand. As soon as you accept their offer to enter their shop and see the special offers they have for you, they become extremely persistent and it appears that the special offers are not valid any more or you are highly recommended to buy a better quality. Go to a Thai tailor for a better experience.


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