The Mantra of the Savvy Traveler

The Mantra of the Savvy Traveler
Cheating is not robbery, it is taking advantage of a person, normally under the maxim…
“If I can get away with it, why not?”

“Beware unscrupulous owners who will charge you first world prices and then pocket the difference.”

Bangkok, Thailand Khao San Road
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
Blog of Andy --- --- Backpack Design Survey

Say Om Om Om, this comment by Hoz on the prior post about Made in Philippines should be the Mantra of the Saavy Traveler.

"They are intended to divert the mind from illusion and material inclinations. Chanting is the process of repeating a mantra." Wiki

Now say with a low resounding voice, chant repeatedly until you really believe, because this is the 100 percent truth.

“Tourist Bubble areas try to charge First World Prices in the Third World….”

“Tourist Bubble areas try to charge First World Prices in the Third World….”

“Tourist Bubble areas try to charge First World Prices in the Third World….”

The Chant of the Idiot traveler or tourist…
I hear constantly, and too stupid for words

“But it so cheap compared to home.”

“But it so cheap compared to home.”

“But it so cheap compared to home.”

I have screamed at travelers,
“The daily pay in this country is 7 dollars per day, there is no way should cost 7 dollars to have my laundry done. I am damn sure it didn’t not take more than two hours to do my laundry.”

I use this strategy, I try to always maybe allow up to double the pay, so if the daily pay of a country is 4-15 U.S. Dollars according to how naïve you are, then think,
“this job would take this.”

The cost of labor to build a building in Thailand is about 90 percent cheaper than the cost of labor in the USA; the room rent should reflect this, so when you are paying the same, they got you… please bend over.

The sad part, if you pay first world prices for products, what happens the local vendors get use to this, and start charging locals. Next thing you know the locals cannot afford to live in the area. However most of the time they are all in concert laughing at the naïve foreigners.

I say in Thailand Mak Mak..
“Pang, Mak Mak.”

Meaning, way too expensive, and whey you say, “Pang Mak Mak,” in Thailand they know you have learn how they cheat, they come off the price and life get easier, but they often are so accustom to cheating, it part of the culture.

Trust me the least fools on the plant are the Israeli people, I think they are the most savvy travelers on the planet. People do not like them sometimes because they do not accept getting cheated.

The Mantra of the Savvy Traveler


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No doubt about it, Israeli prices are always the goal I set for myself. Those guys are my heroes.

What I respect about Israelis is they do not patronize poorer people. I am not saying they treat them as equals, I am saying they do not sit around feeling sorry for people of the world.

I would hate to have some rich guy come up to me and treat me like I was poor and allow me to cheat him because he THINKS I am Poor.

Nothing more degrading than to not do business on an equal footing, with respect for each others positon. I know it is highly disrepectful to not use my brain to the full capacity to get the best deal. Most people really do think they are smarter than the poor people of the planet, this is just hogwash.


Are you being just a bit cheeky and trying to open this wound again ?

About Israeli's or are you trying to defend them without realizing this is the trait that could be the problem in the first place. You need this vicious bargaining trait if your in the 3rd world or if you are a native, but to drive a natives price to almost unacceptable levels when you come from a first world country while on VACATION is degrading.

Israelis have the info on what a Thai/natives prices pays and demands that price !!...however they don't take into consideration that most THAI's or other native customers a re-pete native customers they have been known for years and do other business with them like shop at other customers shops,schools,events.

Yet Israelis start to hurl insults quickly in Yiddish that are not too hard to figure out ; at the local Thai's if their price demands are not met based on their research and second hand info. I do not know any group that is so demeaning when they do not get their way. Hence the "WE are full" during low -season excuse to traveling Israelis ...EVEN though any THAI would sell a room or food at half price to any other group/black/white/Arab/Asian etc.....just to have a customer. They would rather do without than to be belittled and told how bad service is and stupid and pitiful they are in front of their children.

Again however the Israelis maybe right in their assurances and confidence and FACTS ; just like Muhammad Ali would tell the World he was THE GREATEST....He was ! but ended up feeble and just a shell of himself because he felt invincible not willing to say enough is enough before it was to late....

I don't hate them , but having a conversation with them is like fighting Ali...It's gonna be tough and if you win there will be negative repercussions about you like Liston, Frazier,Norton,Foreman anyone gets close would be taken down several notches in the media and lambasted so you were mind weak before and after the fight...

not worth engaging if you want to have peace of mind...

and thats all I want to say...I get more reasonable debate from the lad's at Bang Kwang Prison than an Israeli on holiday.

Which I recommend to any traveling fellow who wants to have some excitement and do a little good for someone dying of boredom go visit Bang Kwang Prison

Bring a few baht $ 2 a chocolate bar and a good new tee-shirt for donation and you got a friend for life!!!!!!...they will remember and pay you back 100 fold. You can visit a inmate of your choosing,UK,Aussie,USA etc...Africans get no visitors except an occasion priest so if you got the time ask for a African prison to visit.

Getting there:
From Banglampoo Pier (Khao San) take the big whistling boat going upstream (to the right). It costs 8 Baht to Nonthaburi and takes 40 minutes. Nonthaburi is the last stop and you will recognize it by the white clock tower by the pier and the AMPM convenience store. Jump off the boat and walk straight on - ignore the touts! Take the 1st left and walk about 250 meters. You will see Bang Kwang prison on the right. You will need to go to the registration area on the left…

Never met an Israeli Prisoner that there !!! There goverment does back them up 100% and gets them out no matter what the cost or what they did. USA will let a kid rot for 8 years because he had some pot or drugs for himself.

I truly do think Iraelis are savvy travelers. I do not mix up though the difference between Savvy and and Arabic, Middle East Culture.

Middle East Arabic cultures are tough, they come from a tough part of the world where belittling is natural. They do not understand this USA, sometime niceness of Europe, they understand the street.

Thailand people are weak wimps, I had one fall on the floor when I told him he was cheating me, too funny for words, happend in Pai.

But so are the USA people. I have zero problem with Israeli, I do not give them the abilty to be raw or rash, or abrupt.

Savvy yes, a lot on the raw side,, this is Israeli travelers.

I do not think though a culture should be punished for what is normal, I do not agree with this raw behavior, but I also do it, I just do not care to listen to some person cheat me or try, I have no tolerance and can go after them in seconds.

I have been asking my Thailand girlfriend to teach me how to say A Hole in Thai, so I can use it, but so far she know better, because I would.

Belittle, weak, wimps of the planet, the volunteer victims wanting me to grant control over their lives to them.

Andy said...

"Thailand people are weak wimps",

Khun Andy,

You make my heart aches. Thailand has a long history of not being ruled by anyone but THAI's. Over 1,000 years. Yes we had to make concessions to kep our country free but sometimes we have to fight but not strong Farang like terms take for instance not to long ago when Lao tries to invade Thailand and these THAI wimps helped save a country not with might but with brains and a plan that could work when you have less bullets....>see here>>

During the reign of King Rama III (1824 - 1851), Prince Anuwongse or in sThao Suranarihort Prince Anu of Laos wanted to free Vientiane from subordination to Bangkok. Even though he himself got help from King Rama III in his rule of Vientiane, in 1827 he rebelled against Bangkok and took Nakhon Ratchasima (Korat), while his forward troops ransacked Sara Buri.

Suddenly to his surprise, during his return journey, he was one day attacked by the residents of these two towns whom he was taking as prisoners. Among these prisoners, there were the Deputy Governor (Phraya Palat) and his brave wife named Mo. Mo arranged her women to use their feminine charm in encouraging the Laotian troops to get drunk. They then slipped away to release the male prisoners who subsequently killed almost all of the drunken foes and set free all the prisoners. Two Thai armies went in pursuit of Prince Anu who then fled to Vietnam while the Thai armies occupied Vientiane.

In recognition of her bravery, King Rama III honoured her as Thao Suranari. To this day, she is revered by all Thai people particularly the ISAN Northeasterners who consider themselves as her grandsons and granddaughters and call her with respect as Grandma "Mo" or "Ya Mo" in Thai. Her statue stands in Korat and is worshipped by people from all walks of life daily. Every year in late March or early April a 10 - day Thao Suranari Fair is held in her honour.

Wimps ? Do you think Hilary Clinton could charm the pants of the enemy ? OK that is joke.....but we are proud as a people Men and women we are not wimps. You mistake being kind as being a wimp. We have been underestimated many times. Still the flag never came down. Put that against all of Europe/Asia/n+s. America....

yes we have border enemies but we did not ask to be invaded we defend. WIMPS !! Khun Andy no apology necessarily but please clearafy wimp as what you mean.

PS.... about Israelis. Yes I meet them from time to time always in a group of only Isrealis and..well let says if our boat was sinking and I was passing out life floats I would of course give to women and children first then I would let the Israelis bid up the price of the last life floats before I would give them away for free to the most feeble. Then I would be cursed by the Israelis for not accepting the more than fare offers.

Kuhn Uncle Chang,

First, if you are from Thailand, this is absolutely amazing writing of English. Your mastery of English is dazzling.

Wimp, I guess this is stonger sounding then I am trying to intend to say...

When a person double charges me, and for sure some Thailand people in Tourist areas will do this.

I am saying, it is easy get them to lower the price, they do not fight for a long time to defend the price is they know they are gouging. There is sometimes too many lies told just to sell, this is also a problem, but this is al the countries.

I am American, we covet and desire direct, clear, honest pricing and negotiations, we consider this strong, or the opposite of wimp.

When I do not feel direct, looking at me, telling me the honest price, I see the vendor as a Wimp. The topic of this post is to help travelers to remember the countries think we are rich, and they feel we should pay more, and have no restraint on trying to earn whatever the price will bear, even though they know no Thailand person would ever pay that.

I have a Thailand Girlfriend, I am always impressed with her ability to not argue, her priorities are conducive to frienshiip. While to me and American girls revels in argueing.

I am very direct, Thailand people are indirect, maybe the wrong word to say Wimp, but this is my first feeling.

Truly great English!

Kapoon Ka,
Khun Andy,

I asked niece is my English good and she say's " Yes the part you copy and past from Wiki-Pedi is perfect about Ya Mo !! OK I copy past in when I can but I could not say better !! Ya Mo Women Freedom Fighter ..She no Betsy Ross sewing coats and flags to help..Ya Mo fight hand to hand ear to ear. You caught me Andy a little bit but I am not a wimping down. Have you heard of our Women Javelin champ ?

OK here is copy past not that good at English >> DOHA, Dec. 9 (Xinhua) -- Thailand's Buoban Pamang carried out amore than excellent performance here on Saturday to beat higher-ranked Chinese duo for the women's javelin throw title at the Doha Asian Games.

The 22-year-old Southeast Games champion, who has been crowned for the sub-continental tournament for consecutively three editions from 2001-2005, resulted in a personal best of 61.31 meters on her third attempt.

She also set a new games record with Saturday evening's effort, as the former record of 58.87 meters was built by South Korea's Lee Young-Sun at the Busan Asiad four years ago.

She could WIN WORLD RECORD IF IF IF she had same help as USA TEAm but she mainly trains with just 2 coaches and small donations ....

She is not so big or course. Every time she stands to take medal she is smallest... but her Thai heart is Huge and she make MEN of all Thai wimps..Maybe this is why you have Thai Girlfriend ? She helps make you better than you could be by yourself ?

Thai women making Men from Boys since
520 B.C. :)

Uncle Chang quote.

"Wimps ? Do you think Hilary Clinton could charm the pants of the enemy "?

HA ha ha still laughing...not unless they where Nazi's !!! ok I ad libbed But I Think this is want uncle Chang is eluding too ?

I am going to steal this and if you want credit Uncle Chang You got it !

Never I heard it said so simply that a farmers daughter can save a country and a Presidents Wife can not help her husband !!!

not sure that you meant it this way Uncle Chang but for sure your humor is very many sided. So I am guessing you intended it many ways.

I think Andy is still not on top of Thai Humor ? Wimps ? I suggest he read about the boy from America that is now King of Thailand 2008

long road But the King Of Thailand is a American and next time you call Thais Wimps you call all Americans wimps !!

Larry Bird Can not help you.

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