As 'old hand's at the travelling game and having smiled sweetly at those who advise us that JT’s house, The Golden Palace, the Temple’s are closed…. we surprised ourselves at how close we came to believing a scam-artist as we came of the shuttle-boat at the sky-train terminal early one morning.
His patter went like this:
'Hello, I know you. I’ve seen you at the Peninsula. I was with my uncle, who works there. He is the marketing manager - a very prestigious job in Thailand. He speaks excellent English and sent me to school to learn English too. Where are you going? Oh, Siam Paragon. There is big trouble today at Siam Paragon. Have you seen the protests on TV? Well, there is a protest there this morning and the shops won’t open until 1 o’clock this afternoon. There will be riot police. Very dangerous. However, the Thai Export Centre is open (shows us where it is on a map) – the tuk-tuk drivers will take you there'.
As we walked towards the tuk-tuk drivers, we released how he knew were at the Peninsula – he had watched us get of the shuttle. He was very polished, friendly, and very, very believable. We chose to ignore his advise, and of course Siam Paragon was very open, and not a protester in sight.
Over the course of the next few days, we saw many people being ‘collared’ as they disembarked of their shuttle – and quickly advised them that they were being scammed.