"Hilltribes Tour" Thailand Tourist Trap Tip by Homanded
Thailand Tourist Traps: 175 reviews and 76 photos
Hill tribes tours will be easily acquired through your hotel, street vendors and even at the airport in Bangkok.
Beware of the following: Certain points of interest such as Waterfall, Orchid garden and such will be advertised but, due to the various unscheduled shopping stops you may not actually get to see them due to a time constraint.
Not necessarily a big deal but, the numerous buying stops get old quick - specially when you're looking at putting in a 12-16 hour day!
We were picked up at our hotel in Chiang Mai at 7:00am and didn't get back until after 10:00pm!
Unique Suggestions: There seems to be no way to avoid the stops but, if you MUST stop, here is what I suggest:
Use the stops as a bathroom break...know that the guides are getting a kickback for your purchases and are simply trying to make an extra buck. Be kind...refusing to stop only seems to encourage bad attitude from your guide. Stick to your guns and don't purchase or, in the case of the Jewelry stop...Don't spend any time there. The offer to have you watch them work the stones is simply part of a loooooong sales ploy! It's a waste of time which is better spent at the Hill Tribes people.
Finally, if you're taken to the Golden Triangle stop, take the time to do the 1/2 hour boat ride down the Mekong and into Laos. Once there, get your passport stamped for fun and be aware that upon return, if you photograph the children sitting under the "Northern most point in Thailand" sign, you'll be expected to pay a fee!
Fun Alternatives: Instead of totally declining the stops, walk around but don't actually speak to or make eye contact with anyone unless you epect to seriously enter into endless bargaining. Walk througfh hurriedly, nod thank you and go promptly back to your van.
At the Golden Triangle border, there are some interesting souvenier shops dealing in very affordable trinkets, pottery, puppets and local sculptures.
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