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My Travel Story: Nasty street touters/hawkers
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  1. #1
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    Nasty street touters/hawkers

    I love travel in Asia however I sometimes get annoyed by the nasty street touters/hawkers trying to sell you something/get some money from me

    What is the most effective way to deal with them :
    - be nice them, and smile with a no thanks
    - just ignore them and not even take notice of them, walk through them
    - be rude to them and get angry at them, and perhaps swear at them and tell them where to go (which is what I feel like doing)

    I don't like to be rude to be people but sometimes being nice I think just encourages them to hassle you further more.

    Seems like they hassle me more (maybe because I am trying to be nice) and don't hassle other people as much.

    Any suggestions please.

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    Re: Nasty street touters/hawkers

    Both being nice and being rude somewhat "connect" you to them, which is their aim. Being nice could make it very difficult to disengage from them, while being rude could lead to an unwanted brawl.

    It's better to just ignore them, totally avoiding their eye contact, like you didn't see or hear anything.

  3. #3
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    Re: Nasty street touters/hawkers

    Ignore them, I find it works.
    Keith

  4. #4
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    Re: Nasty street touters/hawkers

    I often just smile and say "no thank you".
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  6. #5
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    Re: Nasty street touters/hawkers

    Nope, if you go to yogya Borobudur Temple. Even you just smile and say "no thank you", the locals vendors will keep asking you to buy their souvenirs.
    Franklin D. Roosevelt - The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little.

  7. #6
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    Re: Nasty street touters/hawkers

    Quote Originally Posted by Jasonkoh82 View Post
    Nope, if you go to yogya Borobudur Temple. Even you just smile and say "no thank you", the locals vendors will keep asking you to buy their souvenirs.
    Yeah, well that's where the ignoring part kicks in for me.
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  8. #7
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    Re: Nasty street touters/hawkers

    I agree that touts or hawkers can be a nuisance, but I've never met one in Thailand that I would call nasty.
    In fact, compared to some other countries I've been to, most of them are actually quite polite and not very persistent.
    And in the end they're just trying to make (sort of) an honest buck to support their families, so no need to be rude.

    I usually do the same as Jerome:
    -Smile and say "No thank you" or "Mai Ao" in Thai. Most of the time that's enough.
    -If that doesn't help, keep smiling and ignore them.

    Some other tips:
    -If you're approached while walking: keep on walking, they usually give up after 5-10 meters.
    -If someone comes up to you with his hand extended, your instinctive reaction is usually to shake his hand: don't!! He's got you hooked and won't let go (this happens often with Indian/Pakistani tailors)

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  10. #8
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    Re: Nasty street touters/hawkers

    I just had an experience with street vendors, in the past hour that i think fits in well with this topic.

    I understand that the OP wasn't really talking about food vendors, but since the topic is quite similar, I will post it here.

    I decided to challenge myself and have a mini-adventure and decided to try to eat at a street-side food market. I went to the area between Central World and Panthip Plaza.

    After stumbling through my very poor Thai and ordering a few dishes, an old hawker (who actually looked Indian- are there foreign hawkers on the streets in Thailand?) approached and offered me some nuts. I said "sure" and he scooped some onto a paper plate. I asked him how much, "Tao arai krap?" and he says "40 Baht". As soon as he said that, all the people that were standing around working in the stall that I was eating at started yelling at the guy, saying No, no, it's only 20 baht!!

    He mumbled and scooped three or four nuts back into his bucket for face value and accepted 20 Baht, but not before trying to pocket the 10 Baht I had already handed to him.

    As I mentioned in an earlier thread I started about being jaded in Thailand, I was pleasantly surprised to see that the people in the stall were apparently looking out for me. I was pretty pleased.

    Not so nasty, quite friendly.
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  12. #9
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    Re: Nasty street touters/hawkers

    The Indian hawker could have been a local. There is a Little India in BKK so I guess they have a substantial Indian community there, although I must admit it is not common to see Indian hawkers (I have never seen one, or maybe I have not noticed one)
    Sleep, little one, close your eyes, mother will sing you a lullaby... Sleep in a jewel cradle, sleep, mother will rock you.
    If you don't sleep the midges will go for your eyes and pollen will fall on the cradle....Sleep, close your eyes...
    - Isaan folksong, from "The Price of a Life" (Onkom, 1997)

  13. #10
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    Re: Nasty street touters/hawkers

    Glad that the people help out and said it only cost thb 20. At least I know there are some kind hearted souls out there!
    Franklin D. Roosevelt - The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little.

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    Jerome (01-04-11)

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