I was pleased to climb off the cramped river ferry on pier 7. We made our way along a rickety walkway suspended a little above the ground but with very low ceilings. It was all a bit odd and tricky, until finally putting our feet back onto the Bangkok pavement, I felt balanced and in control once again.
Pulling the tourist map out of my bag, Vince, Chloe and I studied it intently, working out which way we needed to walk to make our way to Wat Pho and the Reclining Buddha statue that I had set my heart on seeing this time around.
“Can I help you.” A guy appeared at our shoulder with a Ralph Lauren polo shirt on. ‘One of them tricksters,’ I thought. We shrugged him off with, what I thought to be tourist expertise.
Further up the road, we still hadn’t arrived at what we thought should be a very noticeable building.
A kind gentlemen walking by asked, “What you looking for.”
“Wat Pho.” I responded.
“It’s closed until 3 – it’s a special monk day.” He replied. I felt disappointed.
“If you take a yellow licence tuk tuk you can see the city cheaply,” he said. ” No need to be ripped off. No more than 30bht each.”
“I don’t want to visit any others just this one.” I responded. Wanting to extricate us from this conversation. Something didn’t feel right.
As we crossed over the road and walked back up the street the way we had come, I asked a security guard if the temple was open. “Of course,” he replied. “Every day.”
In that moment Chloe looked at me and we both said one word at the same time.
On the wall in the guesthouse, we both had spent time reading the notice put up by the Samsen Police, warning tourists of the scams thought up by the gangsters. Thinking how easily we were nearly caught out.
This even being our third visit to Bangkok. They catch you unaware sometimes. Especially when the gangsters talk about not getting caught out by the gangster scams!
What scams have you been caught out by when travelling?
I’d love to know your thoughts…