How to Cheat in Thai, part 2 of 2 (Beginner) Posted by on Aug 14, 2010 in Beginner

With so many scams, I couldn’t just leave you hanging with a handful of words.

One of the more popular scams is called the Gem Scam. Lets say you’re a happy tourist, walking around Bangkok, heading towards a popular tourist destination. Now a Thai man walks up to you and says ‘its closed’. He answers a few of your questions, basically to convince you that the tourist destination is closed because ‘today is Thai holiday’. But you’re lucky, he knows a special secret tourist destination, and just so happens to have a taxi or tuk-tuk (ตุ๊กๆ) waiting to take you there. So you hop in, and after a few minutes ride, hop out at a jewelry store.

Now, the scammers will give you a host of different reasons why they need to stop there. The more honest scammers will tell you that they’ll get a cut of anything you buy, giving you a sob story about all their starving children. Whatever. Point is, nothing but โกหก, หลอก, and ของปลอม. So lets talk about what you’ll see during this adventure.


The word for diamond is เพชร (pronounced like the English word ‘pet’). The word for jewel is พลอย (pronounced like the English word ‘ploy’). Both of these words are names commonly given to women.

Any beaded jewelry would be called a สร้อย, followed by the part of the body its wrapped around. For example, a necklace is สร้อยคอ, and a bracelet is สร้อยมือ. Gold is ทอง. A สร้อยทอง is a golden necklace. A store that sells gold will typically only sell gold. It’ll have glass walls, where nothing but สร้อยทอง is hanging from the red walls. The name of the store will be written in Thai using a Chinese-style font. Thais like to buy and sell gold because its more stable and secure than the value of the Thai Baht (บาท).

Jewelry stores (ร้านพลอย) are much harder to find, probably because Thais don’t trust them.

Silver is เงิน, the same word for money, and the color grey. A ring is called แหวน. Remember, unless you’re a jewelry expert, assume everything to be ของปลอม and way overpriced (แพงไป).


ตุ๊กๆ tuk tuk (the three wheel taxi)

เพชร diamond

พลอย jewel

สร้อยคอ necklace

สร้อยมือ bracelet

ทอง gold

สร้อยทอง golden necklace

บาท baht, currency of Thailand

ร้านพลอย jewelry store

เงิน silver, money, the color grey (all related)

แหวน ring

แพง expensive

แพงไป too expensive, overpriced

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