Big Trouble in Tourist Thailand

I know some people may have already seen this but I thought it was interesting and wanted to share it with you. Basically, the show is about what a mess Thailand is for tourists. From the old jetski scam to getting banged up for drugs the program shows Thailand in the worst light possible.

On one level it does seem somewhat sensationalized which is to be expected of anything you watch on television but on another level this stuff does happen. The jetski rental guys are crooks. Dumb ass tourists take drugs in Thailand despite the ample warnings everywhere. Idiot drunks get themselves in trouble and get the crap kicked out of them by locals. So on that level, all of this stuff happens. The big question is whether it happens as frequently as portrayed in the program.

Shows like this or Cops are like those funny spots they do when they try to prove how stupid Americans or Brits or ?? are and they go around on the street and ask them simple questions to which they show an endless stream of idiots who are clueless as to the answer. “Where is Iraq on this map,” the man asks as the village idiot points to Brazil. Well, this is sort of like that. They film and film and film and then they pull out what they think will get people to watch. Just like the comedy bit where they don’t show the people who answered the questions correctly, here you won’t see all of the boring interactions where everybody is having a good time and nothing exciting has happened.

Is Thailand dangerous? Well, I’m more worried about getting clobbered by a drunk foreigner in a bar than I am about a Thai ever putting his hands on me. Violence and aggression are simply not the Thai norms. That doesn’t mean that if you do something stupid you won’t get a good ass beating or you may run into the wrong guy on the wrong night but you’re probably safer in a nightclub filled with Thai mafia gangsters drunk off their asses than you are in a pub in England after a football match. In terms of physical violence against farangs in Thailand you generally have to go looking for trouble. Back in the world trouble often comes looking for you.

The one thing I never, ever, ever, ever, ever understand are these idiots who get banged up and can’t even produce the most trivial of bribes to pay off the police. For instance Annice Smoel, the Aussie who recently got banged up for stealing a bar mat, it took her AND her friends several days to put together $3000 bail. And the gal in this video is asked to pay off the cops 70,000 baht which is like $2000. Not only do neither her or her boyfriend have the ability to put together that kind of money but he says her parents don’t have that kind of money either. For fuck sake people, it’s $2000 USD to keep your ass out of a Thai prison. You can’t beg, borrow, or steal $2K?

I’m sorry, maybe I’m at a different place in life financially but I just can’t imagine not being able to get my hands on that trivial amount of money when I’m looking at possible prison time in Thailand. I have friends who I haven’t seen in 10 years who would spot me that kind of cash if I told them I was in trouble.

So what does it really say about these individuals?

Allow me to offer the following advice to people thinking of coming to Thailand on holiday:

1. Don’t do drugs in Thailand
2. If you are stupid enough to rent a jetski on the beach, bring your camera and photograph it from every possible angle, and then give the camera to a friend who is staying onshore or put it in a waterproof case and take it with you.
3. Don’t do drugs in Thailand
4. Don’t invest your entire net worth into coming to Thailand on holiday. That’s doubly true if all your friends and family are as broke as you are.
5. Don’t do drugs in Thailand

26 thoughts on “Big Trouble in Tourist Thailand”

  1. Well, I did rent a jet ski once in Koh Chang near Pattaya and I was lucky and was fine. I have not tried since.

    You mentioned “If you are stupid enough to rent a jetski on the beach, bring your camera and photograph it from every possible angle, and then give the camera to a friend who is staying onshore or put it in a waterproof case and take it with you.”.

    What would you suggest then, if I really wanted to jetski? Is there any more reliable renters? How to spot them, honestly?

  2. Pingback: Big Debate Over ‘Big Trouble in Thailand’ « The FARANG Speaks 2 Much (tfs2m)

  3. @Boon: To be honest, I’ve had the same sick in the stomach feeling hiring a car but at least that’s through world-wide reputable agencies.

    I actually like the suggestion of snapping off some pics. Do it in an obvious manner so JJ or whoever else you rent from can see. They’ll be far less likely to mess about with you if they know you can go to the cops with pics of the damage being there before you rented.

    Also, not to sound ultra-bad ass or anything but if JJ would have pulled that rifle on me I would have taken it out of his hands and shove it up his ass. A rifle is a horrible close quarters fighting weapon. It’s length dictates a minimum distance your target has to be in front of you and using the laws of physics it should be obvious that slapping the barrel of a rifle has a far greater impact than trying to swat at a handgun.

    JJ was carrying around the weapon like the two bit coward he is. By the time he could have raised that weapon to aim I could have punched him 37.4 times in the face, gone to 7-11 and paid my True bill, and made sweet, sweet love to his wife . . . twice.

    I would be embarrassed to attach the word “royal” to anything those pussies are associated with.

    We all like to think that the coppers always take the side of the Thais but in reality they take the most profitable or convenient side. You really have nothing to fear as long as you control those two perceptions.

  4. You’re such a dumb ass, why do you even associate with Thailand….Listen more people are killed in Houston, Tex than you ca.n count. Same attitude as lots of other people ….everythings just goin to hell…….Gram

  5. @Dave: The name of the show is “Big Trouble in Tourist Thailand.” Please explain what the show is about if you disagree that it’s about tourists getting into trouble in Thailand.

  6. Makes me laugh the crap people write on here and all over the net as in the first post, usually by people who have never even been here.

    Normally in these programmes its just about the sex industry and all the old sexless women of the world then brand anyone who comes to Thailand as Perverts.

    Sure there is a large sex industry in Pattaya particularly but there is so much more to the place, of course in a Tourist location where Alcohol, sex and living in general is so cheap there will always be problems as in any part of the world but people go on as if Thailand is the only place where this happens.

    As soon as someone has to pay the Police a fee to get out of trouble its called extortion, but its the fine system, they know they don’t have the room to put every law breaker in jail for fairly trivial petty crimes so they are fined, if they don’t pay they then do some time.

    You hear of people getting so much trouble over stealing a beer mat but you rarely read or hear the truth about the incident just the basic and you think why would there be such a problem over a beer mat when the truth is there was a lot more to it.

    Fairly recently a couple got stopped for supposedly stealing something at the airport and all over the net was claimed it was a scam and the staff planted it in her bag, well did they or did she steal it, who knows but it gets branded all over the world as another Scam.

    What about the people who steal something and if caught then say it was the planted by the staff, who you going to believe.

    JJ in the 1st episode is obviously a scammer and it was great that it was shown so people are warned about it, the US military rightly have banned apparently their guys from using them so why hadn’t the British military done the same, the officer who turned up did actually mention he had seen it all before so why do they allow their guys to use the jet skis.

    The OP, mentions the frequency all this stuff happens, I find that a daft statement, as shown in the programme, well its a programme with all the drama in one hour, that does not mean in every hour this stuff happens, out of dozens of jet ski users maybe one got scammed or did he actually damage it, maybe it was old damage but I saw a guy smash a jet ski into a boat several years ago and run off down the beach, luckily for him he did it a couple hundred yards from the jet ski owners so got away with it.

    As for the Welsh guy who got time for drugs, serves him right, as for the girl well a bit sad but the warnings were quite clear, as for the drunk Ausy youth, well you can say where ever in the world he acted like that he would get the same treatment.

    Thailand & Pattaya is really what you make of it, if your a miserable sod in your own country its likely you will be a miserable sod here, most people who have been here and slag it off are mostly the guys who come here and turn their brains off and allow their other smaller brain to take over, inevitably they get ripped off or lose loads of money then blame everyone apart from themselves.

    I see it so often, a guy say 55 years old, maybe fat and not the best looking comes here, he inst going to have much fun with the ladies in his own country and all of a sudden there is this gorgeous 25 years old stunner holding his hand and saying she loves you, sure its hard for any man to resist so he quickly falls for her, cant blame him for that either, so to try to impress her he starts buying her all sorts, starts off with a few clothes, maybe a Gold necklace etc etc.

    Then the girl is thinking she has him on the line and while kissing and cuddling in bed she says the family buffalo has died, or the family car has blown up or maybe he gets really carried away and wants to spend the rest of his life with this beautiful girl, well again you cant blame him for that so she says lets buy a house and live happily ever after together and convinces him the best way to do it is put it in her name as everything would be easier and of course Farang,
    ( foreigner) cannot buy alone here she tells him, ( you can of course but you have to set up a company in your name) so the guy is totally in love and trusts her impeccably so he buys a house, after all a very nice 3 bed bungalow in a beautiful setting can be as little as 30,000 GBP so the guy now in absolute paradise is living with the girl of his dreams.

    Then one day he finds out she had a call from an old boyfriend or what ever and they have a row and to cut a long story short over a few weeks/days/months end the relationship and all of a sudden he has bought a house as a gift for this girl and she has the house as its in her name, so he has not a leg to stand on.

    He may try to take her to court but will be lucky if he gets it back as far as the court is concerned if your stupid enough to do it in the first place why should you expect it back as of course the girl is saying she wanted to spend the rest of her life with him and he bought the house for her as a gift and then he butterfly with other lady and she have broken heart so who will they believe.

    The moral of the story is don’t do it, don’t do drugs, don’t disrespect the Thai people, be responsible for your actions unlike the main characters in the TV programme, apparently JJ has been arrested for extortion on the strength of the TV show, so great news, no doubt will be fined, I cant imagine him screaming he has had money extorted out of him by the Police, he will see it as it is a fine.

    You see I live here and run a business and I see a lot of stuff that goes on and I read a lot between the lines because I see such ignorance and stupidity you cant blame a Thai girl for wanting to hang on to the nice house the stupid man has bought her, so she may tell a few lies in between but she would never be able to buy a house like that in 100 years and she probably has 1 or 2 kids in the village where her Mum is taking care of them and all of a sudden she has won the lottery .
    But if you come here and have the right frame of mind and use common sense its a great place, don’t get too drunk all the time as the chances are you will be staggering back to your hotel and your pockets will get picked, don’t upset people, smile as that is enjoyed by the Thai peoples, smile at them and they will smile back.

    There is so much fun, many trips and wonders to see, the climate is superb, the Golf idyllic, the food so Moorish, the Islands the countryside etc etc.

    Live the dream in Thailand, I do.

  7. and to cut a long story short

    Dude, you’re way, way too late for that. But thank you for giving us your opinion on everything about Thailand (even if much of it is rambling kneejerk responses). I’m just sad I won’t be able to recover that part of my life.

  8. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion of course even when they are just a juvenile slur as dobber proved, however, my quality of life is far better here, you can rely on the excellent climate every day, you are not persecuted for tax by the government from every angle, the Golf is superb and so cheap, green fee, caddie, cart for 22 GBP, all of which you cannot have in England.
    Another thing I admire about the Thai’s in their country as they don’t allow people from any country to come here and sponge of the state like the UK.

  9. Juvenile slur? At least i can spell proper, ya plum.

    Oh and the golf here (Scotland) is better than in Thailand. The Council owned course costs around £15 a round – (thanks to the evil tax system).

    And our schools and Universities are better.

    No crooked police here neither.

    And our websites are better too – your one is pish, Dave. 😉

    Truth is, Pattaya is an awful place. Shame on you for raising a family there.


  10. So how do you spell Juvenile then,? Golf is better in Scotland, ha, in between the wet cold weather, dobber your name says it all and you are a sweaty sock so I rest my case.

    Have you ever been to Pattaya ?

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  13. Man, I almost hate to jump into this fray. Bottom line…for some reason tourists come here and expect to get away with behavior that they wouldn’t dare in their home countries. And then get all “shocked” when they get called on it here. Why would you expect to get away with drugs or overly drunken stupid behavior here and not in your country? I love a good night on the piss as much as anyone, but I am not stupid about it. Most of the tourists need to just grow up a bit.

  14. Well put Kurt but you will still continue to read the rubbish like dobbler above who cant even spell.
    Anyhow most of the people who comment are experts who have never been here and watch a TV soap like the one mentioned and are all of a sudden an authority on Thailand and Thai people but as we know have no idea what they are talking about.

    But of course it continues to give me a laugh & those who come to Pattaya for example know its Heaven on Earth.

  15. Pingback: My perspective, as a Thai, on the programme « Oneditorial

  16. I would say that in my experiences, 7 or 8 out of 10 complaints I hear about bad things happening to people on holiday (or sometimes with expats) in Thailand their stories just don’t add up. One of the great things about Thailand is that it’s predictable. There are certain rules and if everyone plays by those rules then nothing bad happens (normally). Thailand is pretty much a country where anything goes. But where they do draw the lines the penalty for crossing those lines can be very severe.

  17. I spent 5 very enjoyable years teaching English in Chiang Mai. It blows my mind that people don’t do even do an ounce of research before coming to a foreign country… Spend 5 minutes on the Internet reading about common Thai scams and what not to do in this country and you’ll be fine.

    As far as this Bravo series is concerned, I think most people can see that it’s completely over the top. I mean, you could do a TV series like this about any country on Earth. Just film a bunch of drunk twats being themselves and add some shady dramatic music. Get some dude with a serious voice to narrate it and your sorted…

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  19. Don’t come to Thailand . We don’t want anybody to critisise on our country. Get out of our country. U r a jerk!

  20. Yes these programmes have been done too much over the top.
    Thailand is a beutiful country with great people, respect them and they will respect you, I lived in UK for 46 years and constantly felt down in the last of them years over the Taxes, bad attitude people, Muslim threats of muslims living there and taking taking taking and living amongst us only to be a threat to our country.
    I am not or was not racist but the Government sold our Heart and soul right under our noses so I left and never looked back.
    I dont see my life in Thailand as them and us I fit in, I have a good business and a great Family and have not been back to the UK in 5 and half years and dont intend ever to do so, maybe for a funeral only.
    I talk to people daily who come to Thailand on Holiday and NO one has a good word to say about England, no one enjoys life like years ago, so many want to get out.
    Thailand has 365 days a year sunshine, even when it rains its warm, ok there are a few problems but nothing compared to the UK, the politics at the moment blown up out of all proportion by the media who continue to brain wash you poor soles who can only see as far as Coronation street.

  21. I refer to the opening photo in this article “free for Thai Tourist must pay “etc.Imagine trying that in Britain?How would you tell the British from the foreigners.Most of the foreigners are British! Also why do they write “Free for Thai” in English?Just to inflame the farang who are the recipient of outrageously blatant racism?

  22. yes I love thailand….same as if you say: “I love my cat” it takes much more to love a Country… impossible compare thailand wuth uk and rest of western world, which anyway also western countryes are not all alike concerning people weather and food
    is nice to read good and also bad example of personal experiences in thailand or else where, but opinions and personal experiences should only be personal and may be dont hurry to think you are in heaven, you may never know when the devil will find you….

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