The Famous Visa Scam
I’ve been warned by a good friend of mine before going to Bangkok and crossing to Siem Reap.
He left me a note to remind me about the famous visa scam in the border. I must admit that I did little planning for my entire trip that started when I arrived in Bangkok. A lot of mishaps already happened and it made me more anxious. The whole cross usually takes around 5-6 hours so I thought I’ll use that time to read and prepare for Cambodia. I was also depending on the note left by my friend because he has done this journey before.
When we arrived at the border I was looking for fellow travelers to get a ride with. I saw a British couple but they looked too snobbish. So I opted to take a motor taxi or tuktuk as locals call it.
The woman driving the tuktuk was a bit strange. Her face was half covered by a black cloth.
But the journey was short so I didn’t mind it that much. We agreed on the price of the ride.
She asked for 50 Baht and I didn’t even bother to haggle. I just wanted to finish everything as soon as possible.
Me and the rest of the tourists were brought to a visa agency. When the man working there saw my passport he just said, “Ah Filipina. No visa fee for you.” I was relieved when he said that because the Philippines is part of the ASEAN countries so visa shouldn’t be a problem. But then after a few minutes he started asking for 300 Baht as processing fee. I just got upset by this. This man is trying to scam me into giving him 300 Baht for a free visa.
I hurriedly went out of that agency! I demanded the tutktuk driver to bring me to the real visa border. I’ve noticed that she wasn’t happy with this but I insisted. I will never ever pay for a visa that I can get for free. I understand that it is a way of living for these people and my tuktuk driver will most probably get commission from the tourists getting their visas processed in that agency but still I won’t waste my money for that. Besides my friend already warned me about this visa scam.
I finally gotten my visa for Cambodia. It was too stressful and I felt so tired because of the things that happened. I was disappointed but I know that scams happen in all the parts of the world.
So this is nothing new. I wrote this entry to warn people that they shouldn’t let their hard-earned money be taken away by some scammers. Read about the place you’re going to. Prepare in advance and be smart.