Five rules to follow when you come to Thailand and want to have a smooth ride.
- Don’t loose your cool: Thai people are usually nice people except when confronted with arrogant, yelling or threatening people. They are a proud people and don’t easily get bullied by foreigners. Peaceful, polite and smart is the way to go if you don’t want things to go ugly. And remember to always smile. Also, remember you are in holidays.
- Don’t negotiate after the fact: If you already ordered anything or took the ride then forget about negotiating. Always ask for the price and negotiate before you get in the cab or the tuk-tuk, before you eat that cake or drink that beer. This rule is actually valid anywhere in the world.
- Don’t offer money to any girl in the street: I know what you heard about Thailand but even in Bangkok, if you ask the wrong girl, reactions can go from laughter, disdain, being spat in the face, up to have you ass rightly kicked – that beautiful 1.75m model-like girl was a guy who spent 10 years training in Muay Thay and you just got yourself a free ride to the hospital.
- Don’t take pictures with wild animals: or ride elephants (with the notable exception of the Elephant Nature Park in Chiang Mai). Tigers, Iguana, Lorises and other wild animals paraded by touts in the streets of Bangkok, Pattaya or Patong (or put in display at prominent locations like the “Tiger Kingdom”) are all, at least, protected species, some of them even being classified as “Endangered“. Most of them are also dangerous animals that have to be drugged or mutilated so they won’t harm you. I know they are cute or whatever but as long as people will continue to take pictures with them the traffic will continue.
- Don’t buy stuff from kids in the street: Those kids should be in school, not in the street at 2am selling flower necklaces to tourists. When you buy stuff from kids you encourage child labor and trafficking. Most of the time they are also trained pickpockets so display of affection, like hugging you in the middle of the street, are rarely genuine.