Location: Bangkok, Thailand
The tour guides and tuk tuk drivers in Bangkok are obviously involved in some sort of racket involving gem shops, as well as tailors. From talking with other tourists, it’s sounds as if nearly every visitor in town has ended up in a gem shop, at one point. It’s also obvious that these “tour guides” are getting paid by the shops. In the case of this tuk tuk driver, it was a free tank of gas if we made it to all five shops on his list, and stayed at least five minutes in each shop. I know that because at one point we walked out of a shop early, and he told us to go back inside; saying, “It hasn’t been five minutes yet!”
In this video the only real harm was a waste of 2.5 hours, and being dumped off in the rain at the end. However, several years earlier, I had been taken on a “temple tour” that turned into a “gem shop hustle”-not by a tuk tuk driver, but by a “licensed” tour-guide. I wound up being drugged in a gem shop in another part of town. The aggressive female manager offered me some water as it was hot outside.
Never accept any food or drinks on any of these tours. I was offered an open water bottle with a straw inserted, a “cold drink for hot man!” As I was leaving she quickly snatched the bottle out of my hands -probably so I wouldn’t leave with the evidence. I ended up a few hours later with an excruciating headache back in my hotel, like a migraine headache but on both sides of my head, and much more intense. I shut the curtains tightly, because even a small amount of light made the pain much worse. I had no idea what was happening when I passed out -for nearly 24 hours!
When I woke up, before I even opened my eyes, a loud voice inside my head said, “that bitch drugged me!”
I met the tour guide through a travel company at Suvarnabhumi airport. She said she was “licensed by the government,” whatever that meant, and her “license” was dangling around her neck. I doubt she even knew my drink was drugged. I think the aggressive manager of the shop had come up with the idea as a way to soften my brain up, so I’d buy one of her US$6000.00 ruby bracelets. I’m just glad she didn’t decide to use cyanide as the softening agent.