How it works:
- Opening: touts dressed in official looking uniform or claiming to be affiliated to the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) will offer you low priced tours.
- Set-up: more time will be spent at shops.; poor quality accommodation; transport tickets at inflated prices; hidden fees.
Places to beware:
- Anywhere (e.g. Bangkok: Khao San Road, Grand Palace, Patong Beach)
What to do:
- Anyone claiming to be representing TAT is lying as TAT does not operate or back any businesses. All an agency can claim, is that they are licensed by the TAT.
- Offline operators: ask – is the operator licensed? Is there a website, office and working phone number? Are there real online reviews? What does the price cover – is it too cheap?
- Reputable operators: some reputable local names to consider include Thai Tour Guide (private tour guide in & around Bangkok, Thailand), Two Sea Tour (consistently rated as one of the best quality tours in Phuket, TripAdvisor Hall of Fame), etc.
- Online platforms: Klook (best day tour platform in Asia) also has some popular tours (e.g. Bangkok’s Grand Palace, Pattaya’s The Sanctuary of Truth, Chiang Rai’s Black House White Temple and Blue Temple, etc).
- Paying: avoid paying in full upfront (unless reputable operator) or off the (online) platform.