American Stabbed Over Disagreement with Cab Fare – Bangkok, Thailand

Before doing anything, watch that video above. That will tell you how to avoid trouble and stay alive longer in Thailand.

Troy Lee Pilkington, a 51 year old California native living in Bangkok and working for Caterpillar corporation in their customer service department was slaughtered today on Sukhumvit Road in Bangkok, Thailand over what looks to be a 15 THB taxi fare. In US Dollars, that is about 50 cents. Half of one dollar. In Thailand I frequently buy my daughter a popsicle for 15 THB.

Here’s what I read happened. This is from the online news reports at ThaiVisa.com and links out to other information sources. If you were there or heard conflicting information, let me know what you heard.

Troy was in a Thai cab driver’s cab. The fare seemed to jump from 35 THB to 50 THB, too quickly for Mr. Pilkington to believe the meter was above board. Another scenario is that the fare was 81 THB and the cabbie tried to add another 50 THB on to that, and Mr. Pilkington refused. He told the cabbie to drop him off right there. He and the cabby had a verbal fight about it, and at one point Mr. Pilkington may have thrown water from a waterbottle at the cab driver, or thrown the water bottle itself.

Mr. Pilkington exited the cab at a red light without paying the fare and walked away.

The cab driver chased him with a samurai sword and attacked him from behind. They fought for a very short time and Mr. Pilkington died from his injuries (stabbed).

Thai police say they have the cab driver in custody.

The reason I wanted to write about this today, having not written shit-else here for a long time, is that I just want to remind visitors and expats living in Thailand that Thais explode at a moment’s notice about some things. One of those things is…

MONEY.

Do not for any reason attempt to take justice into your own hands and stiff a Thai person over any amount of money, even fifteen fucking baht. It’s outrageous that two adult men could have such fury over 50 cents USD. I can’t comprehend it. I have been at the other end of what I sensed was a scam before – involving paying for a Thais drink at a bar that I never ordered for him. It was 150 THB. Five dollars USD. I swallowed my pride (sense of being fucked over), paid it and walked away, remembering to never drink or spit near that bar again.

Mr. Pilkington was American. I am too. In the states we have this idea that we are going to set shit straight no matter the cost. What’s right is right, and all else can get lost until we make it right. Was Troy about to get scammed out of fifteen baht? Probably. The meter moves slowly on a cab, it would be easy to see it jump too fast. Especially since Troy was an expat living in Bangkok, he had a good idea how fast the meters go in taxis.

But, it was fifteen baht.

I have seen a number of expats get upset when they were about to be scammed, or when they thought they were. Expats get enraged over a 20 THB fare on a songthaew in my city, versus 15 THB for Thais. Is it fair that we pay more? Doesn’t seem to be. Is 5 THB worth getting yourself worked up over? HELL NO it isn’t.

Though I am horrified at what happened to Mr. Pilkington, I understand that in Thailand, that shit doesn’t fly. Doesn’t fly for 15 THB, and it sure as hell doesn’t fly for a couple of thousand baht. What you are to do in a situation where you’re about to get screwed over, is pay what the Thai(s) say is owed, and then bring the tourist police back to the place and try to get some justice over it later if you care that much.

I’m trying to guess how many baht I’d have to be scammed for before I decided to scream at a Thai and throw water in his face, or hit him in the head. I can’t even conceive of that happening. Not for 100,000 THB, and not for a million. Pay it and live another day.

Sure it sucks. There are many things in Thailand that are not fair. Americans, and the rest of us, have to get over it. You gave up fairness when you arrived at the airport. Just assume that NOTHING is fair here, and go on living day to day as best you can. The key is to go on living.

Many Thais don’t seem to give a fuck about life. Not their own, not yours. If you don’t give one either, then keep trying to set things straight – and see where it gets you. This is one area that you will be a sure loser. Pursuing perceived wrongs is almost never worth it here in Thailand. Learn your lesson, share it with all the expats you know so they aren’t duped too -and move on.

Rest in peace Troy Pilkington. You weren’t the first. You won’t be the last to die in a fight over something ludicrous like 15 THB.

We’re not in America anymore. We’re not in the UK or Australia. Thais play by an entirely different (and fucked, in my opinion) set of rules, but there’s nothing we’re going to do about that.

Don’t scream in a Thais face about any amount of money. Not about jealousy. Not about anything. Either get over it, or set the record straight in public or behind the scenes.

Better luck to the rest of us…

Krabi, Thailand – UK Man and Woman Tourists Viciously Attacked with Knife

Two UK tourists, walking along the beach in Ao Nang, Krabi, Thailand were accosted by a group of youths. The man received multiple stab wounds from a long knife, the worst being a heavy bleeding head wound.

Krabi, Thailand Tourists attacked with knife in Ao Nang (click for story)

If you’re like me, you probably discount some of the Thai on foreigner violence that occurs in the country in areas like Pattaya, Patong Beach, and Bangkok. I am guilty of it. It happens the world over, I just figure if you’re out after midnight in one of those places, the probability for something to happen – violence included, is higher. Much higher than strolling around during the day or early evening hours.

Over eight years in Thailand I’ve started to think more about it. Since having a child, I started to think a hell of a lot more about it.

Krabi has been a real sleeper. I mean, literally. Shops close in downtown Krabi town by 6pm, 7pm, definitely by 9pm nearly everything is closed up except some bars on Chao Fa, and the Thai girly bars.

There have been a number of incidents in Krabi recently – a girl from Denmark raped allegedly by a Thai tour guide. A woman tourist had her thumb cut off by Thais on Chao Fa Road who wanted her purse. These two tourists from the UK are surrounded by multiple Thai guys who assault them, stabbing the guy with a knife over and over before he was able to fight them off. This is all recent news – not over a year. Things like girls being followed in the park by the river during broad daylight hours – by a Thai with his sexual organ out of his pants – happen much more often than the public knows. Shootings, knifings, drugged drinks… how much of it really goes on and isn’t being shouted about in the media? Thailand’s media doesn’t have a reason to shout it.

Your safety in Thailand is NOT guaranteed. Thai style is to push incidents out of the news as soon as possible, so it doesn’t affect incoming tourist numbers. Someone was saying the other day that Thailand will receive 20 million visitors in 2013. I wonder what the true rate of violent attacks on foreigners is in the country. Most incidents are either not reported or not followed up – that’s my guess.

What do you think? Is the entire country of Thailand unsafe? A foreigner had his arm nearly severed by a guy with a machete on a motorbike that followed him and his Thai girlfriend a short while back…

In Surin – of all places.

Is the gulf between what tourists are seen to have, and the abject poverty of a good portion of the Thai population – to blame?

If so, it sure won’t be getting better anytime soon.

I think some Thais in search of easy money are looking at tourists as easy-pickings more than ever. The UK tourists attacked above in Ao Nang will likely file a police report and leave the country. What will happen to the 5 or so guys that brutally attacked them?

Good question.

Unfortunately if they have any ‘connections’ at all – they’ll be free to fuck off some more in the near future. Maybe they’ll be cutting YOUR head the next time they’re fucking off. Maybe your neck?

I think – and I fully believe this, after hours… say 10 PM – being out in Thailand as a foreigner is not safe. You shouldn’t feel safe because it can leave you vulnerable. You shouldn’t do anything that might attract attention to yourself to increase your likelihood of becoming a target, a victim.

I notice that as time goes on, Thailand feels less safe to me. I know partly it is a function of having a new family and having been here long enough to stop overlooking the negatives. I do think that violence against foreigners is becoming more common, and is actually tolerated too well for my liking.

I wish there was some large expat group that could survey members and see what the masses thought. I wish I could find out – have tens of thousands of expats moved away from Thailand for greener grass somewhere else? Cambodia?

Website all about KRABI THAILAND

American Tourist Murdered Outside Bar in Ao Nang, Krabi, Thailand

Not what I wanted to read yesterday, the headline was shocking. I only know a couple of Americans in Krabi, but there was a chance I knew this one.

Bobby Carter, 51, was stabbed with either a metal rod, or a knife, depending on what news story you read. His son Adam, 27, was also stabbed and is recovering at Bangkok Hospital in Phuket, Thailand.

I won’t cover the details of the incident, because really, who in the hell knows what happened? It isn’t like we’re going to get an unbiased story from anyone. I do want to comment a bit about whether Thailand i a dangerous place or not. That’s the big question tourists have on their minds as they’re considering a visit.

Here are some things to chew on:

1. Getting drunk in a bar in Thailand greatly increases your chances of getting fucked, or fucked over.
2. Getting drunk in a bar with your friends is not as dangerous as getting drunk in a bar with Thai strangers, still, you’re much more likely to get into an altercation with someone because you or someone in your group is acting the ass.
3. If you’re a female, or a male, do not walk alone or with your partner on a beach at night unless there are large numbers of people around. Do not ever walk on an empty beach at night.
4. Driving a motorbike, car, in a tuk-tuk, in a songthaew, taxi, or on a boat is dangerous. At night it can be very dangerous. Women, alone or in a group, should take great care to ensure that the night out won’t end with a ride back to the hotel from a stranger, or a walk on near desolate streets.

In nine years of full-time living in the land of smiles I’ve never been knifed. I’ve not had a gun pulled on me, or seen someone experience it. I have seen a couple of people sliced wide open with broken bottles, both of them dying in the street. I have seen foreigners and Thais kicked in the head by a group of Thais until they are unconscious. I’ve then seen, in one instance, two guys take turns bouncing large beer bottles off the face of the unconscious victim.

Thais + Alcohol + Foreigners = Possible trouble. Remove any of the factors in the equation and it can be innocuous enough. Do keep in mind that Thailand is not only dangerous because of degenerate Thais, but, there are thousands upon thousands of idiots from all over the globe that come here to cause trouble. Foreigners are every bit as dangerous as Thais.

So, the recent incident of the tourist father and son that were stabbed is something that plays out in every country. It is not unique to Thailand. I’d go so far as to say that with the number of visitors to this country that lose self-control with alcohol involved or not, there are far less murders than there could be. Most Thais have remarkable self-restraint.

You should take some time to learn about the concept of “Thai face” from some of the expats that have spent a dozen years or so here. Google it.

Here is a video I did on the subject, Is Thailand Safe? If you have any comments on it – leave them there on the video. I read them all. Cheers.

Rape in Nakhon Si Thammarat, Thailand – Scottish Girl, 20

A chilling story. A young Scottish tourist / teacher raped in Nakhon si Thammarat by four men in a pickup truck that took her to a room.

FULL STORY ->

Nakhon is one of the harder places in Thailand. Apparently there are heaps of badass Thais in the city. When you visit, you’ll never likely see them. I never have, but it seems like a disproportionate number of crimes in the south are committed by guys from Nakhon. Could be my imagination.

What a horrible experience for this girl to have gone through.

Australian Travel Agent – a 60 Year Old Woman Stabbed in Heart in Bag Snatch – Phuket

A very unfortunate incident just happened in Phuket… a 60 year old travel agent from Australia was with a group of 9 others, on a tour… and had thugs try to snatch her bag. One stabbed her in the heart and she died.

Full story:

Australian travel agent stabbed to death in Thailand

German Girl in Krabi has Thumb Cut Off by Thai on Chao Fa Road

Holy hell… this just rolled in.

Sunday night around 2 am. a German tourist had her thumb hacked off by a Thai 16 year old with a knife that stole her bag!

Chao Fa Road is the main tourist road in Krabi town, and usually quite safe – but at 2 am. there are few people around, and a couple Thai guys thought it would be ideal to cut someone to get a bag.

The full story is in PhuketGazette here. Some of it reposted below…

PHUKET: — Krabi Police arrested three teenagers and one 20-year-old yesterday after a gang cut off a German woman’s thumb during an early-morning bag snatch in Krabi Town, across Phang-nga Bay from Phuket.

Muang District Police Deputy Superintendent Chatchawan Ninchan said Hanna Zerlaut and Sina Maureen Beckert, both 21, were attacked while walking along Chaofa Road in Tambon Paknam, Krabi Town, at about 2 am on Sunday.

“The two women were walking along the street when ‘Dot’ and ‘Ae’ pulled up on a motorcycle to snatch the ladies’ bags, but the victims tried to fight them off.

“In the struggle Ms Zerlaut’s right thumb was cut off and Ms Beckert suffered cuts to her right arm and left index finger by a knife brandished by ‘Ae’,” said Lt Col Chatchawan.

*******

On another note… My wife works with a volunteer organization in Krabi. An 18 year old volunteer from the United Kingdom was walking past Thara Park in Krabi Town, when she was approached by a Thai man that pulled out his penis and jerked off for her as she tried to get the hell away from him. This was in the middle of the day about 1pm.

Is Krabi safe for tourists?

In general, yeah, pretty safe. At least I thought so before this year.

Here is Part of What is Wrong With Thailand

A symptom, if you will…

http://www.thaivisa.com/forum/topic/519597-3-girls-file-complaints-about-facebook-attacker/

There is a lot wrong with Thailand when looked at through the eyes of a westerner. I think most Thailand expats blog about the junk for a while, and then eventually run out of steam. It’s quite possible to go on talking about the bizarre and ridiculous things that happen in Thailand, but, it wears you down. Who can blog the negative all the time?

Not me…

 

Man Stabbed to Death on Busy Ao Nang, Krabi Beach Road

Monday I went out with the guys and on the way back we passed by a guy laying in the street, surrounded by about 100 some Thais and foreigners. He was bleeding profusely, and his motorbike had fallen in the other lane. We figured – motorbike accident.

Not so fast.

Today I was talking to the same friend I saw the scene with and he said what actually happened was far worse.

A Thai guy – middle aged, got on his motorbike and was stopped by another Thai in the middle of the street. The guy that stopped him stabbed him in the face, head, and heart numerous times with a sharp object – knife, or other.

He died right there in the street – as many people gathered.

Krabi is not typically a dangerous place for foreigners. Thai on Thai vengeance is swift and deadly though – you don’t want to really piss someone off – for ANY reason.

Be safe.

Thailand Scam – Farang and Thais Team Up to Scam Thai Girl

Here’s a new take on things…

Thais scam Thais all the time. I have another scam story I’ll do a video about for another time. My Thai friend lost over 1,200,000 baht to a well-planned scam.

Thais scam farangs – often. Farangs scam farangs – often. Sometimes even farangs scam Thais.

This video is about a scam by some Thais and farang – a partnership type deal, that is going on in Udonthani – and probably other places in Thailand, but in Udon it would work particularly well. The video tells why numerous girls are losing 100,000 THB at a time in Udon.

The Million Baht Thai Scam

This Thailand scam sounds like it could have come from gypsies anywhere in the world. It’s playing out across Thailand right now – and many people are losing boatloads of Thai baht after being scammed this way. It will probably hit the expat world soon – or maybe it started with the expats… it’s a pretty ingenious scam and goes right along with Thai culture – and what Thai people want. What everyone wants that has money – more money.

We visited our Thai friend we hadn’t seen in 4 years the other day. He is 66 years old, and a really smart guy with money. He was a mental health technician in a local hospital, and married a younger Thai woman that was a teacher. They have 2 great kids – boy and girl twins, studying in Bangkok.

When “Pichet” retired he realized he couldn’t make it on his small retirement income from the hospital. He started selling insurance for AIA. He started going to the train station with his truck and trying to talk to foreigners so he could transport them to Chong Mek, Laos or Cambodia… some of them even stayed at his house where he’d rent them either a room in his house or the entire house – like he did for me when I was there. I rented his giant 5 bedroom house for 3,500 THB per month for a year while he slept in a dorm room with his wife – so they could make money off renting their new (just finished) house to me.

Twenty years ago Pichet started building cheap dormitories for students. There are many students attending tech schools, Rajabhat, Polytechnic, and other schools in the area – and he wanted to supplement his small retirement income.

He built the most basic dorms he could afford – with a community shower and restroom area in back of his house – and a row of 10 one story rooms on the other side of his driveway. Soon he was filled to capacity and after a couple years he got a loan from the bank to build more of the same next to those. Now he had 20 rooms. He kept 20 simple rooms like this for a decade. He charged the students whatever they could afford – 1,000 Thai baht per month – no matter how many girls lived in one room. He only allowed girls to stay in the dorms, as guys drank too much and were trouble.

Over the years Pichet’s rooms were almost always completely full because they were cheap, and he provided some security with guys not even allowed on the property after 8pm. I once saw him forcibly remove a drunk guy that was in a girls room and that refused to move. When Pichet pointed the silver gun at the guy’s chest – he walked right out – no problem.

Within the last two years Pichet upgraded all his rooms, flattening the basic dorms and creating new concrete buildings with 2 levels. He now had 40 very nice rooms and was charging 2,500 THB per month which included tv, fans, big bed, refrigerator, hot water shower, and internet.

Pichet was smart with money – as I’ve said. As I’ve shown. The guy knew the value of a baht. He would bargain with people over the cost of his rooms, motorbike rentals, and everything – as if the last baht was the world to him. He started out with no money at all – and over time, grew it and grew it to something that could be called a legacy to give to his kids when he passed.

A Thai man, Somchai, showed up asking Pichet about a room for his daughter that would be attending the university close by. Pichet showed him the rooms and talked to him – the guy was very friendly and Pichet liked him immediately. The stranger saw that Pichet had a truck for sale for 700,000 THB and told him that he might know a lady that is looking for a truck like that.

Somchai gossiped about the woman a little bit – giving Pichet the idea that the woman had tons of money due to a very rich husband that was now disabled. The woman spent money freely – and the guy said, if she wants the truck – she’ll buy it cash.

They said goodbyes, exchanging phone numbers.

Somchai didn’t call for 3 days, Pichet said he feared the rich buyer wasn’t interested. But then Somchai called, and Pichet was really excited about possibly selling his truck for 700,000 because that was just his initial asking price and it wasn’t worth but 500,000. Somchai said he would pick Pichet up – they’d go meet this rich woman and have lunch with her at one of the nice restaurants in town.

Off they went.

At the restaurant Pichet was introduced to what he thought was an exceptionally rich woman – and there were a couple other people at the restaurant too.

The woman’s purse was open at some point during the lunch – when she went to the rest room – and the people sitting there saw that she had thick rolls of cash – over a million baht in cash in her bag she carelessly left at the table.

While the woman was in the restroom Somchai told the group of people at the lunch table a story about the woman having a weakness for gambling – and that she was always ready to play some cards if she could find others willing to bet a lot of money. Somchai said she was notoriously bad at cards – and always lost. He said he had seen her lose tens of millions of baht over the last year alone. She didn’t care – she had money to burn if she wanted to.

When she returned to the table they all talked about gambling and the woman of course offered to play some high stakes poker but only for 5 million baht if anyone could afford it. Somchai, and the two other women and one man in the group all said they would come up with the money and everyone was looking at Pichet to see if he could come up with 1 million baht to play too. So as not to lose face, and, facing the prospect of huge gains of money – he said yes, he would get 1 million baht to play too.

The group met at a house 2 hours later where the card game was supposed to take place. There were some security guys there – the rich woman’s bodyguards. The plan was that Somchai would put the 5 million in a pool of money and one of them would play the woman in cards for it.

Somchai asked who wanted to play the game… nobody answered. He asked Pichet – and Pichet said, oh no – I think better for someone good to play her. Pichet suggested Somchai play for it because Somchai knew his cards – so he said.

Everyone in the group gave their 1 million baht to Somchai and he went into another room with the woman who was sitting there with her bodyguards and a table in front of her – everyone saw that she had about 5 million in cash on the table.

The woman insisted on closing the door while the card playing was taking place – for security.

At first the group outside the room heard people there – talking and some gasps and things… then for a long while it was very quiet.

They were all starting to ask questions about the outcome because they were dying to know – did they just make a lot of money off the rich but horrible card playing woman?

They sat another hour sweating – dying to know – what happened. Wait, what was going on? There was no sound in the room.

They started to knock on the door. No answer. Bang. No answer… They went around the house and saw that the window was open and nobody was in the room anymore.

They had just been scammed for 1 million baht each.

But really, only Pichet had been scammed for 1 million baht – as the others were ALL in on it.

It was like a gypsy scam… many people in on it and Pichet was the “mark”.

Pichet just couldn’t come to grips with the idea that it was a scam because he felt he KNEW Somchai and that somehow Somchai was a good guy. The others in the group felt the same – thinking it was just the old woman that ripped everyone off – and maybe they killed Somchai!

A month later Pichet gets a call from Somchai.

He said he was knocked unconscious by the old woman’s bodyguards and they carried him to a car – dumping him off in a trash yard. He was in the hospital for a month.

He said he could get Pichet and the other players’ money back for them.

He just needed 100,000 more Thai baht.

Pichet wired it to him.

And you can guess how that went.

So, this scam is making the rounds ALL OVER Thailand at the moment. There have been many victims of it.

It is well put together. Well rehearsed. And a pretty perfect plan which goes down really easily in Thai society. Most Thais are gamblers – or want to be. Most Thais really want some extra money – and if they can get it illicitly – they will try. To save face in front of the group of people – Pichet said he could come up with the money to play the game. He wanted to be part of the group. He didn’t want to miss out on the gains. Pichet, is a good person inside. That’s obvious to me. He trusts people quickly – foreigners too, when they come to his house to stay. I have warned him about a few guys that I thought were out to rip him off. One guy took a motorbike of pichets for a month – that was supposed to be for 2 days. Recently a foreigner stayed for 2 months – delaying rent payment – and then didn’t have any cash at all to pay.

So, the scam is going around – be careful for it – and variants of it that hit the expat world. There must be many similar scams going around the country… the world.