Be wary of Thomas Guya and other similar types
Replies: 13 - Last Post: Nov 6, 2012 3:30 AM Last Post By: mooslie
Nov 3, 2012 4:36 PM
Be wary of Thomas Guya and other similar typesHi All
I have been having difficulty getting a response from a company that provides a boat service for the border crossing between Chau Doc and Phnom Penh. I want to buy an advance ticket from them.
Then I stumbled on what appeared to be a helpful website for a Chau Doc-based travel company that provides services to assist in buying the tickets. It is run by a "Thomas Guya", who it is claimed is an expat who has lived in Chau Doc "for a couple of years now". It goes on to provide more details on his life in Chau Doc. (See http://www.chaudoctravel.com/2011/09/some-words-about-me-thomas/)
Being naturally cautious I looked for reviews on the internet to see whether this company and `Guya were legitimate and then stumbled on various other websites which variously reflect in EXACTLY THE SAME words that this expat is also based in HO CHI MINH CITY and even SIEM REAP. While Mr Guya describes himself as being "somewhat restless", the practical implications of this makes this really unfeasible. The websites all look relatively genuine at first glance. See for yourself:
Who knows if Thomas Guya even exists (despite the picture posted on all the above websites). The whole point of this post is to encourage caution when making bookings and parting with your money. However, I do want to stress that would apply to any country and not just Vietnam
Nov 3, 2012 9:31 PM
Nov 4, 2012 12:02 AM
Nov 4, 2012 1:21 AM
Nov 4, 2012 1:55 AM
4Hmm, looks a lot like Terry Gordon from http://www.asiafilmfixer.com/who-is-asia-film-fixer/
Says there that "Terry also has extensive experience managing travel and tour operations, specialising in unique and tailor-made itineraries throughout Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Laos and Myanmar."
Maybe more experience than he knows?
Nov 4, 2012 4:16 AM
Nov 4, 2012 7:33 AM
6I generally agree. There is no point in reporting such sites if nothing is done about it. Besides there are numerous variations of Thomas Guya out there. Caution is your best dedence. Personally I'm going to do my best to avoid falling for any scam. But where I fail to do so will just try to chalk it down as part of the experience.
Nov 4, 2012 4:45 PM
Nov 4, 2012 10:14 PM
Nov 5, 2012 12:29 AM
"that's Ok the locals will love you for it."
I am going to be travelling in Vietnam for 3.5 weeks. I can either let every bad experience define the entire trip or just shrug it off and move on. From my experience it's often the traveller's mindset and attitude that determines whether a trip is good or bad. However, that doesn't mean that you should try to be sitting duck just to appease the locals.
Nov 5, 2012 2:36 AM
Nov 5, 2012 4:57 PM
11This is a scam! Thomas Guya does not exist.
The company/individual running these fake sites are using my image and extracts from a legitimate business I own and operate.
I have contacted them numerous times to have my image removed, but to no avail.
Many vietnamese businesses are using fake expatriate biographies to legitimize their marketing /business. The majority of successful and honest in-bound travel companies (in Vietnam) are all managed by expatriates. So I'm not surprised that dodgy Vietnamese try to portray an expatriate management structure.
My advice if you are travelling to Vietnam/Indochina and you want to avoid getIng ripped off - only book services through these following companies:
Trails of Indochina
Footsteps in Asia
Nov 5, 2012 6:11 PM
Nov 6, 2012 3:30 AM
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