Somboondee Seafood Market scam

Bangkok-rip_off-somboondee-seafood-marketThe Somboondee Seafood Market is an infamous restaurant in Bangkok that is well-known to pay high commissions to taxi drivers and tuk-tuk drivers (among others) who bring tourists to eat there. The tourists are then exorbitantly overcharged, they often end up paying three to four times of what they would usually pay at one of the legitimate high-end restaurants in town.

Most tuk-tuk drivers will tell you that the restaurant of your choice is either unreachable because the streets are blocked for protesters or that it is a special holiday in that part of town, so it is most likely fully booked. But of course they have an excellent alternative for you: Somboondee Seafood Market. Some are even as cheeky to bring tourists there who asked to be taken to the legitimate Somboon Seafood restaurant, which is an excellent place with good food and reasonable prices. Since the names are so similar, unsuspecting tourists won’t find out they’re in the wrong place until they receive the check.

Also read: Tuk-tuk driver takes us to wrong restaurant: Somboondee Seafood Market

Bangkok-scam-somboondee-seafood-marketTuk-tuk drivers are paid as much as 30% of your total bill as kickback for their referral, and that’s part of why you’re guaranteed to be overcharged. And since the Tourist Police apparently doesn’t do anything with the many complaints they get from the scammed visitors, this restaurant and the tuk-tuk drivers have been able to run the same scam for many years already, ripping off thousands of unsuspecting travelers and harming the image of the Thai as sincere and friendly people.

Reports from victims have mentioned:

  • prices on the check that don’t correspond with prices in the menu or prices quoted
  • overcharging for menu items that are charged by weight
  • menu items with no price, which end up being extravagantly expensive
  • not asking how much the guest would like of an item that is charged by weight, just serving a large portion
  • ridiculously expensive beer and wine (which are conveniently not on the menu)
  • charging extra for things like refreshment towels, a flower on the table and even extra napkins
  • adding up to 20% service charge to the bill
  • non-specified bills for outrageous prices
  • not giving out official receipts with company name or address

Rumors are that this place, which is located near the PhayaThai BTS and Airport Link Rail stations, is owned by the Thai maffia, who pays off the police as well to keep them off their backs, so they can continue to scam tourists out of their money. Unfortunately, this practice is hurting the Thai economy, which is heavily dependent on tourism.

Find experiences from real victims or post your own story in our Bangkok and Thailand Tourist Scams Forum.

Comments

  1. Yup, happened to me yesterday. Same tricks applied by the taxi driver. Paid exorbitantly for a meal for two. Bad experience.

  2. Harold Koh says:

    Our taxi driver forcefully drove my family and I there but thank God my daughter remembered reading about this restaurant with its many bad reviews online. I boldly lead my family and walk out of the place.

  3. Mr Bangkok says:

    YES! This is a bad restaurant!
    Not only the food is expensive, the food taste lousy too.

    One fried sea bass fish cost 2000 bahts, you can have a tasty fried sea bass fish for just 400 to 500 bahts at Laemchareon restaurant.

  4. Bad reputation for land of the smile. .

  5. Had a really bad experience there. Food taste really horrible and overly charge. Action should be taken against such restaurant.

  6. Cecilia says:

    Yes, we got the terible experience there, the prices are unbelievable, 4x compare to the market price and the taste is not good. No receipt given . Don’t go there, it is a big scam in bangkok. Can the bangkok government make action for the restaurant?

  7. All kinds of scams in thailand. Never visiting there again. The worst of all the asian countries i have visited.

  8. It happened to me too!!! Scammers and thieves!!!! I can’t believe they got me this bad!!!! I been robbed for 15000 baht. Me coming from dubai, we don’t mind paying high for great food. But I felt odd and fishy knowing this is thailand and the tuk tuk driver brought us here. I told them I didn’t have enough money, they escorted me to the bank next door to withdraw the money!!! Thieves!!!! Scammers!!!!!

  9. Scam alert!! We are so regret for not browse through the net about this shop before entering. Even there was an article wrote about this scam restaurant on 2012.
    1. 4 people
    2. Pineapple Rice, Sotong, Cold Tomyam, KaiLan Veg., Fried Fish all (1 dish).
    3. Rm779.00/6200thb
    4. Same scam skill with no proper receipt only with lump sum price
    5. No credit card avaible but only cash or will bring u along to the opposite ATM to take out money.
    6. Environment stink and old
    7. Also intro buy tuk tuk driver
    8. No price on the menu

    *Next time when there is a no price on menu please be brave to ask and if u felt something fishy be brave and left the shop.

  10. Totally agree w all the above. What happened to us – a tuktuk driver offered us 20 baht for an hour ride around Bangkok. We were not even looking for a tuktuk ride by the way. We were so skeptical? But okay sure, gave him the benefit of doubt…we wanted to go somewhere else he immediately insisted on some really gd tom yum place but as I’ve mentioned we are all skeptical beings so we kept asking if that place was cheap..is that menu blah blah and he was ok u go and see menu there. We alighted, saw the somboondee place, totally didn’t look appetitizing, the fish tanks all look kinda empty and rather dirty. Anyways ok we went to see the menu, there were hardly any prices stated on it. It was quite a turn off, so we headed back to our tutu, gave him a place we wanted but of coz he refused, insisted to take us to other places and so on, and we argued a bit and finally told him we wanted to go back to our hotel. End up we gave him 20 baht + extra 10 for goodwill but of course he was so angry and black faced w us but you know I mean a deal is a deal man. If you’re not willing to give 20 baht for a ride don’t go around offering and pretending and trying to scam tourists!!!! Not everyone has google reviews or know such bad reviews you know… but i hope all tourists will be more careful of this place, random “too good to be true offers”, just be careful and if anything, be bold, brave and just walk out of that scamming place.

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